Nearly there!

We are just putting the finishing touches to the song and video “This School”. It should be live tomorrow on the NUT official youtube account.

Working on “This School” has been an utter joy from start to finish. So many good, kind people have shared their talents generously. No ego’s, no agenda’s, no game playing just good old fashioned solidarity.

I am in a feverish state of excitement. I think it is good. I think it is really, really good. I know that we are never going to please everyone but my biggest hope is that it becomes a rallying call for everyone who rejects the ideological attacks on our schools.

“This School” is an anthem. It’s time to stand up.
Thank you to everyone who contributed. I’ve never been prouder to be an NUT member. To be honest I haven’t really been a very proactive union member – I’ve not helped build the local division and I’ve never been to conference. However meeting Ruth Serwotka, NUT organiser, on twitter has transformed my activism. I’m so grateful Ruth that you listened to my proposal and helped us make this a reality. Thank you Ruth for having faith in the membership! It really wouldn’t have got off the ground without you.

This song is going to make a difference.

Arrangements for Sun 8th May

 

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Really looking forward to Sunday. Just a few reminders

1.If you haven’t come along before – don’t panic! You can listen to the audio tracks by scrolling down to the last post. We are a very friendly bunch and Gitika is an exceptionally good teacher so you will be just fine! Whether you are a parent, teacher, head, governor,grandparent or a concerned citizen you will be very welcome.

2. We are meeting at 11.00am at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, Kings Cross. It is a few minutes walk from Kings Cross. We plan to finish by 3.00pm

3. Dress code is wear something green. If you have a “Stand up for education” t shirt could you bring it along or wear it. We will be distributing some new ones as well.

4. There will be no cafe open so can you bring a picnic style lunch – maybe with something to share?

5. If you have any home made placards/posters hanging around can you bring them with you for the video?

6. We will be videoing the day and I am looking for a volunteer to act as runner for the person filming. This isn’t a technical job – it is mainly rounding up people to be interviewed and maybe asking the questions. Can you leave me a comment if you can rope someone in to do this?

7. We could still do with more people. Please can you see if you can bring extras with you. In particular we could do with some more men.

8. Those of you on twitter could you tweet about this using #ThisSchool as the hashtag?

9, For those of you want a score you can download one here this school is your school – Full Score (1)

The audio tracks for “This School”

NUT choir Polly D

This choir is open to everyone , young or old, teacher, parent, governor or interested citizen, who wants to reclaim education.

Below are the audio tracks.

Have a listen and choose the track that best suits your voice. If you have the time please listen to it a few times in advance of coming along on Thursday 28th and /or Sunday 8th May.

This school – Soprano

This school – Alto 

This School – Tenor

This School – Bass

Here is the whole song

 

Here are the Lyrics for you to download and bring along. Have a look at the subtle change in each chorus

We owe Gitika a HUGE round of applause for acting so quickly to get this arranged for us. I think she has done a fantastic job and created an amazing resource that we can use to build our movement.

Practical Arrangements:

This is being organised by a few ordinary NUT members and teachers so please be patient with us if there are any glitches! The union is being fantastic and  giving us great support.

Rehearsal Thursday 28th April 4.30 – 6.30 at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, Kings Cross (Nr Kings Cross Station) Gitika will teach us the song but we will also be recording some bits. There will also be someone filming for our video.NB If you are outside of London or just can’t make this – don’t worry but make sure you practise with audio tracks and have a go at learn the learning the lyrics. You can still join us on Sunday

Recording Sunday 8th May 11.00 – 3.oopm : Hamiliton House, Mabledon Place.  We are expecting about least 100 people so we will struggle to feed you all – please bring a picnic lunch as we may not have enough time to go out. Oh and bring plenty of water!

We will be looking for volunteers to be interviewed about this project for the video. I’m also looking for two people to act as volunteer runners for the video production. Any volunteers? If  you already have personalised homemade signs/placards please bring along with you for the video. Any  education campaign t shirts would also be good to bring along.

If you are on twitter please could you follow tweeps below so we can keep in touch. Please say hello and I will follow you back.

@jackieschneider (me)

@educatingjess

@ruthserwotka

@gitikasings

@crownlane

We are using the hashtag #ThisSchool to promote our project

There is also a Facebook page “Singers for Education protest song needed” 

Finally, thank you to everyone. It is easy to just feel depressed at the appalling onslaught we are under but I really believe that this song could spread far and wide and actually move people to action! Am already imagining this song blasting out in meetings, rallies, picket lines and demonstrations up and down the land.

 

 

 

“This School is your school”

Here is a demo track of the song we will be singing. We have had an offer from a beatbox collective to add a beatboxing layer so it will a little different but this is to give you an idea. We are hoping to add the individual audio tracks tomorrow and the lyrics so you can start to learn one of the 4 parts.

Gitika has really worked flat out to get us a great arrangement in a very short space of time. Huge thanks to Gitika and to Nick Grant for getting the lyrics together.

Below is the email that went out to London NUT members

NUT Members have written a song “This Schools is your School.”

We want to record this song for teachers, parents, governors and heads everywhere who oppose the privatisation of out schools. Please join us in our choir! You don’t need to be an experienced singer, Gitika Partington, is going to teach us the song and then direct us during the recording. We will record the choir for use on social media.

Come along straight after school Thursday 28th April to Hamilton House starting at 4:30 with tea, coffee and sandwiches and starting rehearsal at 5pm. We will then join together on Sunday 8th May at 11am to record the song. Refreshments will be provided.

This is an NUT initiative but we welcome all teachers, school staff, parents and those who want to add their voices in opposition to school academisation and privatisation. Bring friends and colleagues from your school community.

When you think about it a choir is a lot like a trade union. Together we are strong and our voices combined are more powerful than when we are alone.

Time is short. We must act now:

Leave me a message if you want to sign up to sing.

Time to raise our voices.

Who is up for recording a protest song?

We need singers.

Rehearsal: Thursday 28th April 4.30 – 6.30 at NUT HQ Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London – close to Kings Cross tube. Refreshments provided.

Recording: Sunday 8th May 11.00 – 3.00 at NUT HQ (see above)

NUT member, Nick Grant has come up with some fantastic lyrics. If you oppose forced academisation, reject the increasing privatisation of all public services and want to reclaim the curriculum this song is for you.

Vocal leader and leading light in music education, Gitika Partington has created a special arrangement and will be teaching and leading us.

Ex teacher John Merriman will be recording and producing the song with his studio, Crown Lane.

We will be able to release the song for sale, share it widely on social media and use it at meetings, rallies, demonstrations etc.

Although this is an NUT initiative it is open to everyone who agrees with us. So please, we want teachers, mid day supervisors, TA’s, parents, governors and good citizens everywhere to use their voices.

We have a great song, great vocal leader and great producer. What we DON”T have yet is a great big group of singers. Time is short. Please share this widely. Every voice counts. Don’t wait for a personal invite – seize the day, recruit some volunteers , leave a message below to tell me you are coming and be part of it!

If you are a London NUT member you should get an email soon about this.

 

Observations from Mayor’s Music Summit

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1. Allowing an education minister to address a conference with NO opportunity to ask questions or give feedback is a terrible start to any event. It was compounded by the fact it happened during the same week the Education White paper was released.Nick Gibb MP waxed lyrical about the joys of classical music and his own happy school days when he sang choral music. He didn’t give a single mention to the white paper. He took credit on the new national curriculum for music without even referencing the fact that if his government gets its way no school in the land will ever need to look at it again.

2. Excessive number of white men in suits on panels. Having 16 speakers, one after another with no tea breaks or opportunities to discuss was too much. It was only made bearable by being able to tweet about it. Have storified it here.

There was a huge amount of expertise in the room. Was very frustrating that there was only one break in a very long day where we had the opportunity to talk to each other.

3. Disappointing that there is so much confusion between music curriculum and extra curriculum provision. Surely at an education conference the stuff that happens in the lessons that all kids have is the priority???

4. We don’t value our music education academics enough. Ally Daubney, Martin Fautley, John Finney and Gary Spruce are all doing fantastic work. When ITT is taken away from universities we will lose a valuable resource.

5. No discussion of the Education White paper. I think this was a real disappointment. We stand on a precipice with the future of publicly funded comprehensive schools under serious threat. Forced academisation with the costs coming out of current education budget will leave schools with even less money for music. It will threaten the feasibility of hubs and goodness know what will happen to kids with special needs. If those issues aren’t pertinent to a music education conference then I don’t know what is.

On balance I am glad that I went. The rushed conversations with people passionate about music education always make it worthwhile. I feel uncomfortable being so harsh about today. I know that there are good people behind it who are trying hard to improve school music.

There was an awful lot more that I want to unpick from today but I think that once I have dumped all my frustrations here and slept on it I will reflect better on the positives tomorrow!

PS – I couldn’t help myself but I couldn’t let the minister leave the stage without taking a single question so I did a tiny heckle.

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