Not a sentence that many people in the UK have uttered in the last week, but we have been extremely lucky with the weather! Why? Emma, Pete, and Lauren just managed to get out of the country before all flights were cancelled. Boston played host to the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Conference 2018. Drake Music Scotland and Figurenotes took to the stage, presenting on Figurenotes notation, technology, and inclusive music practice. We had been invited to present following the work of one Boston teacher fighting to improve provision for students with additional support needs. There are brilliant things happening in Scotland in this field, and Massachusetts’ teachers were keen to get ideas to take into their classrooms and propose to their decision makers. “I wish I’d had this when I was learning” “As a person with Dyslexia, it is a big deal for me to be a music major. We tend to get weeded out of music programmes. [Figurenotes] would include us!” “This is just the best thing I’ve seen.” “That progression makes total sense. So we can get all the kids playing and reading? That’s amazing.” The wonderful feedback we received and the enthusiastic response from teachers made the long trip worthwhile. Some music education focuses attention on the most ‘gifted and talented’ pupils, often those who have already had the privilege of private music lessons. Making classroom music more accessible will include students who are often left behind or not given the chance to learn, as well as increasing engagement in the extra-curricular music activities within the school. Increased confidence from quick success makes motivating your class much easier, with no pupil left behind. It was wonderful to see the ‘lightbulb moment’ as these teachers understood what would now be possible in their classrooms. That was definitely worth travelling over 3000 miles for! If you want advice on how Figurenotes could be used in your school, get in touch. Our next Music Teacher’s Toolbox training event will take place on Saturday, 24th March 2018. Take a look at the programme and book your place today.

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