By Mercedes Harvey
Here at DawBell we are all about the music, and so the recent news that Music ‘could face extinction’ as a subject in secondary schools in England, is a pretty scary and unimaginable thought.
Music is not only good for the soul…. It has proven academic benefits which greatly enhance achievements in non-music subjects, as well as boosting confidence and developing emotional intelligence.
Which is why we are proud to be working with Casio on the ‘Action in Music’ campaign (which is fronted by our very own former music teacher, Laura Mvula who we secured exclusively for the campaign) to celebrate the work of the most inspirational teachers and firmly shine a spotlight on music education in the UK.
Heading back into the classroom, the DawBell Brands team have been visiting schools across the UK - including The BRIT School and East London Arts and Music - to talk to students about their musical inspirations; and encourage them to nominate their favourite music teacher for Classic FM’s Music Teacher of the Year Awards with Casio and ABRSM.
We recently visited the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) - one of the UK’s most notable performing arts schools, to take part in a percussion class and listen to students play piano.
LIPA was co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney in 1996 and is housed in the old school building he and the Beatles attended. A maze of newly renovated rehearsal rooms, studios and creative spaces, you immediately get the sense this is a special place to study and feel steeped in its musical history. Photographs of the Beatles and other legendary musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Joni Mitchell line the walls of the student bar, many of which were taken and signed by Linda McCartney herself.
Inside one of the practice rooms we listened to two music students play the piano beautifully and spoke to them about their experience at LIPA. Both talked about incredible teachers who inspire them and described how supportive and nurturing an environment it is to learn in, with a particular focus on developing skills they need to forge a career in music.
This was echoed by Tim Pike, a Senior Lecturer at LIPA since it opened 19 years ago, who told us about the holistic approach to teaching music and how 88% of students go onto work after they graduate. This incredible figure is testament to the energy, commitment and talent of the teachers and students at the institute - something that was clearly evident during our visit.
Going back to school has been an eye opener… the work of the nation’s music teachers is vital and the impact of music education is incredibly important. Through their commitment and encouragement, they inspire the next generation... and we have to say they have also taught us a thing or two!
As community hubs, schools, colleges and universities are a great way for brands with a positive contribution to directly engage and communicate with consumers across a wide range of age groups; from school pupils right through to their parents.
Brands such as Kellogg’s work closely with schools and teachers to provide free breakfasts and promote the importance of the morning meal; offering an online ‘Breakfast Clubs’ training programme which includes planning, funding, nutritional and marketing information.
Lego produces education software and teacher support materials, whilst iconic music venue, the Roundhouse offer schools free taster sessions to enhance creative development.
The ‘Action in Music’ campaign, has given Casio the opportunity to build deeper engagement with a key audience, by gifting schools across the UK with the Celviano Grand Hybrid - providing more students with access to the touch and feel of a real piano.
Later this year, Casio, Classic FM and ABRSM will host a celebration of music at the Barbican Centre on July, 7 2017. Here they will announce the five winners of this year’s Music Teacher of the Year Awards, commending their contribution to music education - who will each receive a Celviano Grand Hybrid for their school or local music services.
Aligning with education centric CSR activity is key for brands aimed at students, parents and domestic gatekeepers. Students drive awareness via word of mouth, supporting brands that nurture, encourage and positively impact those around them.
The impact of the ‘Action in Music’ campaign (to date) has been incredible. The relationships built and feedback from schools and education establishments across the country is better than we could have ever imagined - highlighting the importance of directly interacting with the target audience and creating a tangible consumer experience, laced with emotion.