Portsmouth – Winner 2016


In the week leading up to the Music Education Council Awards Ceremony in London, Portsmouth Music Hub produced two interactive concerts at the largest venues in the city. As a result more than 3,000 children had the chance to enjoy and participate in interactive professional productions that were fresh, dynamic and engaging.

Portsmouth Music Hub is proud of the musical and creative opportunities that are available for every child, no matter what their circumstances, and it is this principle of musical and cultural inclusion that lies at the heart of Portsmouth Music Hub’s ongoing music provision.

The Hub has an ‘open door’ policy which means that when a child, a parent or a teacher asks the question about creative opportunities the Hub finds the best solution to meet their needs. A young member of the Hub’s Rock band asked whether it was possible for the Hub to set up a Jazz band. The Hub researched the viability, the levels of interest, garnered enthusiastic support from Hub partners and set the ball rolling.

Portsmouth Music Hub has continued to deliver a wide range of instrumental teaching, both for individuals and whole class ensembles. More than 10,000 local children experienced top quality singing provision last year and the Hub’s wide range of ensembles continue to provide the opportunity for all children and young people to develop their musical and interactive skills at every level of instrumental ability.

Alongside the teaching, singing and ensemble provision the Hub focusses on giving children the opportunity to learn, develop and participate alongside skilled practitioners and professional musicians. It is part of the process of inspiring the next generation. Partnership is the key to this success and working closely with schools and partners the Hub is able to bring exciting, diverse and sometimes surprising events into schools and at major venues. More than 2,000 children participated in a week of ceilidh dancing, 1,000 children took part in an interactive workshop by the Royal Marines Band Service, and thousands of children and young people have benefitted from workshops and performances in opera, music theatre, recorder festivals, classical recitals, jazz, urban and rock.

To support the pursuit of musical and educational excellence the Hub has produced a series of songbooks. Children play a part in the process from the very start, giving suggestions and feedback regarding the content and subject matter. From songs about science, to history and fairy tales, these educational tools continue to support teachers in developing children’s musical interest, ability, and their confidence.

Offering every child an equal opportunity is not always easy, but the Hub overcomes the challenge by developing initiatives that encourage every child to get actively involved. To meet this need the Hub has launched ‘Live Music Portsmouth’, which is a campaign which sets out to reach children and young people who do not always have the opportunity to be part of the cultural landscape. As part of the initiative, the Hub takes workshops, recitals and concerts to schools and produces events so that children in challenging circumstances enjoy their right to diverse cultural experiences. The Hub launched the very first Cultural Carnival in the centre of the city, as part of ‘Live Music Portsmouth’. Thousands of children took part alongside professional musicians, and every child played an important part in producing a morning of music, dance, flag-waving, and face painting.

Portsmouth Music Hub is delighted to share the Major Award for a second consecutive year and this success is also shared with our schools, colleges, academies, the City Council, our Hub partners, and the children and young people in Portsmouth. The Hub works very effectively with other Music Hubs and we particularly value the support, encouragement and inspiration we receive from Soundcity – Brighton & Hove, the Tri-Borough Music Hub, South Gloucestershire Music Hub, Southampton and the Isle of Wight Music Hubs, Dorset Music Hub and Soundstorm – Bournemouth.

Winning awards has significant value. The Hub team is delighted that our work has been recognised and this encourages us to do more and to do better. Ultimately our success depends on the children and young people in our city; when they are inspired, when they pick up an instrument, when they develop a passion for music and culture that will last a lifetime then we know we are doing something right.

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