Quad plays host to conference

Musicians and educators who work with vulnerable youngsters across the East Midlands are invited to register for soundAFFECTS, a conference in Derby on Thursday, February 23, which will explore the importance of creative music-making with young people at risk.

The result of a partnership between MusicLeader East Midlands, host organisation soundLINCS – Lincolnshire Music Development Agency – and Leicester-based participatory arts specialists Soft Touch Community Arts, the conference will be held at Derby arts centre Quad in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

The running time is 9pm to 4pm and attendance is free, although pre-registration is advised.

soundLINCS CEO Nikki-Kate Heyes, said: “soundAFFECTS is the first regional event of its type since the launch of the National Plan for Music Education in November.

“The world of music education has reached an exciting turning point and we are delighted to have sourced funding for this conference to enable music professionals in the East Midlands to discuss, share and enrich their experiences of working with children and young people in challenging circumstances.”

In addition to presentations by keynote speakers from local and national organisations, the day will offer skills-sharing workshops, discussions on best practice and updates from funders and commissioners. Opportunities will also be available for one-to-one sessions with representatives from Youth Music, Arts Council England and the Musicians’ Union, and the plenary session will be led by performance poet Rob Gee.

Whether music teachers or facilitators, workshop leaders, local authority personnel or representatives from education, youth or arts organisations, all delegates will have a remit to work with vulnerable young people in the East Midlands. These include youngsters at risk of offending, NEET groups, looked-after children and those challenged by learning disabilities, sensory impairments or other special needs.

Funded by national charity Youth Music, MusicLeader is a UK-wide service committed to the professional development of people who deliver or manage music-making programmes for young people.

To register for the soundAFFECTS conference, or to enquire about the benefits of MLEM membership, call 01522 510073, e-mail erin.meehan@musicleader.net or visit www.MusicLeader.net