Fundraising for Music Treehouse

You may have heard about the Music Treehouse, our SEN/D project that runs as part of our Saturday Programme – it’s offered for free but many of the students who desperately need to attend are unable to do so due to the cost of taking a weekly specialist taxi.


We have tried to cover this cost as much as possible but there are still many students that we are unable to help. This is where you come in – we’re asking you to help us provide the transportation that these young musicians need.


Every little helps and please feel free to share the link as much as possible – we’re hoping to meet our goal by Christmas!

You can find out more about the campaign and donate by clicking here.

Aviva Community Fund

We are competing for the Aviva Community Fund and we are through to the public voting stage. In order to secure a place in the final, we need to gather as many votes as possible during the voting period.

What are we hoping to fund?

Music Treehouse (MT) is for SEN/D children who have a wide spectrum of needs. It includes children who are isolated and struggle with issues around communication and interaction, who have profound Autism, difficulties with Mental and Emotional Health and sensory and physical disabilities. MT is a hugely important project for a community of young people and their families who struggle to find out of school activities that are accessible, engaging and life-enhancing. It provides a fun, secure, environment where children can learn and practice vital life skills, and are provided with a safe environment in which to develop their confidence and well-being.


Seeing a child’s face and the pride that they feel when they have the ability to make music is simply exhilarating and the health benefits of the sensory and kinaesthetic nature of music cannot be underestimated. Assisted by a specialist team, they learn to play and interact through creative music composition creating personal, and intricate pieces of music.



However, they really need specialist equipment which fulfils different needs as having the right instruments is hugely important. MT is still in its infancy but is already oversubscribed meaning we desperately need to purchase a collection of specialist instruments to supplement the ones we currently borrow. We currently have no electronic instruments, so can’t properly serve students with severe mobility disabilities and only a very limited range of standard percussion. A £5,000 grant would allow us to purchase a pool of instruments enabling us to create a fully inclusive ensemble and the impact would be immediate for our students.


• Large strengthened drums which students can sit on to feel the vibrations;
• Tuned percussion with specialist mallets to facilitate grip for students with limited dexterity;
• Kaoss Pads and amps for students with limited mobility;
• Specialist non-tuned percussion: bracelet shakers, mark trees, afruches, and soundboards;
• Nuvo clarinets, flutes and pBones: lightweight plastic instruments which can stand a lot of use, and are wonderful for students with more movement and less profound disabilities.


We currently have 40 core students at Music Treehouse, who would greatly benefit from this grant and a reach of over 100 more in collaboration with local special schools who are extremely supportive of the programme:


/ Ickburgh School

My pupils are thrilled to take part. Their enthusiasm is outstanding and they love to tell their friends at school about MT. This has helped build their confidence and discover hidden talents they never thought they had!


The families of children with SEN/D often feel very isolated – the SP has a thriving and supportive community spirit with parents and students from across all programmes forming new friendship groups. The Programme is a place for families to meet other families in similar situations over coffee and cakes in our tuckshop. Likewise, the students not only have the opportunity to socialise with their group but also with the other students at the Programme. This social aspect is hugely beneficial to MT families’ well-being, with our staff always finding time for those who need a helping hand.


Music Treehouse Parent

A really happy environment to learn and have fun. My child so looks forward to attending – thank you for everything!

What we need you to do:

1. Visit our page & register CLICK HERE
2. You will be sent an activation link via email when you register (check spam).
3. Click that link & complete your profile.
4. Return to our page and use the VOTE button – you have TEN (10) votes so please make sure you use all TEN (10) for us!
5. Share this post or our Aviva page with your friends & family, encourage them to register and vote.


What else can I do to help? 

We are also raising money for the Music Treehouse transport fund through GoGetFunding


Brandenburg Choral Festival supporting HMDT Music

HMDT Music is delighted to announce that the Brandenburg Choral Festival is supporting HMDT Music at one of their concerts in their Autumn 2017 Series. Taking place on the 5th November at 5pm in the beautiful St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, this concert given by the Minerva Consort and conducted by John Andrews, will feature Mendelssohn’s Hear my Prayer and a stunning A Cappella programme including music from Bach, Schütz and Eric Whitacre.


We hope that you will come and join us for a wonderful Sunday afternoon concert!


Tickets cost £23 (premium), £18 (unreserved) and Children £5.


To purchase tickets please visit this PURCHASE PAGE LINK which will ensure that a proportion of your ticket cost will go towards supporting HMDT Music.

ABRSM Success, Yet Again!

We are pleased to announce that our latest batch of students to take their ABRSM exams have done very well, with all of our students passing their exam, with over half of them achieving a merit or distinction grade – a testament to our methodology and the hard work of our pupils and tutors.

Our “wholistic” approach to music education on our Saturday Programme centres around equipping young people with a knowledge of music that extends beyond their chosen instrument(s), through choir practice, theory lessons and classes in general musicianship. These results help to confirm that our proven methods work, with better results coming from students who do a full day at the Saturday Programme, beyond one-to-one lessons.

As with the last batch of results, we know that pupils whose parents felt able to help them were more likely to achieve a distinction or a merit over a pass grade. We hope that our recent introduction of the All-In-One Music Theory book, along with other resources that we will be looking to offer to parents, will help them feel confident enough to provide assistance in the run up to exams.

Finally, we would also like to extend our congratulations to the external students who came and took their exams at our centre.

Impact tested, effect measured – TIME comes to an end.

The end of time is usually a cause for concern, but with the conclusion of our TIME project, the end of TIME (testing impact, measuring effect), is a chance to celebrate and reflect upon more than a year of hard work. The project saw as its conclusion the launch of a DVD and book, which detail the responses of the children of Queen Eleanor Primary Academy to their school’s vision and values.

Daniel Smith

Headteacher / Queen Eleanor Primary Academy

This project has been all about what it adds to our school and there is no doubt that the additions have been significant – both in terms of professional capital and collective achievement.

We worked with teachers throughout the year to deliver a way for them to enrich their own teaching by sharing our tried and tested methodology of embedding the arts within all aspects of the curriculum.

Daniel Smith

Headteacher / Queen Eleanor Primary Academy

The initial workshops helped to focus the teachers on the importance of skill development within the more creative subjects as well as to get to know their classes better as budding artists, musicians and actors.

Working together, the school decided that the end product would take the form of each class responding to a specific vision or value, through the arts. At the very start of the project, it would not have been possible to predict the enthusiasm and creativity that the children would display as the weeks and months passed. Each class worked with a composer to write and record a song that exemplified their value or vision, utilising a wide range of genres and influences including jazz, rap, gospel and soft rock.

Daniel Smith

Headteacher / Queen Eleanor Primary Academy

At the outset, it was really important to ensure that the work that we undertook complemented and indeed enhanced the school’s journey towards excellence whilst also providing something substantial and lasting. I am pleased that this has been the case. The use of our school vision and values as the subject matter certainly helped with this endeavour.

Alongside the song, each class worked on more varied projects that allowed them to explore their theme in greater detail with the help of a specialist in different artistic fields. This ranged from building a rhino sculpture to demonstrate Resilience…


The mighty rhino of Resilience!

The mighty rhino of Resilience!


to collaborative collages to celebrate Collaboration…


All hands on deck!

All hands on deck!


as well as photography, puppetry and animation.


The songs, recorded in a professional studio, are celebrated on a DVD to keep a lasting record of the pupils’ works. This, along with QEPA’s Fantastic Book of Values, will allow the school to look back at what they have achieved and serve as a positive reinforcement of their values and visions.

Daniel Smith

Headteacher / Queen Eleanor Primary Academy

I’m absolutely delighted with the quality of the finished articles.

For us, it has also been a valuable opportunity to evaluate our methodology in detail and assess its impact, as well as to develop it through CPD training to enhance teachers’ skills, an experience we are looking to expand and replicate.

We would like to extend our thanks to the staff and students of QEPA for their commitment to the project. The TIME project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, whose generosity made all of this possible, for which we are very grateful.

Trench Brothers – Lancashire Tour

Trench Brothers is our First World War project that brings to life the lives of Black and Indian soldiers and commemorates their contributions. After running the project in schools around London, this summer saw the project taken on a tour around Lancashire in partnership with the Heritage Team at Lancashire County Council. The tour covered the length and breadth of the county, visiting primary schools from Blackpool to Burnley and was well extremely well received wherever it went, but don’t just take our word for it:


Justine North

/ Worsthorne

As a school located in a traditionally ‘White English’ village, we often find our children and families have little knowledge or empathy with other cultures. It has been valuable for our school to embrace the contributions made to the war effort by black soldiers.


We have been thrilled by the warm reception that the project received in every school that it visited. The pupils, teachers and parents showed our team nothing but a tremendous amount of appreciation and enthusiasm.


Students receive four workshops along with over 90 commissioned lesson plans, which inform their understanding of the topic by integrating learning about the First World War across the curriculum. You can learn more about this by clicking here.


For the tour, we partnered with several local organisations and performers to deliver the workshops.


The artefact handling workshop was provided by Lancashire County Council Heritage team:


Ruby Patel

/ St. Augustine’s

When the children wrote their diary extract, they wrote descriptively and passionately about their experience of being a soldier in the British army.

Justine North

/ Worsthorne

The children appreciate that there was a lot more to life in the war than fighting. It made them think more about life in the trenches.


Ranj Nagra played the role of an Indian Havildar to give students a first-hand experience of what life would have been like for young recruits.


Claire Clarke

/ Willow Lane

[One child] adored the Havildar session and stayed in role as a soldier throughout. She wrote an excellent piece in role as a Havildar talking about him and how he treated the other soldiers.


Led by puppeteers from the Horse and Bamboo Theatre, students crafted their own puppet in the likeness of an Indian or BWIR soldier.



A student from Piling St. John proudly shows off his BWIR puppet.


Colette Hardman

/ Reedley

Most of our children find art and craft skill difficult, however, Horse and Bamboo engaged the children with their step by step instructions. This allowed the children to keep focus, follow the instructions and complete the task that they are proud of.


Once all the workshops are complete, the students prepared for their final performance of our Trench Brothers music theatre piece by composers Julian Joseph, Richard Taylor and libretto by our own Creative Director Tertia Sefton-Green. They learnt the songs for the show, including their Letter Song about a given soldier they have written the lyrics for and set to music with a composer.


Justine North

/ Worsthorne

They learned that they can be song writers and composers. They gained confidence to sing in front of their peers and were proud to have their ideas included in the song.


On the day itself, our team of 8 turned up in each school with all the necessary equipment and, in the space of a few hours, got the children ready for their performance! We are delighted to say that each school put on a fantastic performance, one that will be recorded on our Legacy Site shortly.


Chris Allton

/ Cliviger

I could not believe the amount of time and resources provided to the school and the final product at the end.


Claire Clarke

/ Willow Lane

What an opportunity for our children! We have never done anything like this before at our school and I was astonished with the results. We loved learning our songs and taking part in a show with another year group. All the children were so proud of the part they’ve played and the feedback from parents has been amazing. One parent said ‘Best thing I’ve ever seen.,



The students of St. Francis of Assisi invited local veterans to watch the performance.


The schools involved in the project will also be contributing some of their work to the Trench Brothers exhibition, which will shortly begin its own tour of Lancashire starting on 10 August at Lancashire Maritime Museum. There, the children’s work will be found alongside fascinating memorabilia and displays that will bring the Trench Brothers experience to life.


Colette Hardman

/ Reedley

I have learnt from the staff provided new ways to engage children’s learning. I have developed as a teacher to engage students in new ways.


We would like to extend our thanks to all of our partners on this project, as well as the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose generous support made the project possible.

JJJA Junior Summer Course – Now accepting applications!

Jazz fans rejoice!

HMDT Music and the Julian Joesph Jazz Academy are offering an exciting new Summer Course.

Students will spend four days getting to grips with the building blocks of Jazz, familiarising themselves with these elements so that they have the confidence they need for improvisation and performance.


Held at Bridge Academy, the usual home of JJJA, this course has been carefully constructed by Alex Thomas-French using the well-loved methodology developed by the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy. Through intense study of jazz, students will learn what it means to be a jazz musician, their place in the world of jazz and how to work effectively with other musicians.


This is a wonderful opportunity for any aspiring jazz musicians to explore their passion in depth and to share that passion with others. Firm friendships are sure to be forged through the playing of jazz – friendships which will make the resulting performances all the much better.


If you know someone who might be interested, you can find more details on this website through the sidebar or by clicking HERE

Future Doves – Update!

HMDT Music created Future Doves, a new project that took place during the Spring 2017 term of the Saturday Programme, with support from Snape Maltings through their Friday Afternoons Project Fund. The project involved over 300 students from all across our Saturday programme; Fledglings, CYMH and I Can Sing! (ICS!), and tasked them with responding to the song cycle Seasons and Charms,the Friday Afternoons project commissioned from composer Jonathan Dove and writer Alasdair Middleton.

Working with choreographer Mia Okorafor and videographer Stacey Williams, the ICS! Juniors and Seniors spent a dance workshop creating a physical interpretation of two of the songs that CYMH sung. The resulting films were projected as a backdrop to the choral performances; a new opportunity for us to integrate ICS! and CYMH through digital media!

You can watch the resulting piece below!

About Friday Afternoons

The Friday Afternoons initiative began in 2013 with the aim of encouraging young people across Suffolk to sing Benjamin Britten’s collection of Friday Afternoons songs on what would have been the composer’s 100th Birthday. The project quickly grew, and it was immediately clear that groups from around the world were keen to explore this genre of music, so every year since then Snape Maltings (previously Aldeburgh Music) and Friday Afternoons have commissioned a new set of songs inspired by the original collection. What now exists is an ever growing collection of over 40 songs written specifically for young people’s voices, and a varied selection of repertoire available completely free to anyone who wishes to use it. To date, close to 80,000 young people have taken part in the project. To find out more and get involved, visit

Julian Joseph Jazz Academy – Student Success!

HMDT Music and the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy are proud to announce that this year five of our students have been accepted into the Jazz program at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, two into the course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, one into the program at Middlesex University with another to study composition at Birmingham Conservatoire!

Most recently, two of our brightest stars, Wilfie Williams and Karen Shiraishi have been awarded major scholarships to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, with a third student awaiting his results!* Wilfie has also received a scholarship to attend the Jazz program at The New School in New York City. They still need to find further funding to cover the rest of their fees, but we are all beaming with pride over their magnificent achievement!

Congratulations to all our students for putting the hard work in and showing their dedication and love for this music, you make us all so proud.

Julian Joseph


Every student at JJJA matters to us, they are our greatest treasure and we want to support and build their confidence to create positively in the world with the magical beauty of Jazz.

*Berklee College of Music has an acceptance rate of 28%, which is 39% lower than the average for all music schools.

Congratulations to our ABRSM Students!

We are delighted to announce that our latest batch of students to take their ABRSM exams have done exceedingly well. The rate of Distinctions was an incredible 33%, with a further 35% achieving a Merit grade. All of our Saturday Programme students passed their exam – a testament to our methodology and the hard work of our pupils and tutors.

Our “wholistic” approach to music education on our Saturday Programme centres around equipping young people with a knowledge of music that extends beyond their chosen instrument(s), through choir practice, theory lessons and classes in general musicianship. These results help to confirm that our proven methods work, as shown by the fact that all the Distinctions came from students who do a full day at the Saturday Programme, beyond one-to-one lessons.

We know that pupils whose parents felt able to help them were more likely to achieve a distinction or a merit over a pass grade. To this end, we will be looking to improve the resources we can offer to parents to help them feel confident enough to provide assistance in the run up to exams.

Finally, we would also like to extend our congratulations to the external students who came and took their exams at our centre.