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Saturday Programme Round Up

March 2018


CYMH Academy Last Term was a huge success with students learning a whole new range of skills. We were very fortunate to have screen composer Jeremy Birchall deliver a workshop – this term guest artists have included Jason Rowland and Oliver Seymour-Marsh, an actor musician who has made his name playing dead rock stars! As well as playing Mr Blue Suede Shoes, Carl Perkins, as part of the Million Dollar Quartet, he is now an honoury member of Buddy Holly’s family in Texas – an ideal person to take a masterclass on 50s Rock and Roll.

Do you know any students about to enrol to do their GCSE, A-level or EBACC Music. If so, why not get in touch as the Academy is an ideal complement to these studies and completely unique!


Students at I Can Sing! will from this term be able to take part in the Arts Awards – a national accreditation scheme for participation and leadership in the Arts. All students from Minis upwards will be able to take part. There are 5 different levels to the Arts Awards. Currently we are able to offer Discover and Explore which are the introductory levels, and aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 (although open to everyone up to the age of 25). The top level of award, Gold, has 16 UCAS points attached to it so something worth working towards!

Any students not currently registered to take part need not worry – it is absolutely fine to start at the start of next term, just get in touch!


We are delighted to announce that we have received support from Snape Maltings through the Friday Afternoons Project Fund for our Saturday Programme Spring Project ‘Playing with Styles’.

‘Playing with Styles’ is a multi-strand project involving the CYMH choirs learning songs from the Friday Afternoon song bank and a composition element launched on the Off-Timetable day. I Can Sing! with the help of composer Jenny Gould composed three new pieces in response to lyrics used by Styles for his Friday Afternoons compositions which will then be learnt by the CYMH choirs. CYMH Green Ensembles started their compositions in response to three pieces by Styles; Ferrari Mountain, Ballad of Donk Cat  and Black Neon Sign whilst CYMH Orchestra and Music Treehouse worked with Jason Rowland to start their response to Singh’s Clash and Bang. These two groups will be working together for the rest of the term to finalise their joint piece ready for performance on the 24th March.


Meet our Team! Interview with Jason Rowland – composer and workshop leader

Artist Name: Jason Rowland
Artist Role(s): Leader for Music Treehouse
Date first worked with HMDT Music: 11/10/16

What you remember most:
The performance that I really remember was based on a photograph of a “lit grapefruit segment” (The SP theme that term was fruit!). It had 13 segments which led us straight in a time signature of 13/8. Each of the 3 groups had created a movement for the piece and each one led into the next and had overlapping moments. The rhythms and melodies created were quite complex and a real challenge for the group. The excitement and sense of achievement for the group after the performance was incredible and gave the group a real boost forward.

Project impact:
We had a session recently where a participant started to play the piano, something that he hadn’t shown an interest in before. As happens in this session he led the piece and the group followed. It has to be just one of the best musical moments so far. A duet started between him and a tutor whilst the rest of us gave accompaniment. There was everything you would want from a piece of music, dynamics, space, musical control and awareness. The piece lasted for a good 15 minutes and we all agreed afterwards that the piece could easily fit into our CD collections!

What do you like most about Music Treehouse?:
Music Treehouse is a fantastic project as whilst we have structure to our sessions they are musically led by the group. Their role is to create music with their instruments or voice and then go through the more traditional processes of refinement and rehearsal. We allow the group to make musical decisions and have control of everything that they do in the sessions which is something that they are not always able to do in their everyday life.

What else are you working on at the moment?:
I’m currently working with The Philharmonia on a music technology project, an SEND project with Snape Maltings writing new songs in response to the Friday Afternoon Songs, LPO and Trinity Laban’s Animate Orchestra and All in sound, a singing project for dementia sufferers.

Any advice to young artists wanting to work in the arts or music?
Work hard, have fun and opportunities will come to you.

I Can Sing! Taster Session – 24 March 2018


Do you enjoy singing, dancing and acting?

Come and join HMDT Music for a one-off  I Can Sing! Taster on Saturday 24 March, and experience the excitement of music theatre, led by a fantastic team professional artists.

The morning will offer prospective I Can Sing! students the chance to watch a performance by current students, gain new skills, build confidence and make new friends!

Sessions will include singing, dancing and drama and require no previous experience. I Can Sing! is for ages 5 – 14 and draws on repertoire that includes classic Broadway numbers alongside our original commissions.

What are the timings?

11:30am – 12:30pm – Come and watch current I Can Sing! students in their end of term showing. A fantastic opportunity to see what it is all about!

12:30pm – 1:30pm – Group 1 Taster Session

12:30pm – 2:00pm – Group 2 Taster

We will assign you to a group based upon age and participant numbers, the week of 20 March. Each session will finish with an informal showing to parents so that they can see what the students have been working on!

This sounds great – how do I sign up?

Apply here for a place on the taster day.

Spaces are limited so make your application now. We will get back to you ASAP to confirm your place. The taster session costs £10.00 – payable when you accept your place.

Where does the taster take place?

At HMDT Music’s Saturday Programme in Haggerston School, E2 8LS.

For more information on I Can Sing! and the rest of the Saturday Programme click here.

To discuss I Can Sing! or any other part of the Saturday Programme, please contact the office on 020 8882 8825.

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.

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.

Private music lessons from HMDT Music

HMDT now offers individual instrumental or vocal lessons either on Saturday afternoons in Hackney or in your home.

To find out more click here