UCan Play has been formed to help support you and your use of music, pro-audio and video technologies. It is underpinned by our belief that to improve at something (e.g music, video production, teaching, etc) you need to imagine things differently, play with new technologies, and then inspire others through your use of them.
Whether you are just starting out, or teaching others in a school, college, or other setting, we are here to support you with a range of ideas and resources.
Since 2009, UCan Play have managed the Roland Champion School network. This network of schools receive preferential pricing on Roland equipment and work collaboratively with ourselves to explore its use within the curriculum. During our management of this initiative, we have written and resourced full schemes of work for Key Stages 2 and 3, and numerous units of work for Key Stages 4 and 5. We have also produced a curriculum for use within FE colleges. UCan Play has also undertaken research projects in partnership with Roland. These have led to published papers in international music education journals such as the Music Education Research journal. UCan Play also manages the Roland Student Ambassador initiative. We work directly with Roland’s student ambassadors, providing them with quality advice about equipment and its use for a range of musical applications. Student ambassadors are normally aged 16 or above and studying in further or higher education. They can receive a preferential price on any equipment through ordering it via UCan Play. UCan Play manages the process of ordering, supplying and invoicing products for Roland Champion Schools and Ambassadors.
UCan Play has worked collaboratively with NYMAZ for the last three years. NYMAZ’s Connect:Resound project explores the potential of live streaming technologies for the teaching of musical instruments to children in remote parts of the country. Built around Roland’s innovative VR3-EX, we designed a system using CCTV cameras rather than traditional video cameras. We also trained music service and school based staff in its use. This has proved to be a robust and affordable approach. Throughout the whole duration of the project, and working with staff from the North Yorkshire Music Service and six local primary schools spread across the county, we have only had one technical issue to deal with. More recently, this work has extended to work in numerous other parts of the country. NYMAZ and UCan Play secured Arts Council funding to conduct similar work in Cornwall, Northumberland, the Isles of Scilly, Cumbria and the East Riding of Yorkshire.
UCan Play is the authorised retail partner for Musical Futures. Working collaboratively with this leading music education charity, we advise their teachers and schools about a range of musical instruments and other technologies that can be used to underpin a Musical Futures approach to teaching and learning. UCan Play and Musical Futures have produced a number of packages of instruments for specific programmes, such as Just Play, which schools can purchase at highly preferential rates.
Musical Futures ambassadors are also invited to field test new technologies from the range of brands that UCan Play is associated with. This testing process ensures that all the products we offer have been suitably tested in educational environments.
Working with staff from The Love Music Trust, in 2014 UCan Play wrote an entire music curriculum for the Early Years and Key Stages 1 and 2. This curriculum is accessible via a bespoke online environment. The curriculum was given free of charge to every primary school in Cheshire East and is available by subscription to other schools. Through the project, we managed a team of writers drawing on expert teachers we knew from outstanding primary schools. As with all our work, the project was delivered to budget and within the time scale set by the Love Music Trust. UCan Play is also the proud sponsor of the Love Music Trust’s percussion ensemble.
We have supported this important music education charity with specific consultancy and advice in relation to bids for funding that they have received from schools in London and Scotland. We have also procured and supplied full sets of orchestral instruments for schools that have received funding from this charity. As part of our follow up work with each school, we work collaboratively with the Heads of Music to ensure that maximum benefit is achieved through the Restore the Music grant.
Funded by Youth Music, UCan Play has worked as the technical partner for Jazz UK to help live stream is Dissolve JazzLab jazz workshops from Coventry and Bournemouth. Working with Coventry Performing Arts Service and SoundStorm in Bournemouth, we helped them utilise the Roland VR3-EX to ensure that high quality video and audio was accessed by staff and young people in remote locations. The participants showcased their new compositions at Belgrade Theatre in Coventry as part of JazzUK’s new community-inspired #4Jazz Festival.
UCanPlay are very happy to be supporting the work of CLIC Sargent. This kind of charity partnership is at the heart of what we do. UCan Play contributed to the charity’s successful Youth Music grant application. Activities have been planned for the next three years with 150 young musicians with cancer. Recently, we attended a planning meeting with twenty musicians and workshop leaders at their centre in Wiltshire and discussed the provision of a streaming service using either the Roland VR-3 and/or the V1-HD to cover the workshops, performance opportunities and festivals that are going to take place. This will enable the young musicians who can’t attend to engage along with parents and friends of those who can. We also brought along a user friendly entry level recording package/interface that we recommend, the PreSonus iTwo AudioBox. This is a competitively priced all-in-one solution for students with free StudioOne software, iPad integration, wireless transfer of recorded files, and tutorial videos.