Holocaust Memorial by students at Belle Vue Girls’ School

We were delighted to receive this video of a performance given by students at Belle Vue Girls’ School in Bradford. Head of Music, Tom Howell, has worked with students there using a range of Roland AIRA instruments including Roland’s MX1 mixer, System 1 synthesiser, TB3 bass sequencer, TR8 drum machine, and FP50 stage piano. The students write: The performance incorporates the power of words alongside music to commemorate both the victims and survivors of the holocaust. This performance is compiled of seven short pieces which all have an individual sentiment, meaning and representation of the Second World War. We have included...

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NAMM 2018: Some selected highlights

Held in Anaheim every January, The NAMM Show offers the latest products from more than 7,000 brands, cutting edge industry education across hundreds of sessions, as well as special events, concerts and experiences. UCan Play will be taking a closer look at various emerging products in the near future, for now we will take a brief glimpse at just a few selected highlights from NAMM 2018. Do please note the links provided to the manufacturers websites which provide a lot of detail on the products mentioned. Nord introduce the new Nord Electro 6D semi-weighted waterfall keyboard in 61 and 73 note varieties...

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Moog’s new Drummer From Another Mother!

Moog’s new instrument, the Drummer From Another Mother, will be launched at NAMM 2018 and is the first new instrument to be added to their Mother ecosystem. It looks and sounds amazing as this video demonstrates: Full details about the new Moog DFAM can be found here and we are taking orders for this now. Pre-ordering is highly recommend as these will be in high demand and short supply for some time. Don’t forget that there are also rack options in terms of connecting these with the Mother 32 and also a bag should you wish to transport your DFAM...

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Roland’s new R-07: A portable recorder, tuner and metronome for the next generation

The start of 2018 is an exciting time for music technology. With the NAMM show in the US at the end of January, we can expect announcements of new products from the leading brands. Roland & Boss are no exception. Two products have caught our eye (and ears) so far, the wireless Katana AIR guitar amplifier and the topic of this post – the new Roland R-07 audio recorder. Those of you with long memories will remember products like the Edirol R09, which proved very popular in classrooms across the UK. Following on from that Roland produced the R-05 which was...

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UCan Play featured in Education on Fire podcast

Towards the end of 2017, Jonathan was delighted to be invited to contribute to the superb Education on Fire podcast series run by Mark Taylor. The interview focussed on approaches to funding music education and partnership working. Over the last few years, we have received numerous requests to help with the funding of music education in schools. This has resulted in our annual guide (which will shortly be being released in a new edition). If you have examples of successful approaches to funding  music education please share them with UCan Play via our contact page. Partnership working is at...

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Happy Christmas Everyone!

Please can we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Thanks to all our partners for your work with us during 2017 and we look forward to continuing our work supporting music education across the UK during...

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An Invitation to join Connect: Resound from NYMAZ & UCan Play

Here at UCan Play we are delighted to be working again with our long standing partner NYMAZ for the next four years on their pioneering digital music education project – Connect Resound. Today, NYMAZ are delighted to announce that new places are now available for rural Music Education Hubs to join Connect: Resound. Hubs wishing to offer the tried-and-tested method of online music tuition in their localities are invited to express their interest by 1 December 2017. Funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Education and Learning Through the Arts Fund will enable Connect: Resound to extend into four new regions...

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CBeebies Radio Nativity recorded at the UCan Studios wins 2017 Jerusalem Award

Congratulations to the children and staff at the Margaret Wilcox School of Speech and Drama for their contribution to the BBC’s CBeebies Radio Nativity that has won a Jerusalem Award. The BBC came down to the UCan Studios for the recording sessions. The acoustics worked well for them and they also were very positive about our home made sound boards (basically converted pallets on wheels!) which helped them create the right acoustic space for the children’s voices. Listen out for the CBeebies Radio Nativity over the forthcoming festive...

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Free Primary Music Education resources from the ISM

UCan Play is a corporate member of the ISM. Why? Partly because they produce brilliant music education resources free of charge. Their latest offering is a superb collection of resources for primary music education including toolkits for: Singing in the classroom Using musical instruments in the classroom Composing, improvising and doodling Using music technologies Music across a creative curriculum. If you teach in a secondary school, please don’t be put off. There is loads of value here for you too. Many thanks our friend at the University of Sussex, Alison Daubney, for creating these valuable resources with the ISM...

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Bird as Prophet record at the UCan Studios

The UCan Studios was set up by UCan Play a couple of years ago. Central to the heart of our vision, was the desire to create a space where musicians of all ages could come and create and record original music in a inspiring and relaxed setting. Since its opening, we have had a regular stream of bands coming in to do exactly that! Using a range of musical instruments and technologies that we have bought from our key brands, the space is proving popular and it is always great to hear the results. Here are Bird as Prophet...

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UCan Play to work with NYMAZ in new four year project implementing online instrumental lessons

We are delighted to announce that UCan Play will be renewing its relationship with NYAMZ for a new, 4 year project promoting new solutions for the online learning of musical instruments funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The project will see the development of a new HD multi-camera solution built around Roland’s new VR-4HD video mixer and streamer and featuring Rode microphones for high quality audio capture and streaming. As with the previous system (built around Roland’s VR3-EX), the key principle will be ease of use for the teacher in terms of setup and operation. Project funding of £273,000...

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Celebrate 40 years with Boss at Cause & Effects, free concerts and workshops at House of Vans

Boss are celebrating their 40th anniversary in style with a ten-day exhibition held at House of Vans in London. Running from 9th -17th September, the Cause & Effects exhibition is a unique celebration that will offer discerning guitarists a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience forty years of guitar innovations. If you happen to be near London at any point during that period this would be well worth a visit. House of Vans is one of central London’s most creative and eclectic venues, having hosted performances from Metallica, Foo Fighters, Bring Me The Horizon, Public Enemy and many more. Visitors will encounter...

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Celebrating 40 years of Boss guitar pedals!

Every so often something comes along that makes you stop and think for a moment. For those of us that love music, and the technologies that underpin popular music in particular, the contribution that Boss has made is hugely significant. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, earlier this year Boss released their legendary DS1 as the DS1A, and now they have released a three pedal set of the OD-1, the SP-1 and the PH-1 in a limited edition of 1500 pieces worldwide. The set includes the three Boss compact pedal models. Each set is made in Japan and comes in...

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Steinway masterclasses for 2017-18

We are delighted to help promote the new series of Steinway masterclasses as part of our new partnership with Steinway & Sons. Sponsored by Steinway & Sons, a second series of free piano Masterclasses hosted by a ‘Steinway Artist’ include: A free masterclass with a ‘Steinway Artist’ for your student(s); Five additional spaces available per school for students and staff to attend the masterclass; ‘Steinway Hall of Fame’ a guided tour hosted by a Steinway & Sons technician; A guided tour of Steinway & Sons showrooms, restoration and service departments; The chance to play Steinway Concert Grands hired by BBC...

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UCan Play – An Associate in Supply to Education for Steinway & Sons

      UCan Play – An Associate in Supply to Education for Steinway & Sons. UCan Play is delighted to be appointed as an associate of Steinway & Sons, helping the education and performance community across the UK secure any piano from the full range of pianos available at Steinway & Sons. In addition to helping you secure pianos from the Steinway, Boston and Essex ranges, UCan Play can also advise schools on the All Steinway School programme. This programme demonstrates a commitment by Steinway to support schools to provide students with the very best equipment possible for...

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Congratulations to Tokio Myers for his piano and SPD-SX performance that won Britain’s Got Talent

Congratulation’s to Tokio Myers on his amazing performance that won the Britain’s Got Talent final. His beautiful piano playing was accompanied by his stunning use of a pair or Roland’s SPD-SX percussion pads, from which he triggered pre-prepared samples and other drum sounds. He demonstrated on one of the world’s biggest stages how acoustic and digital technologies can be blended together in a coherent and musical way. Congratulations to him and our best wishes for his future career. If you want an SPD-SX and you are a teacher or student working within an educational institution in the UK, we can...

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Roland’s GO:MIXER will help you capture your students’ work quickly and easily

Roland’s GO:MIXER is a compact and powerful audio mixer for your phone. It makes it easy to perform, mix audio and record video simultaneously. Using the GO:MIXER, you can capture a pristine stereo soundtrack via microphones, musical instruments, or other media players, and mix them all together whilst using your phone’s camera to record the video. Instead of relying on your phone’s noisy mono mic or recording external audio tracks that you have to sync later in a video editor, you can now record high-quality audio in one quick and easy step. We can see a range of exciting opportunities for assessment...

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Music Education Hub funding secure for a further 3 years

In a rare piece of good news for music education, Nick Gibb has confirmed that the arrangements for music education hubs and the services they provide to their local schools and other partners are to be funded in the same way for the next three years. This gives music education hubs a degree of short term security which should be welcomed by all. Nick Gibb’s full letter to Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England (the funding agency for music education hubs) can be viewed...

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Music education in rural areas in jeopardy, but we have worked hard to find answers

In a new report launched today, youth music development charity NYMAZ spells out how digital technology could revolutionise the way schools provide music tuition. But it warns that poor broadband in rural areas is limiting young people’s access to equal life opportunities. “We’re adding our voice to the growing campaign for better broadband in the countryside”, explains Heidi Johnson, director of NYMAZ. “ Children in rural areas are missing out because it can be too expensive and time-consuming to provide them with a well-rounded music education offer. We have worked with schools across England to identify a high-quality, cost-effective...

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Do you want to learn the piano? We’ve got some free advice for you …

Learning the piano is great fun! It is something that you can do at any age. It is never too late! Each week in the UCan Studios, we welcome students from 4 to 74 each week for lessons and provide them with a mix of technique and exercise, classical and popular music. The key focus is on helping them learn to play the music that they enjoy listening too. We are often asked about what type of piano is best to purchase. We are able to give a range of advice and, through our links to company’s such as...

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