MusED 2015

Duke Special and Julian Lloyd Webber attend Northern Ireland music education conference in Derry

Top music industry professionals and educators gathered at the Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry, today (Thursday 26 March), for a one-day conference exploring the future of music education in Northern Ireland.

Speakers included renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, who recently received the prestigious Distinguished Musician Award from the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) for his passionate advocacy for the education of young people from disadvantaged areas. He was joined by singer-songwriter Duke Special who shared his insights on the creative process.

MusED 2015 has been inspired by the findings of a fringe symposium at Output, Northern Ireland’s largest ever one-day music industry conference held in Belfast in October 2014, and the experience of the Nerve Centre’s hugely successful SYNC community-based music programme. It was presented by Nerve Centre and Generator NI, and supported by the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure.

DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: 'It is fitting that this conference takes place in Derry, a place long renowned as a hotbed of musical talent.

'Music was a key part of the City of Culture in 2013. Today, two years on, there is plenty to be proud of and plenty to celebrate – but the focus is quite rightly on the future.

'Our expectations are higher and our goals are more ambitious because of the past few years. Events such as this allow us to move forward by cultivating creativity, collaboration and education.

'I hope it will give everyone present the opportunity to share knowledge, exchange ideas and create the connections which will nurture and develop musical talent.' 

The conference offered a forum for debate, sharing of expertise and exchange of ideas for developing the regional music education strategy for children and young people.

Martin McGill, Music Programme Manager at the Nerve Centre said: 'The conference programme has allowed us to identify opportunities and examine the challenges facing music education in three key areas: Fostering Creativity; Community Engagement & Social Development; and Economic Development & Employment. It has been a thought-provoking event with lots of discussion that will help us move forward.' 

Generator NI programme director Ross Graham said: 'The conference's collaborative approach has helped us move forward a regional strategy to improve music education and training. By nurturing talent and creativity, and putting young people on the right career pathways, we will ultimately grow Northern Ireland's music economy.'