Internship and Audience Development and Fundraising – Every Child a Musician (ECaM), London Borough of Newham

January 28th, 2013




1. OVERVIEW Pages 3-5

  1. EVALUATION OF THE WORK               Pages 5-8
  1. CONTEXT                                                       Pages 11-21
  2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE                                    Pages 21-23



Appendix 1 Pages 24-28

Appendix 4 Pages 29-32


Bibliography Pages 32-35 




Every Child a Musician (ECaM) is currently the largest free musical tuition programme in the UK, and was founded 2010.  It is situated within the range of services provided by Newham Borough Council in London, and one of mayor Sir Robin Wales’s 22 promises to Newham, as part of his continually evolving, annual contract with that borough. Sir Robin has been elected as Mayor of Newham since 2002  This list of 22 covers commitment to a range of improved services to  the London Borough of Newham (LBN), addressing crime control and prevention, quality education, better housing and capacity building within the community.  The programme ECaM is currently number 8 in the mayor’s list of promises, after ‘Investing in Our Schools’ and before ‘Every Child a Sportsperson’. (Newham London, 2012)  It aims to provide free instruments and tutors to all Year 5 and 6 pupils in LBN, which topped the Deprivation Index 2010, its population composed of one of the highest and most diverse range of ethnic minorities in the UK.  (LB Tower Hamlets, 2011) (Phillips, 2011)  Two-hundred different languages are spoken in Newham, and there is no dominating sub-culture.  Social cohesion is high on the agenda for Sir Robin Wales.  ECaM is a multi-functional and high performing agency in this regard. Its umbrella of services reaches all 62 primary schools within the borough, providing musical instruction to 1,500 pupils, via 130 tutors.


Physical Structure

ECaM is located in two rows of desks on the first of the four floors of London Borough of Newham’s council building in far East London, Newham Dockside.  It is across the canal from City Airport, deeply entrenched within the Olympic complex.  LBN relocated there, from Grade II listed, Edwardian-era East Ham Town Hall, upon its completion in 2009.  The council occupies four levels within this building, including an in-house bulk printing facility and subsidised cafeteria sprawl, hosting a Costa franchise, which occupies most of the ground floor.  (Appendix 1.1-4)

ECaM’s two rows of desks are couched between the ‘Improvement & Performance’ service section and ‘Temporary Leisure Staff’ on the first floor.  The colour theme is aqua.  All members of ECaM log into a desk within this section, none of them claims a permanent location.  In fact any team member may log into any computer within these two rows of desks, even the Programme Manager (PM). There are no separate offices for the team, though there are offices and quiet spaces to use within LBN, if booked far enough in advance.  Interior design denotes a flat, open plan Feng Shui.  Because ECaM is constantly drafting interns and offering student apprenticeships, there are frequent shortages of desks.  There is always an additional staff member or two, using a laptop within a quiet space for a desk, in one of the stations between the desks and hallway.  The stations provide offices for planned and informal meetings and various other work spaces, as if to accommodate ad hoc situations, in the changing face of the council’s service structure.  The main occupants on the top floor fourth level are the Communications team, Mayor’s Office and Chief Executive.  Their offices are luxurious with higher ceilings, more sophisticated kitchen facilities and vast swathes of lounging space.


ECaM is a small team, composed of eleven members, six of whom are Schools Liaison Officers (SLO) for the 62 schools covered by the programme, but who also serve as sub-managers to certain kinds of workstream; including Events Management, Musical Instrument Procurement, Tutor Training and Development, Evaluation, Finance and Schools Rollout.  SLOs alternate between leading on projects and assisting with others.  It is headed by 3 managers – Programme Manager (who reports to the Mayor of Newham), Operations Manager and Quality and Strategy Manager – and supported by 2 youth trainees.  During my placement ECaM was finishing it’s second academic year of the programme, had received its first round of Evaluation from the Institute of Education (IoE) and was negotiating a large number of requests from schools, dignitaries and other organisations for ECaM pupils to play at different events leading up to London 2012 Olympics.


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Photos from COUNTRY DIRT’s gig at The Docking Station – 12 January 2013

January 13th, 2013

Country Dirt had a such an ace gig at The Docking Station in Brentford Saturday.  We had fab sound, an up-for-it, dancing, beaming audience, awesome support acts with King Ralph and The Revelators and last but not least the awesome Fiddlin Phil Martin as our special guest.  My fibula still broken…. but the show must go on

Fiddlin Phil with Country Dirt

Look Ma no hands


COUNTRY DIRT & the phantom banjo

Country Dirt @ The Docking Station in Wild West London – Brentford

Look Ma no hands

The party starts here

Patmo, Marianne, Fiddlin Phil, Friend of the show Trevor, King Ralph

When I get outta this cast… we gotta do it again!  Thank you Helen Martin Productions, you’re the top!!

Musta been one helluva hardass!

COUNTRY DIRT on Gary Crowley, BBC London 94.9 – ‘Big Guitar’

January 8th, 2013

Gary Crowley played ‘Big Guitar’ on BBC London Saturday 5 January 2013

1.35.20 into BBC London Introducing: The best in new music with Gary Crowley

Afterwards he qualified

‘Londons premier country+bluegrass band, fronted by Texas’s very own and very striking Marianne Hyatt’.

We never even sent him anything – hmmmmmm…


Hyattesque & Up Ahead CIC Workshop for SuperTeens

January 5th, 2013

Alex, Freddie, Corrie & Harry at Radio Castle, Framlingham Technology Centre c/o Up Ahead CIC & Hyattesque. A workshop for 13-15 year olds with special needs (SEN) to make digital applications for smartphones and tablets as well as to sound engineer and create content for local radio programming. Soundtrack by Crochet Catpause : ‘Snakeman’. Radio jingle contains hints of ‘Radio Gaga’ by Queen

Business Plan for UNITED AUTISTS 24 April 2012

January 2nd, 2013



UNITED AUTISTS was formed in response to the Summer riots of 2011, when Jesse Leggett, Hyattesque, and friends Claire Benjamin, Anna van der Poorten and Robert Collum, were alerted, via hushed Twitter-ings, to the possibility that many of the young rioters who’d wound up in court, had SEN profiles.  Sadly that rumour became established as published fact, by the BBC, only months ago, and the percentile was staggering:  An estimated two-thirds of the rioting children, possibly captured and incarcerated , were SEN youngsters. (BBC, 2011)

Autism in children costs Great Britain £2.7 billion per year, (Bowler, 2009) chiefly due to educational and medical costs, loss of income from families overstretched, housing and the projected loss from  what may have been earned by employable adults.  £1.4 billion of those costs belong to ASD children between the ages of 12 and 17, which is the catchment age of interest to UNITED AUTISTS.

Adecco Group UK & Ireland has launched their campaign ‘Unlocking Britain’s  Potential’ in response to the poor quality of graduate entering the corporate world. (Unlocking Britain’s Potential, 2012)  Their research reveals that 18% of UK employers think school leavers make better employees.  The principle skills lacking are interpersonal, soft skills; and some respondents claim numeracy and literacy.  Of course these are the skills perceived to be lacking in ASD youth.

At least many if not most children, within the spectrum, seem to perform remarkably well when enabled by computer technology.  (Williams, 1996) Interacting within its matrix seems to render an ASD individual less neurally challenged.  Carly Fleischmann of Canada, non-verbal Autist, made an amazing breakthrough in communications, via her computer.  She and her father have co-written a book, ‘Carly’s Voice:  Breaking Through Autism’, just published in April 2012. (Gale)  Her emergence into the social sphere, encouraged and enhanced by technology, has revealed a breathtaking intelligence and wicked wit.

Chris Moore, Managing Director at Adecco Group Solutions iterates that today’s graduates are not sufficiently equipped to properly service “UK plc” (Unlocking Britain’s Potential, 2012).  Many theorists – including Daniel Pink (2008), Henry Chesborough (2003), Ori Brafman & Rod Beckstrom (2006) – assert that contemporary corporate culture has engineered a need for a new breed of manager.  It must be creative thinking and open source friendly, to innovate new solutions that create or expand markets.  Employers are looking for people who ‘think outside the box.’ clearly.  Some of Western civilisation’s greatest inventors and creators have had to think outside the box by necessity.  Norman Ledgin’s Aspergers and Self-Esteem:  Insight and Hope through Famous Role Models (2001) attributes many symptoms of ASD spectrum qualities to such as Einstein, Paul Robeson, Carl Sagan and other inventors, scientists, artists. Other star Autists, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, engineer, and Donna Williams, author, are enthusiastic devotees of Ledgin. Professor & great-Autist Grandin, relates how she was saved from her ASD challenges as a ‘non-verbal’, by mentors in school.  She cites a science teacher who inspired her to learn, where she demonstrated interest, and set her forth on flight to stunning success as an independent adult.  UNITED ARTISTS want more of that, please.  We want to pick up where Creative Partnerships (CP) left off. Set up ‘arts-in-residence’(s) at CP’s leftover, schools; Use the valuable and neglected Arts resources, which seem to be untraceable, ex-post facto, as social startup currency; Explore the connections and possibilities for multiple intelligences and creative practice to address the true mandate of Austerity measure: Unleashing multi-activity in civic society.

Dramatic in a made for TV movie kinda way?  As we approach the 1-year-anniversary of the riots that nearly torched London to BBQ in 2011’s Summer of Discontent, it might be logical to at least reflect on conditions in the lives of those two-thirds arrested – teens or young adults with special needs. To quote Artist ‘Bob and Roberta Smith’, Keynote speaker at the Crossroads Conference, NSEAD – Art and Design Education, at the Baltic Centre, Gateshead, March 2012:  “Actually if you offer kids no hope, then you do have these riots that we had last summer; and my personal view on those riots is because it’s kids with no hope.  They’d closed down all their community centres in Tottenham…  so actually we do need to offer people hope…. We can’t have an Austerity Britain, we just can’t.  It’s a disaster.” (Gast, 2012) (Appendice 1a. & 1b.)

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Autism, the Enigma: Transformation through Arts in Community Health

January 2nd, 2013

In 1943, psychiatrist and founder of the Children’s Ward at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Leo Kanner gave a name to a perceived developmental disorder in children, made apparent by a range of behavioural and communicative dysfunctions.  His paper, ‘Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact’ gave an overarching characteristic to this group of symptoms, which noted the sufferer’s inordinate involvement with and focus on the ‘self’.  Borrowing from this description, Dr Kanner, defined the condition as Autism. (Scott et al, 2000)  The timing of its coinage landed at the emergence of the First Modernity, as World War II was drawing to a close.  Equally significant was its manifestation during the dawn of broadcast media’s explosion.  The nature of the symptoms diversified, became more specified and descriptive:  ‘impairment of social interaction, a communications disorder, bizarre behaviours, bizarre response to sensory stimuli, impairment of use of imaginary play’.  (Williams, 1996)  Certain stereotypes surfaced, which stuck to the condition, including ‘aloneness’ whether aloof, avoidant, disinterested or odd.  Another phenotypical behaviour was described as a ‘sameness’ – repetition in movement through ‘rocking’ and ‘flapping” – and in speech via echolalia or selective swathes of recalled idiomatic expression.  (Rogel-Ortiz, 2005)  Sameness also outlined a resistance to change, which could be so extreme as to trigger a cascading kind of meltdown in reaction to differences in familiar environments.  Sometimes self-injurious or aggressive behaviour was cited as characteristic.  (Baird et al., 2000)  Previous to its assigned nomenclature, understanding of the seemingly random selection of its symptoms was confused, and inappropriately identified as ‘mental retardation’ ‘schizophrenia’, or even ‘childhood psychosis’.  However ‘Autism’ became more individuated by being classifed as “inborn autistic disturbances of affective contact’ by Dr Kanner.  (Scott et al., 2000, p.1)  Because the specifications were broad and rather vague, with no actual physiological markers or genetic indicators, the sufferer of this nefarious yet commonly recognizable condition called ‘Autism’ was grouped within a spectrum of disorder.  The founding language of Psycho Analysis, tagging Autism in the 1940s first modernity, gave way to clarified meaning in the descriptive language of contemporary objectivity.  The modified term for what became perceived as a neural disease was reinvented as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Perceptions of its meaning set standards for diagnoses today. However the mysteriousness of its condition was augmented by discrepancies voiced amongst professional clinicians and ASD communities in the  definition of its parameters,.  Further struggle towards interpretation and treatment currently exists between Health officials and arts therapists and practitioners. (White, 2008)

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