Planning for my Churchill Fellowship is starting to take shape, but there's still a long way to go. I'm actually quite daunted by it all, yet excited at the same time.
Last Tuesday (12th March) was a seminar for all new fellows - this was held in London and was a superb opportunity to meet and mingle with other new fellows. Some were in my category, others were not, but it was fascinating to hear of their plans. It was also brilliant to meet others who have compeleted their travels and projects - and hear how their experiences and new knowledge opened so many new doors for them.
There were also other little surprises and goodies: we were each given a large, hard-back book on Sir Winston Churchill to read - it is, after all, because of him that these fellowships happen - as well as a pack of very professional business cards!
The day was over in a flash and I was back on the train homeward bound. But I've already made lots of new contacts, picked up plenty of tips and received good advice from all sorts of people. On with the planning process then...
I am thrilled to announce that I have been awarded a Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT). I am amongst 150 other luck people in the UK who has been granted this honour! My project is entitled: Harnessing the power of singing and its effect on learning.
Education in the UK, and more specifically music education, is on a cliff edge right now. If something doesn't change sometime soon the future of music in this country is in serious doubt. Music is possibly the most poweful subject in the curriculum and yet time and time again, I'm seeing that music provision is patchy. Often, it's only those that can afford it that get it. Some primary schools so little or no music at all - yet the power of singing is easy to use and embed in our schools, if it's given a chance.
The WCMT funds citizens from all over the UK to travel the world, researching innovitive solutions to today's pressing problems. On returning to the UK, they are expected to share their global insights locally and nationally, with colleagues, professions, organisations and communities.
My journey will take me to America, Canada and Finland to look at the very best musical practices, and how embedding it in their education system or community makes a difference to how their young people learn and develop life skills.
I shall be updating my blog on a regualar basis on the lead up to my 6-week travels, which will take place during the autumn of 2019. I'm nervous and daunted at the same time - but I can't wait to get my plans started!