It's been a while since my last blog, partly because it was such a busy end of term. I've managed to enjoy some rest time - and get plans into action for my upcoming travel fellowship, which is quickly approaching. One month to go!
All flights are booked and I'm booking/arrangning accomodation right now. This is the exciting bit - though it's also daunting too. My first stop will be Helsinki, flying out to Finland's capital on 6th September. I'll stay in Finland until 23rd September, also be visiting places such as Espoo and Jyvaskyla, where I'll be meeting choirs, schools and music educators. It'll be fascinating to see how music is used in the Finnish education system and how musical opportunities are provided for in the community too.
Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, and yet they do far less testing than we do. They also place more importance on creativity like music (there are 100 government subsidised music schools across the country) compared to the UK so I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all works.
Once I've been to Finland I'll be off to America and Canada to look at some amazing choral organsations that have a huge impact on schools, communities and many young lives. There's so much to be learnt from they way they do things 'across the pond', so I'm very much looking forward to meeting these choral communities.
Finally for now, my dad has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease this year - something that came as a big shock. in fact, I almost contemplated postponing my trip - but dad wouldn't hear of it. At least it will give him something positive to focus on whilst I'm away - and in return I'm raising money for the MND association in conjunction with my fellowship. You can find out more on my 'just giving' page.