Battle of Ideas: Teach the World to Sing at the 2007 Battle of Ideas conference hosted by the Institute of Ideas.
Much excitement has been generated by the government's 'Music Manifesto', which promises to involve many more children in music by getting them singing. But is this initiative so keen to include that it refuses to demand enough of pupils? Is encouraging 'creativity' without providing a grounding in musical discipline (learning your scales!) ultimately doomed? Or might active participation in something like singing actually give children a better understanding than a more academic approach?- IoI
Neil Davenport is a former music journalist whose work has been published in City Life, Manchester Evening News, Jockey Slut, Metro, Select, 7, Sleaze Nation, Q, Uncut and London Lite. He now writes regularly for the current affairs journal spiked-online on such issues as multiculturalism, music, education, drugs and licensing laws, anti-materialist sceptics and the UK Conservative Party.
In September 2007 he has contributed a chapter called 'The Rise and Rise of Credentialism' to The Lecturers Guide to Further Education by Hayes, Turner and Marshall (Open University Press), and is currently researching a book provisionally entitled The 1980s and the Strange Death of Social Aspiration.
He currently teaches politics and sociology at the JFS Sixth Form Centre in Harrow, Middlesex, and holds an MSc in Social and Political Theory from the University of London
Orlando Gough was a founding member of the bands The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping. He writes music mostly for the theatre - operas, plays, dance pieces, music-theatre - and for choirs.
His recent work includes We Turned On The Light, for 500 singers and orchestra (Proms); Swarm, for marauding chorus (Barbican); The Finnish Prisoner, an opera (The Paddock / Finnish National Opera); Critical Mass, a music-theatre piece (Almeida Opera Festival); One, Two, a music-theatre piece (Dartington Summer School).
He works regularly with the theatre director Rufus Norris, providing music for Peribanez (Young Vic); Blood Wedding (Almeida); Festen (Almeida, Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue); Tintin (Barbican).
Future projects include commissions for the Scottish Ballet, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Stavanger 2008, Brighton Festival, and Royal Opera House.
With the composer & singer Richard Chew he started the sixteen-piece choir The Shout, which includes singers from a diverse range of backgrounds - jazz, gospel, blues, opera, contemporary, early music, Indian classicalâ€¦ Orlando directs the choir, which recently toured Stand, a music-theatre piece, and A Day In The Life, a Christmas show. This autumn the choir will tour Fingerprint, a music-theatre piece.
Tiffany Jenkins is Arts and Society Director at the Institute of Ideas. Tiffany is also a writer and researcher currently exploring the cultural meanings of human remains in museums, at the University of Kent at Canterbury, in the school of social sciences. Her work explores questions about the cultural authority of museums, and the rise of the body in the high modern period.
John Street is an author and Professor of Politics at the University of East Anglia, where he is also the head of the school of Political, Social and International Studies. He recently completed a research project for the Economic and Social Research Council on the role of music and musicians in public action. For ten years he reviewed live musical performance for The Times, and is the author of several books.