education conference panel

How can the jazz sector help to tackle
the music education crisis?

In January 2019 a hard-hitting report was published by The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education in collaboration with the University of Sussex and the Incorporated Society of Musicians which demonstrated the scale of the crisis facing music education in England.

Its recommendations revealed the breadth of the problem and also how easily the some of the most pressing issues could be addressed with little or no financial cost.

We believe that the jazz sector – musicians, educators and promoters, can have a key role to make a transformational impact on young children inside our schools and through extra-curricular music making activities.

This year’s Jazz North education conference at the University of Huddersfield explored these themes and delegates were given a range of insights and practical advice from leading practitioners and professionals such as Jimmy Rotheram (Feversham Primary), Yolanda Brown, Chris Sharkey, Matt Robinson (More Music), Fatine Boumaaz (Ronnie Scotts’ Charitable Foundation) and Enrico Bertelli (Conductive Music).


Enrico Bertelli
Conductive Music
Conductive Music bring together Music, the Sciences and Creativity with practical hands-on DIY inventions for school children. Enrico says “We love to design, build, push our inventions to the limit until they break, then take them apart, fix them, and learn everything about them. The joy of imagining and then bringing your own instrument to life is infectious and we want to share it. We want to inspire inventors who know what to do when stuff goes wrong. We want to show them how to embrace failure, to boost resilience and to grow, independently, through trial and error”.

Fatine Boumaaz
CEO/Artistic Director
Ronnie Scotts’ Charitable Foundation

A true believer in free music education for all, Fatine Boumaaz has been running Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation, the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club very own charity, since its creation in 2015. Fatine runs all aspects of the organisation from management to fundraising, communications to planning, strategizing to problem-solving, and often, whatever else comes her way. Every year she helps raise musical instruments and funds to sponsor free musical education projects for young aspiring musicians across the UK and the world. Originally from France, she initially graduated in International business and speaks several languages. On her free time, Fatine loves singing, especially jazz, and have been part of several musical projects

YolanDa Brown

YolanDa is an award-winning saxophonist, educator and broadcaster. She was the first musician to win a MOBO Award for “Best Jazz” in two consecutive years and her BBC CBeebies “YolanDa’s Band Jam” launched in January 2019. In 2017, YolanDa was named as celebrity ambassador for the Greater London Assembly and ABRSM “Learn Music London” Campaign. She is a celebrity ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, Children and the Arts, Plan UK, World Child Cancer, as well as the Mayor’s Music Fund. In 2018, she was appointed Chair of the biggest music education charity in the UK, Youth Music.

Matt Robinson
More Music

Matt is a community musician and jazz artist with a strong commitment to community music projects. Read Matt’s blog post on the Youth Music forum talking about More Music’s new initiative pro-actively tackling these issues in the NW. Matt will be leading the opening panel discussion at the start of the day.

Jimmy Rotheram
Feversham Primary

Music teacher Jimmy Rotheram started at Feversham Primary four years ago, just as the school was coming out of special measures. The new head teacher, Naveed Idrees, was convinced that a radical programme of between two and six hours of music would help reverse the school’s fortunes. “The programme had a profound effect on our results” Jimmy says. Feversham is now in the top two percent of schools in the country for pupil progress and Jimmy is now in demand to share his experience worldwide.

Chris Sharkey

“I’m interested in challenging expectations of what music education can and should be. We are constantly being told that our young people need to be ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’ but music education, a field that should be an example to other disciplines, is often lacking in these two vital areas. My current focus is on expanding participation in my projects to include people with no previous experience in performing. I want to show that inclusivity and high musical quality are not mutually exclusive and that creativity requires no superpowers. The only prerequisites are an open mind and the courage to join in”.

Helena Summerfield

Helena is project leader for Jazz North’s Jazz Camp for Girls initiative that was launched in February 2019 with partners who met at last year’s Jazz North education conference. Helena is also a woodwind teacher with Trafford Music Service and she’s active on the Manchester music scene playing and composing for bands including the saxophone quartet HSQ.


Find out about previous conferences

Register your interest