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From L to R: Mikhail Nemtsov, Yoshika Masuda, Jiafeng Chen

As part of its continuing programme to support the UK’s most gifted and talented musicians as they prepare to take the leap from full-time conservatoire education to

professional music careers, the annual Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe (YMFE) scholarships were awarded this year to the cream of strings players. In the British Isles one award was made in Ireland and three in the UK, each worth £2,000. In the UK almost 40 entries were shortlisted by Birmingham Conservatoire head of strings, John Todd, Yamaha’s Ian Frankland and Bill Martin. Ten finalists were then invited to the UK finals in this 21st year of YMFE, hosted by the Royal Academy of Music, with an impressive judging panel of professors of strings, including chair of judges Nicholas Pendlebury (Trinity College of Music), Peter Esswood (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Peter Lissauer (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) and Malcolm Layfield (Royal Northern College of Music). Each of the ten participants, from Royal Academy, Royal College, Royal Northern and Guildhall, gave a 30-minute recital and the judges awarded the UK scholarships to: Jiafeng Chen (violin, Royal College of Music),

Gigajam and Yamaha launch their ‘Music Classroom of the Future’

Yamaha and the e-learning music company, Gigajam, launched their new partnership at the 2010 BETT show at London’s Olympia in January, which will provide a cost-effective way for secondary schools to provide entry-level rock band tuition via e-learning. Yamaha’s education manager, Bill C Martin,

commented: ‘Yamaha’s vision is simply to expand the number of people learning music and to help more people to participate. We are already doing much at the top ability end of things through our extensive conservatoire scholarship programmes across the genres and through our continuing creative partnership with FMS, whose members provide world-class, high-quality instrumental tuition to almost 20 percent of pupils up to the age of 15 in England and Wales - impressively up from just over 8 percent in 2005. However there is more to be done at secondary level to boost the numbers of young people who are learning to play. We believe that Gigajam’s proven track record over the past few years speaks for itself in providing a positive experience for young musicians. We can now begin to develop the quantity of learners without losing quality.’ Gigajam provides a well structured system of tuition and assessment for guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, which is delivered and assessed online using Yamaha MIDI and electric instruments. Gigajam is currently preparing a groundbreaking new audio assessment system for non-MIDI instruments, too, which will further radically transform the already effective system.


Mikhail Nemtsov (cello, RNCM) and Yoshika Masuda (cello, RNCM). Four top string players competed in the Irish finals, hosted by Pianos Plus in Dublin in front of string professors Elizabeth Csibi (Royal Irish Academy of Music) and Adrian Petcu (Cork Institute of Technology School of Music). The winner was Sarah Joyce (cello, Royal Irish Academy of Music). The Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe is a charitable trust founded in 1990 with a remit to assist talented young musicians. It currently operates in 31 countries. Each year the instrument emphasis rotates between piano, brass and woodwind, strings, percussion and voice. The discipline in 2011 will be piano. Yamaha’s music education manager Bill Martin stated, ‘We heard fourteen quite astonishing recitals, each of which would have been quite at home gracing major concert platforms anywhere in the world and we look forward to hearing more of our four winners as they progress in their careers.’

A new Yamaha Pocketrak C24 with Yamaha Download

Yamaha’s monthly Download Podcast is a great way for teachers and students to keep in touch with all things Yamaha and for the first time you and your students can enter a competition to win one of the new Pocketrak C24 digital recording devices. Pocketrak is the perfect pocket-

Visitors to the Gigajam-Yamaha ‘Music Classroom of the Future’ stand at the 2010 BETT show in London

Visitors to the Gigajam-Yamaha ‘Music Classroom of the Future’ stand at the 2010 BETT show in London

The Gigajam system is certainly not intended

to replace high quality instrumental tuition. However it has already proven to be an effective way to give young people who don’t currently learn an instrument the chance to do so up to an intermediate level. Following this exciting and effective way of introducing more young people to music making, many who have been through the system so far have gone on to learn, either with the local music service or with a private teacher.

Watch a video report on the Yamaha- Gigajam presentations at the 2010 BETT show - More about Gigajam:

sized recording tool – up to CD quality – for rehearsals, keeping track of students’ progress, or creating audio content for web. Record with built-in stereo mics or from an external mixer, then plug it directly into your computer’s USB port – just like a memory stick – to transfer your files. Easy! To enter the competition, simple go

to and listen to the March podcast, where we speak about and demonstrate the new Pocketrak C24. We want you to tell us which software comes supplied with the Pocketrak C24. Email us with your answer, name,

email address and daytime phone number and ‘YES Pocketrak Competition’ in your header.

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Photo: Bill C Martin

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