What is Music Education Expo and might you find it useful?

Barbara Eifler explains what the Music and Drama Education Expo is and why you might find it interesting and useful to attend this free event

The Music and Drama Education Expo returns for its fifth year on 9 and 10 February at London’s Olympia. It’s free to attend and you can register at http://www.musicanddramaeducationexpo.co.uk.

As it says on the tin, this is aimed at music educators; but as it’s the only general music trade show/conference/industry event of its kind, actually you will find stands here from a huge variety of organisations and suppliers, many of them of interest to Making Music members: e.g. tour consultants; music publishers (many with special show offers); Arts Award, Friday Afternoons & BBC 10 Pieces – opportunities for members to get involved with young people; uniform/dress companies; Chant productions which provides performance opportunities at sport events; UK and international festivals; national youth organisations with which you might wish to connect; plenty of short and longer courses to get inspired by; even staging hire companies; the absolutely essential Vocalzones (well, for me they are); and of course Making Music.

We really enjoy being at the show each year as we can connect to some of these companies on your behalf, but also as so many members, especially their MDs or conductors, usually attend, so it’s a great chance for us – and you! – to puts faces to names otherwise only known via email and telephone. So if you do come, please come and say hello to the team on the stand!

But that’s not all; in between talking to suppliers, you can attend a huge range of free seminars and workshops. There’s general stuff on politics – this year Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department of Education, will be there to speak and answer questions; there are practical workshops, such as a gospel choir one and a body percussion one I might well try out…; and I’m quite curious to find out more about the tabla; as well as several discussion panels on music education policies and trends.

You’re not in reach of London? Do not despair. A new satellite Music Education Expo is starting up in Manchester this year, so if you’re near there, why not put the 4 October in your diary – Making Music will be there, too, to connect with members and with the industry. You can even register already.