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Manor Music City opened at Manor Church of England Academy, York in September 2021. It is a new model for secondary school music. For more information please visit:

Read our Year 1 Review here

OPT-ing In Information for Manor Music City Students

Knowing how to learn is just as important as what is learned. To maximise their potential in music, students must be aware of how they are learning and how their skills are able to develop. At MMC, we challenge every student to ‘Opt-in’ to create their ultimate possible development. 

This is what it means to ‘Opt-in’ at MMC:

‘O’ is for Organisation. Students must choose to always be ready and on-time for every lesson, rehearsal and performance. This includes listening carefully and immediately when asked to do so. They should have the equipment they need, charged-up if appropriate, carrying a spare if required. They should always know where their instrument, iPad and music are and be ready to start at the beginning of every session. Repairs to iPads and Instruments are minimised when organisation is a priority of the student. 

‘P’ is for practise. Practise is exciting. It allows you to do things you couldn’t do before. It helps you to learn confidently. It helps you be proud of what you can do. Practise should be daily, little and often, 10 minutes per day as a starting point. For students learning to play an instrument or sing, this practise time will be focused on pieces being learned on their instrument and the practise is likely to be of the music set by a tutor. Students considering advanced study using technology should make the same approach using their iPad or other music technology. If at any point you’re not sure of how or what to do, ask your teacher. 

‘T’ is for technique. It is so important to think about the development of technique separately to practise as it needs its own focus, concentration and determination to maximise your potential. Talk to your specialist tutor to know how to approach this on your instrument, with your voice or using technology. Technique is not just how you play your instrument. It also relates to your breathing, your posture and your understanding of music theory. Having greater control of all of these helps you to be calmer as you perform and able to add more detail to your performance. All of these skills will also help you to prepare for other aspects of your life including public speaking and job interviews.

All of these things are very relevant to the VIPs concept and students are inspired by what they’re able to achieve, even in a very short period of time. The ‘Opt-in’ challenge is very much a choice for every student. The difference between young musicians who ‘Opt-in’ and those who don’t is vast, but it is something that every young person can achieve. It is something that they can decide they’d like to achieve and then ask for support. At any stage, development in music cannot be forced. It is a personal choice. For this reason, students will be encouraged to opt-in and offered support to succeed, but if the student chooses not to opt-in and to remain a dependent learner, this must be respected. 

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