The fifth annual BBC Music Day takes place on Thursday 26 September 2019. This year’s theme is music and wellbeing, using the power of music to inspire and bring people together to make a positive impact.
As part of this, launching today is an ambitious project, supported by Nile Rodgers, which aims to bring music to everyone living with dementia by 2020. On BBC Music Day itself, Blue Peter will launch its first ever Blue Peter Music Badge to inspire children to become musicians and also music detectives. There will be broadcasts across the BBC and hundreds of events around the UK, using the power of music to inspire and bring people together to make a positive impact.
The legendary, multiple Grammy-winning musician, Nile Rodgers, is proud to be an Ambassador for BBC Music Day 2019. He has an incredible music legacy, one which spans generations of fans, both with the CHIC Organisation and as a producer, arranger and guitarist. He wants to support this project as he has had personal experience with family members affected by the disease.
BBC Music Day Ambassador, Nile Rodgers, says: “The UK is my home from home so I’m delighted to be an Ambassador for BBC Music Day and to highlight the important role music plays in the well-being of our society. I’ve witnessed my mother’s and my aunt’s experience with dementia and I know just how transformational music can be for people with this condition. I think this is a fantastic initiative, and the updated BBC Music Memories website is a brilliant way for people to identify personally meaningful music and to start to make a playlist so music can be used therapeutically. Everyone faces challenges at one point or another and music can be your greatest ally at those important times.”
BBC Music Day is collaborating with over 50 UK organisations involved with dementia care, reaching out through their networks and beyond to help people with dementia through music. And in September, BBC Music Memories will launch the latest version of its ground-breaking website. Created by BBC Archive Development, it has been designed especially for people living with dementia and aims to stimulate memory through music using the extensive BBC archives.
James Stirling, Head of BBC Music and BBC Music Introducing, says: “With an ambitious aim to help those with dementia through music, BBC Music Day is delighted to be collaborating with Nile Rodgers and so many organisations to help those with dementia reconnect with their memories.”
Rebeca Sandiford, Commissioner, BBC Music Day, says: “We’re inviting all organisations and individuals to get involved to join us to help change lives through music. We’re encouraging people to visit the BBC Music Memories website to make a playlist or attend one of the inspiring music events taking place around the UK.”
The organisations involved will be supersizing their usual activity in the week of Music Day to spread the message about the power of music to change lives. Events include the first music and dementia festival co-created by people living with dementia, the NHS’s first dementia village holding a music event ahead of its official launch, Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain groups gathering across the week, Live Music Now musicians performing in care settings, intergenerational concerts, plus an online musical map will launch listing a range of music services for people living with dementia and their carers. Organisations already taking part include Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Alzheimer Scotland, Dementia UK, Live Music Now, NHS England, Nordoff Robbins, Playlist for Life, Utley Foundation and many more. Those involved in dementia care and people with dementia are all invited to get involved to raise awareness of the positive impact music can have. Find out more at bbc.co.uk/musicday
The BBC Music Memories website aims to stimulate memory through music using the extensive BBC archives. Thousands of Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Advisers and Dementia Friends, NHS Volunteers and Playlist for Life’s Help Points are being encouraged to share the website and help people living with dementia create playlists of personally meaningful music. The updated version of the Music Memories website will feature a much wider music selection including international, regional and social music, plus football and pub songs, religious music and nursery rhymes. It will also have new content aimed at people from black, Asian, minority ethnic and European communities who are living with dementia - music that these communities, who may have moved to the UK in previous decades, would remember from their younger years. There will be a selection of music from the twenty countries with the largest immigrant populations in the UK including India, Pakistan, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Poland, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Additionally, a new digital tool on the website called BBC Memory Radio will offer a more immersive experience. It will use specially selected content from the BBC Radio Archives to create memorable audio experiences. They are comprised of 60 minute montages, which users can select by decade - either 1940s, 50s or 60s. The material has been designed through focus groups with both professional carers and people with dementia advising on the content that works best for them.
Alistair Burns, national clinical director for dementia and older people’s mental health for NHS England and NHS Improvement says: “Helping people age well and manage with dementia is central to the NHS’ Long Term Plan and it's fantastic that the BBC is using the power of music to help people with dementia and their carers. Music can benefit people with dementia in so many ways; from stimulating memories and helping reduce anxiety and depression, to bringing together carers and loved ones through a positive shared experience.”
Inspiring the next generation
On CBBC in a live music-themed special, Blue Peter will be celebrating by launching the first ever Blue Peter Music badge for children aged 6-15 years. During the programme presenters Lindsey Russell and Richie Driss will unveil the new badge, created in collaboration with BBC Music Day and BBC Education’s Bring the Noise campaign, aimed at inspiring new musical experiences amongst children. On BBC Music Day, viewers will find out how they can earn this special badge. It will involve becoming a music detective to uncover their family’s history through music, finding out more about the music that’s inspired them. Legendary musician and Blue Peter Gold badge holder, Paul McCartney, will be talking about his own incredible musical journey and offering his tips for budding young musicians. And the BBC Philharmonic’s new Chief Conductor, Omer Meir Wellber, is setting presenter Lindsey Russell a huge challenge - to conduct the BBC Philharmonic in front of an audience.
Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell, says: “I am so excited that Blue Peter is launching a brand new Music badge on BBC Music Day. We want children all over the UK to try a new musical experience and earn their badge. To inspire BP fans to get involved, I am taking on my own super exciting challenge to conduct the BBC’s Philharmonic Orchestra in front of a live audience. I spent years learning the piano and saxophone when I was younger and I’ve always wanted to experience what it’s like to conduct an orchestra. Now I’m going to get my chance… I can’t wait!”
Children in primary schools across the UK will be encouraged to Get Singing again in playgrounds, assemblies and lessons on Music Day to celebrate musical creativity and promote wellbeing. A video resource will be available at bbc.co.uk/musicday for teachers to play out on the day. In 2018 over 1000 schools took part, uniting children across the UK, and resulting in broadcasts on BBC Breakfast, CBBC and Radio 3.
Get Singing is a collaboration involving BBC Education’s Bring the Noise, Young Voices, Sing Up, Ex Cathedra’s Singing Playgrounds, Chiltern Music Therapy, Music Action International and BBC Ten Pieces. These groups have created additional music resources for schools which will be available on their websites in September. The Get Singing page on the Music Day website will have full details, and participants are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of their school or group taking part.
Bring The Noise is an ambitious new campaign from BBC Education to support primary schools, teachers and families to help young children take their first steps in music-making. Launching in September, Bring The Noise will target 4 to 7 year olds, with the aim of opening up a love of music to the BBC’s youngest audiences and to help time-pressed teachers introduce music-learning into their classrooms.
Bargain Hunt’s Music Day special features a battle of the bands with The Darkness’ lead singer Justin Hawkins and bass guitarist Frankie Poullain taking on Feeder’s lead singer Grant Nicholas and bassist Taka Hirose at an antiques fair in Stamford Meadows, Lincolnshire. Natasha Raskin-Sharp will present, with experts Philip Serrell and Kate Bliss on hand to help the teams. The reds and blues are each given £300 and just one hour to search the fair for the best items to sell on at the auction.
Justin Hawkins reveals that his family will be excited about his appearance on the show, saying: “This is the thing that my mother has been dreaming about for years now!”
Grant Nicholas says he's delighted to be taking part, confessing: “I’m a huge fan of Bargain Hunt, a massive fan!”
Additionally, Bargain Hunt presenter, Natasha Raskin-Sharp, will be conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra as they perform a new arrangement of their theme tune. It will be broadcast in this BBC Music Day edition at 12.15pm.
Natasha Raskin-Sharp, says: “Conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at Maida Vale - or, at least, attempting to do so - was a truly electrifying experience. The atmosphere was formal, and somewhat intense, but the encouragement of the musicians and the Bargain Hunt crew helped me to conquer my nerves and to steady my hands. As for the music - think you know the Bargain Hunt theme tune? Think again!”
There will also be a Pointless Celebrities BBC Music Day special plus Music Day features on The One Show, Breakfast, Countryfile, Victoria Derbyshire and The Andrew Marr Show.
BBC orchestras and choirs
The BBC orchestras and choirs have curated a rich programme in support of the day. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Concert Orchestra all launch their respective 19/20 seasons on Music Day. Highlights include the BBC Concert Orchestra teaming up with Tom Service, presenter of BBC Radio 3’s The Listening Service, to explore the multi-faceted role of an orchestra in the 21st century. The BBC Singers will explore the connection between music and the mind with a unique concert featuring arrangements of songs by Culture Club and Elton John, alongside a new work by Ben Parry, One Equal Music.
BBC radio and BBC Sounds
Across the BBC national radio stations shows will be exploring why music makes people feel good with special guests, inspirational live sessions and playlists for wellbeing. All the content will be available on BBC Sounds.
Radio 1Xtra will be collaborating with BBC local radio in Bradford to showcase some of the best young creative talent from the city.
Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show will feature ‘the song that changed my life’ with contributions from listeners around the country.
Radio 3’s flagship drive time programme, In Tune, will feature live music from artists responding to the challenges of dementia, whilst Afternoon Concert will feature a session from the BBC Singers which focuses on the power of music as a tool to unlock memories for those suffering from the condition, including an interview with Formula One racing legend Jackie Stewart about his wife’s response to music. And Music Matters will examine recent research into music and dementia, hearing from those involved in arts projects dedicated to music and wellbeing.
Across the week, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour will be exploring with listeners how music helps them care for and connect with family members who have dementia. They’ll be finding out how music and movement help rekindle memories and bring families together, joining Beatrice Allegranti’s Dancing with Dementia group and also talking to female academics at the forefront of research in this area.
BBC Music Introducing will be shining a spotlight on the most exciting young talent in the UK. All 36 local and regional shows will host an on-air celebration of the best emerging artists in their area between the ages of 12-16 years. A playlist on BBC Sounds will feature the most exciting new tracks from young musicians across the UK who are being supported by BBC Music Introducing.
BBC local radio stations will take part in the Music Day Mash Up exploring how music can unite people and make us feel good. Diverse music groups will be collaborating to sing or perform an uplifting song or piece of music. The aim is to connect communities through music - introducing musicians, choirs, bands and orchestras who might not usually meet - to work together in a unique fusion of musical creativity.
BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle will focus on how music brings people together to make a positive impact, with live music sessions, special guests and playlists.
In May, BBC Scotland launched a new initiative - a search to discover the country’s Singer/Songwriter of the Year 2019 - and the winner will be announced on Music Day at a special event hosted by Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross.
BBC Radio Wales’s Music Day will be intergenerational, with a focus on dementia in Wales including a children’s choir collaborating with a choir of people with dementia to perform a song together. And ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, BBC Radio Cymru will be marking the day with a special live performance of the station’s Rugby World Cup Anthem.
BBC Music Day celebrates the power of music to change lives with over 1,000 events across the UK and broadcasts on TV, Radio and digital. In 2018, programmes reached over 13 million viewers on TV, 14 million on radio and trended on Twitter throughout the day. The initiative united 100 external partners who delivered over a thousand live music events, which featured in over 100 different BBC programmes. Here’s a link to some of last year’s highlights, including Kylie, Nile Rodgers and Blossoms: https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/egrz3d