Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Free books to inspire a new and diverse generation of musicians

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Schools across Central Bedfordshire are to get free books by renowned musician, speaker and author Nate Holder to inspire their students to play and make music.

Gifted to schools by Inspiring Music, the Central Bedfordshire music service, the books are written by the acclaimed Professor Nate Holder, International Chair of Music Education at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Inspiring Music has worked closely with Professor Holder to develop an inclusive musical delivery initiative in schools. By sharing these books, Inspiring Music hopes to help children, teachers and the wider community discover that there are lots of different ways to engage with music – and that, ultimately, it is for everyone.

Inspiring Music has produced a short film to be shown to students and staff to raise awareness and help encourage the books to be accessed by all.

The books explore the influences of diverse musicians on the history of music and highlight those who are underrepresented – such as Florence Price, the first African American woman to be recognised as a symphonic composer.

The books are titled:

  • Where are all the Black composers?
  • Why is my piano black and white?
  • Where are all the instruments? European Orchestra
Lucy Chapman, Head Teacher of Sutton V.A Lower School, receiving some gifted books

Lucy Chapman, Head Teacher of Sutton V.A Lower School, receiving some gifted books

Councillor Sue Clark, our Executive Member for Children, Families and Schools said:

We are really delighted to work with all schools in Central Bedfordshire to encourage and nurture involvement in music for all students regardless of background.

By sharing these books, we hope to inspire more children to get involved in music and that getting involved in music is for everyone, and we want to help our schools encourage their students to discover that there are lots of different ways to get involved with music.

Nate Holder, author of the books, said:

I'm delighted that Inspiring Music will be using these books in its work to help broaden young minds.

Children are hungry for a wide range of music and ready to devour and explore music and people which they can relate to, understand, and share". Some children rarely see themselves represented outside of Black History Month, and others don't see themselves represented at all. All these children are trying to make sense of who they are and the world around them.

Thinking about that led me to write 'Why Is My Piano Black and White', and 'Where Are All The Black Female Composers?' – to introduce children to people and music outside of what they may normally come across in mainstream education. To leave them with questions, people and ideas which motivates them to discover all things music for themselves.