NMC Recordings: bringing contemporary classical music to the classroom

NMC Recordings holds a distinctive position in the music industry: we are both a record label and a registered charity.

Formed in 1989 by composer Colin Matthews, we are dedicated to recording and releasing the most exciting new music from across the British Isles. Our catalogue includes music from established voices such as Harrison Birtwistle, James Dillon, Errollyn Wallen, and Judith Weir; to a younger generation of composers including Helen Grime, Mark Bowden, Mark Simpson and Emily Howard.

At first glance, being a charity may seem an unusual business model for a record label. However, for NMC it enables us to carry out a vitally important role in the classical music industry: it ensures we can act as an advocator and promoter of high quality new music, free from commercial restrictions that could hinder other labels.

A key element of our charitable remit is a responsibility to connect listeners worldwide with the best new music, and to encourage audiences to experience the vibrant music of today’s composers. In the last five years alone, NMC’s back catalogue of almost 300 releases, featuring 600 artists and composers, has been streamed and downloaded more than 8.5 million times across 150 countries.

Deciding where to start listening can often be overwhelming when faced with so much new music! That’s where our innovative Music Map tool can help you on your musical journey. Embark on your own new music discovery here: www.nmcrec.co.uk/musicmap

NMC is also more than just a record label. We are delighted to launch a series of initiatives to bring our recordings to eager new ears and younger audiences. Through a range of education resources, aimed at bringing contemporary classical music to the classroom, we hope to assist in the development of emerging talent, and to inspire an interest in and appreciation for new music.

An introduction to three of our resources is outlined below: r:strng, GCSE Dance and GCSE Music. Further details on these resources and others can be found by visiting our website: www.nmcrec.co.uk/education.

We would love to discuss ways we can help you deliver these resources, whether in your school or otherwise. Please do get in touch by emailing us on [email protected].  

r:strng

r:strng is our free creative music making app, which allows you to create your own remix of NMC composer Kate Whitley’s music. It features a specially commissioned remix by bass player and producer Olugbenga Adelekan, from the Mercury Prize nominated band Metronomy.

The app provides all the software and audio you need, and explores the different techniques Olugbenga used in his version. Compatible with desktop, smartphones and tablets, you can submit your finished remix to us, with the best featured on our website!

Designed specifically to meet elements of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum, the app includes a detailed lesson plan for ideas on using it in the classroom with students of all abilities.

Visit www.rstrng.co.uk to have a go yourself!

GCSE Dance

Developed in partnership with Rambert Dance Company, this free teaching resource focuses on music by past Rambert Music Fellows including Mark Bowden, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Quinta and Gavin Higgins.

The resource pack is designed to be used for the GCSE Dance choreography component, and provides teachers with guidance notes written with Rambert’s Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, for encouraging students to use contemporary music in creating new dance.

Featuring five pieces by the Music Fellows, plus five selections from NMC’s back catalogue, downloadable audio extracts for all ten pieces and detailed programme notes written by the composers are also included. 

GCSE Music

Featuring works from the NMC catalogue by composers including Martin Butler, Judith Weir,Howard Skempton and Tansy Davies, we have worked in partnership with Rhinegold Education to provide content for their innovative Online Music Classroom tool.

Addressing the composition component in the GCSE Music syllabus, NMC works are the starting point for practical lessons and student exercises, with each work exploring a key compositional technique in detail.  

You can find out more by visiting the Online Music Classroom website: www.rhinegoldeducation.co.uk/musicclassroom

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