Mayor’s Music Award returns with extra categories for SEND pupils named after former Hackney speaker Geoff Taylor

The Mayor of Hackney’s Music Award (MMA), a fund to support aspiring young musicians and recognise the quality of music education offered in Hackney’s schools, returns this year with added award categories celebrating the musical learning of children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

The SEND awards are named after former Hackney councillor and speaker Geoff Taylor who passed away in 2019, a talented musician and ex-teacher who served on Hackney council for 16 years.

This years’ winners will be announced at an award ceremony streamed online on Wednesday 9 March. The winners will have the opportunity to perform at the Hackney Schools Music and Dance Festival this summer, an annual event showcasing the breadth and range of music making and talent in the borough. 

The 2022 MMA categories are: 

  • Pupil Award of up to £1,400 across two years – for achievement in instrumental learning (awarded to pupils nominated by their schools; three awards across primary and secondary schools)
  • Instrument Fund Award of up to £2,000 (for a secondary school) and £1000 (for two primary schools) - to support instrumental ensemble development in schools
  • Excellence in Music Education Award of up to £2,000 – to recognise excellence in primary and secondary music practice (awarded to a school)
  • New Geoff Taylor SEND Project Award of up to £1,400 - to recognise projects that enhance the musical learning and experiences of pupils with SEND (awarded to a special school, or any school with projects dedicated to children with SEND)
  • New Geoff Taylor SEND Pupil Award of up to £1,400 across two years -  to support  SEND pupils with their instrumental learning and musical development (open to all schools with SEND pupils)
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville

I am delighted that Hackney can once again host the Mayor’s Music Awards. Bringing back this event after the pandemic is an important step in renewing our commitment to inclusive culture and celebrating the young talent we have in Hackney. As the concerts and performances arranged by our music service repeatedly show, Hackney is home to some amazingly gifted young musicians. The MMA is an exciting opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible talents of these musicians and help provide much needed financial assistance to nurture these skills. 

Funding lessons, instruments and performances can be very costly, so we are proud to provide financial assistance for music, an important part of education and learning, to help open doors for young people who are pursuing their passion, unlocking a hopefully lasting love of music and possibly a future career. 

This year we are focused on widening participation, so I am also delighted that this year we’ve been able to add two new categories in memory of former Speaker, Cabinet Member and Councillor Geoff Taylor. Geoff was passionate about inclusion, young people and music; these two new categories serve as tribute to him, and celebrate the musical achievements of children with special education needs and disabilities .

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville

The MMA fund awards, established by the Mayor of Hackney in 2013, are open to all local schools' music departments. For more information, please email: musicservice@hackney.gov.uk