The Future of Music Education


An update from Paul Mc

Two important developments that our industry needs to be aware of:

New Research

  • In partnership with the Musicians’ Union, we have just launched a MAJOR research project to benchmark the TRUE state of music education in the Country.
  • The link to the research is here and we would encourage any of the following to fill it in, please send this to anyone you think could/should participate:
  • Teachers with a responsibility for music who work in schools;
  • Instrumental music teachers who work in music services, hubs or as independent teachers;
  • Managers of music services, music education hubs or other organisations that deliver music education to young people;
  • Head teachers of primary, secondary or special schools.

New National Plan for Music Education

Our friends at MusicMark held an excellent education conference in Stratford on 26th June that I attended.

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England gave a keynote talk about the hopes for a new National Plan for Music Education beyond the current one that expires in 2020.

You may recall that Darren was the author of the current plan and music remains the only school subject that has such a plan!

Anyway, here are some of the key points that Darren made before the panel I sat on was grilled with questions by the audience of music educators:

  • More emphasis needs to be placed on music in the Early Years (0 – 5 years old)
  • A future plan should also take account of 19 – 25 year olds (the Department for Education now has responsibility for this category)
  • Music and Music Technology are moving at a pace and any new plan needs to accommodate this
  • Too many young people with SEN or Pupil Premium are NOT gaining access to music education.
  • Inclusion overall is a major focus
  • Lack of music progression remains a problem
  • The “patchiness” of music education around the Country equally remains a problem
  • We are likely to see more mergers with Music Services and Music Hubs

So, we will shortly have a better picture from the research as to what is REALLY happening “on the ground” with music education. We are clear on the likely priorities of any future plan for music education.

As an industry, we will work with government and all our education partners to continue to try and ensure everyone has the opportunity to become music makers!

Our Education Committee meets in July (always happy to have new members from the industry) and we will naturally discuss all of the above.