Music Education Special
This week Music Matters comes from MusicLearningLive!2009 – the UK’s national festival of music education at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
With questions from an audience of festival delegates, Tom Service chairs an important debate about the present and future of music education, from primary school to conservatoire.
Joining Tom in the RNCM’s Opera Theatre is a panel of policy makers and thinkers – Christina Coker, Chief Executive of Youth Music, Dick Hallam, National Music Participation Director, cellist and educationalist Zoë Martlew, Richard Morrison, journalist and critic of The Times, and Katherine Zeserson, Director of Learning and Participation at The Sage Gateshead.
In November 2007, the government announced a £332 million investment in music in schools to 2011 – including £40m to buy new instruments and £40m for the national Sing Up programme, which aims to make every primary school in England a ‘singing school’.
With recent critical reports from government regulator Ofsted and the independent Cambridge Primary Review, the panel discusses the current state of play in primary schools.
And with it being possible to pass GCSE music without having to read western classical notation, the panel discusses this and other issues in secondary school music education – especially considering the government’s £332m stretches only as far as 11 year olds.
The debate also covers education outside the classroom – In Harmony is England’s answer to Venezuela’s highly successful El Sistema programme. Can this community development project, spearheaded by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and aimed at bringing positive social change to some of the most deprived areas of the country, prove its worth in just two years?Read Ofsted’s ‘Making more of music’ report (published 4 February)
And what are the prospects for those that want to pursue a career in music? With specialist music college students regarding teaching as a second class option is there a need for a change in attitude about following a career in education?
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