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Inspiring children to enjoy music - our new Bring The Noise campaign

James Purnell

Director, Radio & Education

This will be loud, and it will be fun.

Bring The Noise is our ambitious new campaign, to introduce children to the joy of making music.

I spoke about this project today at the Festival of Education at Wellington College, where I also gave an update on our education plans, a year after we launched our new strategy.

At the BBC we are privileged to welcome world class musicians week in week out - and to have the best presenters and producers in the world. And we reach 9 out of 10 people in the UK every week.

We want to use this unique position to help children across the UK take their first musical steps. We already run a brilliant classical music project for 7 to 14 year olds with Ten Pieces, and our new campaign will take our commitment to music education further.

Through Bring The Noise we’ll support primary school teachers to teach music in schools at early years and key stage 1 - children aged between 4 and 7. We will give them the confidence and resources to help them to put music education at the heart of their classroom.

According to surveys by Ofsted, there’s a persistently wide variety in the quality of music education in schools. Better off children get better access. If we are not careful, the music industry will become the domain of the privileged. I believe that really matters and not just because music is an enduring passion that leaps all class barriers, but also because it’s a critical component of a broader education. It improves our wider academic achievement. It makes us healthier and happier. For many of us, music is just part of what makes life so joyful.

We have done research and are working with partners including the BPI, the ISM and Music Mark on how best we can create a positive impact. In the early stages of primary education, music can be marginalised in the curriculum, as teachers are often not musicians themselves.

Ofsted is putting a greater focus on teaching a wider curriculum from September, including topics such as music, so we think that this campaign will really help.

At the heart of Bring The Noise will be a number of specially commissioned songs and resources that will allow teachers to explore the basics of music, such as tempo and pitch. Musicians from the BBC’s orchestras and beyond will be involved, bringing these songs to life through different musical genres, alongside supporting resources and videos. Bring the Noise will be free, simple and fun, and will unlock the benefits of music education.

The campaign will kick off with a bang from September when we’ll reveal the full details too. It will live on the BBC Teach website and you can go there now to see more information and sign up to our newsletter in advance.

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Round up week 25 (15-21 June 2019)