Music industry experts will help shape the future of music education, as the Government sets to refresh the blueprint that promotes equal music opportunities 

To help reflect advances in technology in the way music is created, recorded and produced, as and to reassess the music education young people benefit from at school, the Department for Education yesterday (Sunday 9 February) invited views from musicians, specialist teachers, young people and their parents about their experience and what they want to see in the National Plan for Music Education.

The plan will help level up opportunities for children from all backgrounds to take part in musical education, including the chance to learn how to play an instrument, perform in a choir or band, and develop a lifelong love of music.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

All children, regardless of their background, should get the opportunity to play musical instruments, learn to sing and learn how to read and write music in the classroom.

I want to continue to level up opportunities so all young people can get the best out of their music education. We can only achieve this if we reflect on the latest advances in music and work together with experts in the music industry, specialist teachers, as well as reflecting on young people’s experiences.

Chief Executive of the Arts Council, Dr Darren Henley said:

Learning to perform and compose music is a life changing experience, unlocking decades of discovery, enjoyment and creativity. The Government’s commitment to a new National Plan for Music Education is an exciting step in nurturing the next generation of creative talent across England. These young people will go on to become the music industry professionals and the audiences of the future. It’s important that everyone who cares about music takes part in this consultation so that all young people get the chance to fulfil their musical potential.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber said:

Every child should have the right to free music education as a vital part of the school curriculum. Music is an empowering force for good.

I am very pleased that the Department For Education has taken on board the proven achievements of the Music In Secondary Schools Trust. Under its aegis, 8,000 children now have full access to music whereas before there was none. Parents report that their children now have pride in their accomplishments and that their self-esteem, confidence and self-worth have grown.

It has been proven to be the common denominator in schools where often over sixty languages are spoken. I passionately hope this is the beginning of seeing music back where it belongs as a central part of our schools’ curriculum.

Trish Shaw, Head of School, Performing Arts at City Lit said:

City Lit Music Department welcomes the commitment to refreshing the National Plan for Music Education in England, particularly the possibility of boosting the level of participation in music in schools.

As teachers in the lifelong learning sector, we see the enormous benefits and personal satisfaction music brings to people throughout their lives.

Singing, playing, composing and listening all contribute towards improved coordination, concentration, co-operation, social interaction, and physical and mental well-being. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn music as an integral element of education from their earliest years and throughout their lives.

This builds on the recently announced £85million for a further year of our current music and arts programmes, including music hubs, and is in addition to the manifesto commitment to offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to allow young people to learn creative skills and widen their horizons.

The refreshed National Plan will be published in autumn 2020 and will build on the current plan which was first published in 2011, which sets out our ambitious vision for music education for all children in England. The plan established the music education hubs – a network working in and beyond schools to give children the opportunity to sing and learn instruments.

The Call for Evidence includes specific questions on areas experts have told us are particularly important, including SEND and inclusivity, music technology and the music education hubs. The responses and experiences put forward will help inform changes to the plan which will then be fully consulted on.

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