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Expert panel to devise model music curriculum

Discussion in 'Music' started by rooney1, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    Government backs young musicians
    to help schools deliver world-class teaching and £1.3million funding boost for successful music education hubs

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backs-young-musicians

    Nick Gibb said: “I want every child to leave primary school able to read music, understanding sharps and flats, to have an understanding of the history of music, as well as having had the opportunity to sing and to play a musical instrument.”

    How many primary school teachers can read music etc. ?
     
    Songwriteruk likes this.
  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Ah yes, Nick Gibb. The silent one in the Bee Gees.
     
  3. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Apologies for being cynical, but one-off headline-grabbing cash injections do virtually nothing. Music is desperately thirsty and has been for years. £1.3 million is like offering a teaspoonful of water to quench it.
    We’ve seen this before - money was made available for pupils who couldn’t afford it to learn an instrument and a Head of Music I knew recruited the pupils and set up the lessons. All went well until 12 months down the line the funding came to an end and the Head of Music was told it would not be continuing. So the pupils’ lessons came to an end. Needless to say, the withdrawal of the funding was not announced with the publicity which its offering had received.
    Music education needs a clear-sighted direction, resources, creative and talented teachers and general assent that it is valuable and an important part of a rounded education. Its rightful place in the curriculum needs sustained support and sustained financial investment.
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  4. Songwriteruk

    Songwriteruk New commenter

    'All pupils at least up to the age of 14 should study music in school. says the Education Secretary (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backs-young-musicians)
    Well, Mr. Gibb, they won’t unless you stop schools from systematically removing creative subjects from their curriculum.

    Music is a statutory National curriculum subject and should be taught up until the end of Y9 (age 14) however, a large proportion of schools start GCSE option subjects after Y8 so no music for the majority after this point. Also, only local authority schools have to follow the National Curriculum, meaning Academies are free to do what they wish; some have removed music from their curriculum altogether.

    At Key stage 4 (GCSEs) no arts subjects have been included as mandatory as part of the coveted English Baccalaureate (a mythical qualification which doesn’t even exist - nothing for the young person, just a measure for the school). This almost incentivises schools not to offer arts subjects at GCSE.

    And don’t even think about going on to University to study as you apparently won’t earn as much as other professionals, which is clearly all that matters (according to think tanks such as Onwards - https://www.thestage.co.uk/…/government-restrict-access-lo…/).

    So let’s pump more money into Music Hubs. Will this mean more children truly learning an instrument and benefiting from a greater resourced music department or simply a couple of term's worth of instrumental tuition in primary school, which has historically lead to few young people continuing into secondary (where parents are usually expected to purchase tuition). How about using the money to further subsidise music tuition in secondary schools, or creating a ring-fenced Arts Premium (As is the case with P.E), paid directly to schools. I don’t question the honorable aims of Music Hubs, however, like so many parts of education, funding levels have forced them to become businesses needing to generate large amounts of income (usually via instrumental lessons) just to survive.

    Finally, the Department for Education is going to pull together yet another panel of experts to tell the music teachers what to teach. Is this really where the problem with music education lies... the teachers? Have we not been here before?

    Remember The Music Manifesto (2007), The National Music Plan (2011), The Henley review (2011), Ofsted music review ‘Wider Still, and Wider’, (2012), the revised National Curriculum for music (2013) to name but a few.

    The majority of these reports call for more music and opportunity for young people in schools - tell us something we don’t already know!

    It is time the Government, Regional Schools Commissioners, and OFSTED started challenging schools to:

    - Deliver a broad curriculum offer to students of all ages, giving measurable credit to those schools that do. (I am hopeful the new Ofsted Inspection Framework will make a start on this).
    - Ensure all statutory subjects under the National Curriculum become statutory in ALL schools, including academies.
    - Support school music departments to ensure funding has a direct impact within the classroom, not just a taster or specialist tuition for the few.
    - Place value on arts for all it brings to society (particularly the contribution it could make in combating our Mental Health crisis in schools and wider society), not simply measuring creative arts in terms of contribution to the UK economy (which is considerable anyway).

    Without these measures, music will continue to disappear from the reaches of the many and become restricted to the few who can afford it.
     

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