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Guess what Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks music teachers do?

Discussion in 'Music' started by jonsavage, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. At this time of crisis in music education, its good to know what our musical 'elite' think music teachers do in their classes. Andrew Lloyd Webber is the latest to portray his complete ignorance about music education in our schools. Here's a short extract from his interview on Sky News:
    His musicals have been seen by millions and, like his brother, he is
    particularly keen on making music more accessible to youngsters.

    Andrew said: "The most important thing is that they have access to music.

    "Probably far too often what's happened in the last 15 years is
    there's been a token music class and the teacher just chucks on a CD and
    leaves them to it."

    Perhaps someone could find out when the last time he visited a school music department and spent some time seeing what actually goes on?

  2. I was just about to post the axact same thing. I couldn't believe what I was watching last night!!
    So I decided that may be J L Webber had been running a foundation for schools that I had not heard of ... I had a look on his website. News section; just his new CD and tours (not one school in there ... You might say why would he perform at a school? Well he claims bringing music to young people is his passion!). Articles? Not a thing. I would have thought that if he had such a passion and interest in music in schools that he would have put something on his website or set something up ...?
    Delved a bit deeper, he has held some masterclasses at independent schools and was a guest at the opening of a music school. A boarding independent!! Glad to see he's ensuring everyone can access it! Maybe he should become an educational musical advisor for our new government!
    Mr. Andrew Lloyd Webber! If you want more kids to access your music why don't you open up copyright on a few of your musicals for schools to perform for free? Instead of counting your pennies, give something back? Did you really need part of the £500 and £300 copyright/rental and royalties for one production I once did? I tell you something, my music dept did! But no, we do a 3 night sell out run of a school production (and don't get me wrong it's invaluable for the pupils involved and for the school), but just once i'd like to put profits back into my department for resources.
    Mr and Mr Webber don't talk about something you know nothing and have done very little about!!!!!
  3. It's a real shame that Andrew L-W didn't have a chat with his brother, Julian, about music education! Julian championed a wider music education a few years ago and I know, from quite a long face-to-face conversation with him, that he knows at least some of the challenges we face.
    I completely agree with your points, ZappaMusic - he could do SO much good with just a few quid of his money (and I could recommend a college department that he could start with[​IMG])
  4. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I think he probably did.
    Certainly ALW donated his fee for "How do you solve a problem like Maria" to the trust fund set up to provide bursaries for those wishing to pursue a career in music and theatre (profits from the phone votes went into the same fund). Part of the fund is reserved for the 50 girls who made it through to the 'Maria School' while the rest is available to anyone, for such purposes as <font size="2">fees for musical or theatrical education or lessons.</font>
    He also donated the royalties from his 2009 Eurovision song to the BBC Performing Arts Fund, specifically for the BBC&rsquo;s Training in Musical Theatre scheme.
  5. I do put some of my wage into my music dept. The last school production I did cost me personally &pound;100. I did not claim it back as the kitty was dry ...
    I suggested a couple of musicals or even one. I believe it would actually promote his musicals even more as more schools would perform the discounted one(s) which would open his music to a wider variety of youngsters.
    Our job is down graded my non teachers and other teachers alike. As you state, a British icon who made this statement on national tv!! I'm sorry, but i'm passionate about my job, and this remark just makes me very angry!!
    "Probably far too often what's happened in the last 15 years is
    there's been a token music class and the teacher just chucks on a CD and
    leaves them to it."

  6. Florian gassman - I am very pleased with that news, thank you for correcting me. ZappaMusic, I understand your anger at this comment, it certainly seems to at best belittle the hard work we all put in. I hadn't seen the article prior to posting and didn't know what context it was in, although I can't see that there are any that would make it acceptable to those of us designing and delivering the most effective and exciting plans possible on very limited budgets. For what it's worth, I work in FE and have noticed a substantial improvement in the knowledge students are coming to me with in recent years.
  7. Astya

    Astya New commenter

    Andrew said: "The most important thing is that they have access to music.
    "Probably far too often what's happened in the last 15 years is there's been a token music class and the teacher just chucks on a CD and leaves them to it."
    I have to say, I have seen this done far too much. 'Music Express' is a gift and a curse in that respect. It's a tool, not a complete scheme of work.
    My current school is very good for music, but I know a fair few teachers elsewhere who say they 'can't do it'. I wonder if perhaps there isn't enough training available for class teachers who are 'not musical'. Certainly in my PGCE training we only had about 2 days with music sessions! That isn't enough for someone who doesn't feel confident singing/demonstrating for a class to then start leading musical activities. I did my degree in music and I still was nervous when I first started leading class singing and running a choir, especially when I was teaching the older kids.
    Personally I think some places are focussed on the wrong side of music, too - why spent 6 weeks learning about Gamelan when you could spend that time learning songs and games, learning skills like pitch and rhythm, or even learning an instrument? To me primary school music should be a skills based subject with focus on participating and enjoying. It's a chance to do something totally different to other subjects, make a bit of noise and be creative!

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