The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) has welcomed the government’s new focus on making sure that teachers are fully trained in delivering music education.
As part of the government’s National Plan for Music Education, it outlines plans to create a new music teaching module to be given to trainee primary teachers, giving them additional skills in music education.
It also plans to make the wider music workforce more professionalised by having a qualification by 2013, namely for peripatetic music teachers based outside schools.
ABRSM said that as teacher development is a core part of the body, it is keen to work with organisations like Arts Council England to help implement professional music teacher qualifications.
“It is vital that good instrumental and vocal teachers have the opportunity to gain professional recognition for their work,” it stated.
Other welcome points include continued support for the Music and Dance Scheme and In Harmony, which seek to bring music opportunities to lower-income pupils.
“Music has the power to enrich lives and we want to do all we can to inspire more people to participate in music and motivate them to progress and achieve,” ABRSM said.
“We hope the plan will not only deliver its goal of making music learning accessible to all children but also ensure that those who want to progress and learn have the opportunities to do so.”
The body also fully committed its support to the report’s recommendation to create a system of music education hubs. However it added: “We would urge Arts Council England to ensure that the hubs’ remit will include the monitoring of students’ progression, as well as their participation, and recommend that its work is supported and reviewed by education professionals.”
While it largely supported the plan, ABRSM did highlight its concern at significant budget cuts set to hit the industry. It therefore called for greater private funding to plug the gap over the coming years for the report’s aspirations to be fully realised.