Government launches music education plan

Musicroom November 28, 2011 0

The Department for Education has launched its national plan for music education which promises to change the way in which music is delivered to schools.

Titled The Importance of Music, the plan pledges to provide opportunities for every child in the UK to learn to play a music instrument for at least one term.

Music education will largely be delivered through new ‘hubs’, while trainee primary teachers will be given additional skills to teach music education through a new module.

The National Youth Music Organisations fund will receive £500,000 per year, which will be matched by Arts Council England, while the Music and Dance Scheme will also continue to help gifted young people attend specialist schools.

A new funding formula has also been mooted, which will ensure that all areas across the country will receive the right amount of funding.

“For far too long, music education has been patchy across the country … creating a musical divide,” education secretary Michael Gove said.

“The national plan for music will deliver a music education system that encourages everyone, whatever their background, to enjoy music and help those with real talent to flourish as brilliant musicians.”

However, some music organisations have argued that funding cuts will prevent music education from truly thriving.

John Summers, managing director of the Halle in Manchester, told the Guardian that the plan is a “move in the right direction”, but stressed that “the funding is dreadful”.

“It’s all very well to have great aspirations, but if you haven’t the money to fulfil it, what is the point?” he added.

Music tuition from the government will drop to £75 million from April 2012, followed by £63 million the year after and £58 million in 2014.

Where the plan will expand is on funding for deprived children. The In Harmony programme, currently running in Liverpool, London and Norwich, will be developed further to provide intensive instrumental training to poorer children in ensembles and orchestras.