What can be done to resurrect music teaching?

2019-03-13

The provision for music in English state schools has declined by 21% during the past five years, according to a study by BPI (British Phonographic Industry).


It also found that just one in four schools in deprived areas has music provision, while access to music in independent schools has jumped by 7% in the same time frame.


BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the BBC he is “profoundly concerned” by the outcomes of the report, which surveyed more than 2,000 teachers across England.


As a result, he has called for the government to intervene, describing the inequality as “deeply unfair” and suggesting that it “risks depriving our culture of future talent”.


However, a spokesperson for the Department for Education revealed that “arts education programmes receive more money than any subject other than physical education”.


In addition, they added that the DfE plans to work with music groups and practitioners “to refresh the national plan for music education” to help boost its quality.


Various studies showcase the positive impacts that music can have on learning too, both from an academic and social standing.


Despite this, one in five of those in primary school teaching jobs said there was no regular music lesson, while just 12% of schools in deprived areas have an orchestra – compared to 85% of independent schools.


BBC director general Tony Hall said that music can help to give young people more confidence when speaking at the launch of the Ten Pieces project.


By providing lesson plans and support material to primary teachers and secondary teachers, the project from the BBC encourages pupils to learn 10 new classical pieces of music, before a performance at the Proms.


Promoting music in this way is just the starting point, but it does highlight the need to put a greater focus on the teaching of creative subjects like the arts and music in schools.


And of course, primary teachers and secondary teachers have a huge role to play in making that possible.


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