The Department for Education has announced it will refresh the National Plan for Music Education, with the help of various experts and professionals in the music industry.
The new plan will involve views from musicians, specialist teachers, young people and their parents, gathered via an ongoing Call for Evidence, to reflect advances in music technology and the way music is now created, recorded and produced. It is thought that reshaping the plan will create more opportunities for children of all backgrounds to take part in musical education, including learning to play an instrument, perform in a choir or a band, and develop a lifelong love of music.
The Call for Evidence involves specific questions on areas experts have said are particularly important, including SEND (Special Education & Needs Division) and inclusivity; music technology and music education hubs.
Nick Gibb, UK School Standards Minister said: “All children, regardless of their background, should get the opportunity to play musical instruments, learn to sing and learn how to read and write music in the classroom.
“I want to continue to level up opportunities so all young people can get the best out of their music education. We can only achieve this if we reflect on the latest advances in music and work together with experts in the music industry and specialist teachers, as well as reflecting on young people’s experiences.”
The new National Plan will be published in Autumn 2020 and builds on the recently announced £85 million for a further year of current music and art programmes, as well as the manifesto commitment to offer an arts premium’ to secondary schools to help young people widen their horizons.
Chief Executive of the Arts Council, Dr Darren Henley, said: “Learning to perform and compose music is a life-changing experience, unlocking decades of discovery, enjoyment and creativity. The Government’s commitment to a new National Plan for Music Education is an exciting step in nurturing the next generation of creative talent across England.
“These young people will go on to become the music industry professionals and the audiences of the future. It’s important that everyone who cares about music takes part in this consultation so that all young people get the chance to fulfil their music potential.”
The new plans are backed by famous English composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, who said he hopes the move will mark ‘the beginning of seeing music back where it belongs: as a central part of our schools’ curriculum’.
“Every child should have the right to free music education as a vital part of the school curriculum. Music is an empowering force for good,” he said.
“I am very pleased that the Department for Education has taken on board the proven achievements of the Music In Secondary Schools Trust. Under its aegis, 8,000 children now have full access to music whereas before there were none. Parents report that their children now have pride in their accomplishments and that their self-esteem, confidence and self-worth have grown.”