Apocalypse now for music education in Wales and England?

Music education in many places in Wales is in a dreadful state, and the situation doesn’t seem likely to improve any time soon. The Welsh Assembly Government’s long-awaited music education review was published six months ago now, and yet very little’s happened since.

You can read more about this in my article (Music education in Wales – a warning for England?) published in Music Education UK and initially Sounding Board, the community music magazine (see other blog post).

In the same magazine, there’s with an article from Mark Jaffrey (previously Music Manifesto Champion for England) in which he describes the situation for music education in England as ‘a burning platform’.

It’s all doom and gloom when you look at the strategic picture, yet in classrooms, community centres, music centres, youth centres and studios, the amazing work that’s happening is changing children and young people’s lives. How long will that continue though?

It would be a start if the larger organisations involved in children and young people’s music-making pulled together and showed some strong leadership and truly open-minded collaboration: across sectors (youth work, arts,  education, community development) and perhaps even across borders.

Easier said than done, of course, but as Mark Jaffrey says, “A strong national body that had parents, school music teachers, head teachers and wider child development and educational experts alongside community and instrumental musicians and tutors would go a long way to seeing off the threats … If we can’t work together to make this happen, what hope is there of working together in hubs locally?”

Here are the articles: the first pdf is a shortened version of the magazine containing both articles, the second a fuller one with an editorial intro, news pages, etc (but you’ll still need to subscribe at www.musiceducationuk.com to get the full-length version).

Music Education UK June 2011 excerpt – short version
Music Education UK June 2011 excerpt – longer version

Photo: Arts Active’s Music Mix project at St David’s Hall. Photographer: Chris Dawson.


6 thoughts on “Apocalypse now for music education in Wales and England?

  1. Jonathan Savage says:

    Thanks for your post and the link to your and Marc’s work in the newly launched Zone magazine. As I’ve written about today, the situation facing music education is desperate and, whilst I have always found Marc to be someone who has a calm approach to these things, it seems clear that he is very worried about the consequences of ill thought through and hastily delivered educational policies. If Marc is worried, we, and your readers, should be worried too. Let’s hope that Marc’s public call to action is acted on in a positive way by individuals, and that our music education national bodies get the much needed kick up the %^&* and get campaigning!

  2. anitanee says:

    Thanks Jonathan, and for the alert to your post. I don’t usually write quite so negatively either, but the situation has caused me to do so. It really is shocking, in both countries.

    • anitanee says:

      Hi there – thanks for asking, yes I do use Twitter, if you go to any of the pages on the blog there are links to my Twitter account etc, which is @anitanee. My blog is very out of date but I’m about to start posting again soon.

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