Liquid modern music education

Martin Fautley@DrFautley 41m41 minutes ago Coatbridge, Scotland

Not sure if this link will work, but the excellent @JLloydWebber vs Toby Young well worth watching …

Thanks to Martin for this.

It feels a bit like a re-run of C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures Debate initiated in 1959 –

Now the debate is given context by the introduction of the Ebacc, which, while including the humanities, excludes the arts. The fear is that schools in their desire to ensure high ‘performance’ will give scant attention to the arts in the curriculum.

Apart from a national campaign to include the arts in the Ebacc, leading to recent debate in parliament, the University of Sussex is surveying secondary school music teacher to gain a clearer picture of provision for music education in the light of the Ebacc factor.

At the same time Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber has announced a £2.8 million support for instrumental learning in four London secondary schools.

This level and concentration of philanthropy dwarfs the patronage available through Arts Council’s funding of the nation’s Music Hubs.

Where there are heavily sponsored philanthropic programmes of instrumental provision in secondary schools, taking the form of whole class instrumental learning, it is not uncommon for all pupils to receive two music lessons weekly in years 7, 8 and 9.

In other places pupils can expect to receive one lesson weekly in years 7 and 8, and possibly 9.

In other places music may be part of a carousel serving to reduce time further.

So, is the future of music education to be built upon philanthropic models?

Might such examples of flourishing become contagious alongside the growth of philanthropic capitalism and the privatisation of music education more generally?

State sponsored music education has after all been with us for a relatively short time. And in a liquid modern world it can easily melt into air.

2 thoughts on “Liquid modern music education

  1. pepperdog

    The philanthropic model seems to be occuring because there is a hole in state provision when it comes to learning instruments. There are many reasons for this but I think we should be welcoming any model that gets more children playing instruments, whatever instruments they are.

  2. Every child should learn to play an instrument from the age seven, and an instrument of their own choice by the age of 12 ideally. Lessons should be short and highly structured. I have never met a child who did not want to develop ‘musical skills’ and have found that children of all ages and attainment levels are highly motivated to learn to read musical notation.

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