You may recall that last week I took part in two quite different events, one local, one national. Locally I attended Ely Folk Club, nationally I attended the Music Education Council’s ‘The Future of Music Education for All: 2018 to 2020 and Beyond’.
In last week’s blog I wrote about my lived experience of profane culture as a learning music experience. The next day at the Music Education Council’s ‘The Future of Music Education for All: 2018 to 2020 and Beyond’ I heard about the Music Education Commission’s investigation into how all can be supported in sustaining their musical progression. See here for more
The emphasis on progression in learning music is interesting, a move away from music education being viewed through the lens of instrumental playing perhaps. And twitter I see picked up on this.
Marie Bessant liked
Anthony Anderson @Music_bod 22h22 hours ago
Anthony Anderson Retweeted Steven Berryman
Musical learning is multi-dimensional. . . .
Anthony Anderson added,
So those of us who work inside the school classroom will be hopeful that the commission will differentiate between music education for all and music education for all children and young people as part of a general education expressed as a subject of the school curriculum, considering its purposes alongside its benefits.
The commission’s focus is on progression and this was a concept explored by Mark Phillips HMI in the second keynote of the morning. You may know that it has been at the forefront of Ofsted’s agenda for some time.
[At worst Ofsted’s attention to rapid progression observable over a time scale of twenty minutes in the classroom had led to tyrannised music teachers. All this has gone except where a school’s senior management lags behind Ofsted’s refreshed agendas.]
The context provided by Mark was from the middle secondary school years where progression, if it could be understood at all, boiled down to the music teacher’s capacity to place worthwhile musical material/experience before their pupils. That was it and this makes good sense. Well, this was my reading of what Mark was proposing.
So we can stop agonising about progression and focus rather more on musical development as seen in the way pupils make their music, the changing ways in which they think about it, talk and write about it.
Perhaps progression has become a zombie concept.
Not for the Music Commission.