Since 2012, and in response to recommendations in the National Plan for Music Education, the government has been changing the way that music education is delivered outside (but in support of) the schools curriculum. The idea is that no single organisation can deliver everything a young person might want/need from music, but by working together they can make it easier for young people to find the music pathway that’s right for them.
This means the partners from many different areas of work to do with children and young people, including schools, are now working together in each county/borough as music education hubs.
In Swindon, as part of the Make Music Swindon Music Education Hub, and as we’ve said in our business plan:
“We want all children and young people in Swindon to take part in music making activities that excite and challenge them, raise their aspirations and give them the opportunity to develop their talents as well as to develop as people. We will do this by providing, coordinating and signposting musical opportunities across the borough, by developing and sharing good practice, and by advocating the value of music to pupils, parents, schools and other stakeholders. Together, we will make sure that all children and young people in Swindon have the opportunity – within and outside schools – to play a musical instrument and sing, create and perform their own original music, experience music in a wide variety of styles and genres, and find progression routes that are right for them.”
There are already lots of activities out there, but we all need to signpost them better. Working together will help us to do this, as well as make better use of our resources. In some cases we may need to change what we do and how we do it. We need to make sure we are relevant and affordable to young people and those who work with them, now and in the future.
To help us, we will be finding out just what is available to young people, what’s needed, and how to encourage more young people to get involved through an audit and needs analysis. We’ve already been asking lots of questions – of teachers, parents and organisations working with young people, and we’re developing our plans around what they’ve told us, and will continue to do so.