Manifesto calls for music education hubs as a solution to the problems of primary music provision.
The call for an end to the postcode lottery of music education is at the heart of a series of proposals put forward in a major new report, Making every childs music matter, published by the Music Manifesto. Key among the reports recommendations is a proposal for the development of a network of collaborative music education hubs, which will bring together the skills, experience and resources of schools, music services, local authorities, voluntary and community organisations, musicians and the music industry to maximise music-making opportunities for all children. The report calls for a series of pilot projects to test the viability and key principles of music education hubs and school music federations, with a view to national implementation by 2011.
In total, the report details more than 50 recommendations about the future of music education in England, covering areas such as workforce development, school federations, accreditation, and music-making in and out of schools. An online musical passport scheme is proposed, to enable young people to gain recognition for their individual musical achievements, in and out of school. Adequate funding is seen as being key, with the Music Standards Fund needing to be confirmed to ensure that music services are in a position to participate fully in strengthening and improving music education provision. There is also a call for an urgent review to identify sustainable funding for community musicians while music education hubs are being established.
The views of more than 600 organisations and individuals involved in music education have been used to draw conclusions about the most effective way of embedding musical activity into young peoples lives. A case study celebrates the experiences of Manchester and Salford, where the co-ordination of effort is involving the two councils, the local music services, Hallé and the Greater Manchester Music Action Zone. The project means that every pupil in the cities can be offered a quality music-making experience, focussed around singing. The return of singing to every primary school in the country is another key recommendation set out in the report. Proposals are put forward for a national campaign to provide singing for all early years and primary children by 2012, with a significant singing element in the cultural programme of the Olympic Games, and a programme of professional development for music educators with a focus on singing within early and primary years settings.
The Music Manifesto was launched in July 2004, aimed at stimulating activity to put music at the heart of every school. Since the launch more than 670 organisations and individuals have signed up. Launching the report, Music Manifesto Champion, Marc Jaffrey, said, We are rightly proud of our music education system, but unfortunately the quality of music education on offer depends far too much on where you live. There are pockets of brilliance across the country which need to be replicated on a national scale. By encouraging better co-ordination and use of resources, the hubs will help eradicate this postcode lottery of provision.