Education Minister Nick Gibb plans to develop a model music curriculum amid a nexus of policy that has already driven students away from creative subjects, writes Sarah Derbyshire. She asks: where to from here?
'The state of play of music education provision, from early years through to emerging professionals, continues to be a matter of concern to all in the music industry and something we monitor at Orchestras Live. I was encouraged, attending contrasting concerts earlier this year, to feel that we were beginning to see strong green shoots of change - towards a more equitable gender balance on stage, repertoire featuring newly commissioned work and work by female composers across the ages, all enthusiastically received by substantial audiences. It seems timely this month, early in the new academic year, to revisit the topic and see if my optimism was well-founded.
A shift is taking hold in the programming, presentation and marketing of classical music. The gender balance on stage is improving, at last; musicians engage with their audiences direct from the stage and young players not only rise to the challenge but fully expect that their professional performing lives will be more holistic, engaging with audiences both on and off the platform.
The evidence on stage would suggest that the music education system continues to be a pipeline for fine, committed players. That interventions and initiatives to ensure greater inclusion of diverse performers from all social and cultural backgrounds, who are representative of the audiences to whom they wish to perform, are bearing fruit.
BUT – and it’s a big but – what will this all look like in 20 years’ time? Will that pipeline still exist?' ... Keep reading on Orchestras Live