According to Philip Viveash, a former director of music at a south London school, the combination of sustained cuts to school budgets and a burgeoning teacher recruitment crisis threatens to be calamitous for music education.
Music, along with all arts subjects in England, has been excluded from the government’s EBacc measurement of GCSEs and from the Russell Group of Universities’ list of facilitating subjects. A fast-growing number of schools are removing music entirely from the curriculum.
Like drama and sport, music needs special considerations and an environment different from the other subjects to thrive; try to squeeze it into the same box as science or history and it will surely die. Music needs time, it needs support, it needs flexibility, it needs money. It needs to be valued and it needs to be protected and fought for.
Education should be about kindling a thirst for knowledge – children discovering who they are, what brings them joy and what does not, how to work, how to learn and how to think.
Music is an essential part of that discovery. Let’s not allow music education to slip away.