NYTA music producer at SOMAC festival Gloucester

Music education is not serving urban music

Urban music is an economic success story, but music education is not serving the young creators of this work, many of whom come from diverse and working-class backgrounds, according to Pamela McCormick, founder and director of Urban Development.

Urban Development was founded in 2000 to develop talent in the urban pop genre among inner-city youth, operating in some of the country’s poorest and most diverse boroughs.

Its core purpose is to feed the British urban music scene, including grime, from grassroots level, to add commercial value. Grime has emerged as one of the UK’s biggest cultural and economic success stories. Reaching an increasingly diverse audience, one that transcends cultural boundaries, there is no better example of cultural democracy.

Through research and evaluations, Urban Development has uncovered some startling truths in relation to music education:

• There are not enough BAME children accessing it
• There is a core repertoire of mainly classical and chamber music
• The Western classical approach is outdated and not inclusive of pop and urban genres
• There is a worrying dropout rate of disadvantaged young teens
• There is a low diversity of student population at traditional centres of excellence
• There are not enough ‘deep specialists’ in mid or advanced levels in commercial music training.
• School funding is not rising in line with inflation.

SOURCES:
Arts Proffesional: https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/article/where-are-next-stormzys-and-adeles?utm_content=buffer3de6b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Urban Development: http://www.urbandevelopment.co.uk/

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