The Musicians’ Union (MU) has released its fourth annual report into the state of music education in England.
Its findings highlight that teachers have been left worse off as a result of changes to music education funding, and that inconsistent provision and inequality of access remain significant problems for the sector.
The MU report makes a number of recommendations, including:
- reasonable minimum rates of pay for the workforce,
- a call to raise the status of music teaching, and
- support for a broader curriculum.
Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, says:
“Five years after the National Plan for Music Education, many young people still do not have the opportunity to experience and enjoy music as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
“Our members working in music education also report increasingly difficult working conditions as cuts to local authority budgets begin to take effect, as well as a lack of a cohesive government policy in education causing the fragmentation of services.
“The postcode lottery of music education provision is also becoming a financial lottery, with children only able to access music lessons if their parents are able to pay for them.
“Although many Music Education Hubs and schools are doing great work, the national picture is patchy to say the least, and too many young people are missing out on the chance to play an instrument or to progress beyond the initial stages.
“The music industry is, quite rightly, under pressure to increase the diversity of musicians across the board – whether in orchestras, bands, or studios – but this initiative will never succeed if the government does not get to grips with music education in order to ensure that music is a skill that everyone gets a chance to learn.”