UK Launches National Plan for Music Education

The government of the United Kingdom recently released a new plan that focuses on "the power of music to change lives"

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The Power of Music to Change Lives initiative is outlined in 88-pages, revamping the UK's approach to music education.

In the plan, schools will be asked to provide “high-quality curriculum music for at least one hour a week.” Additionally, £25 million in funding to help schools purchase musical instruments and equipment, including modified instruments for students with disabilities.

Other parts of the program include implementing music in every school’s leadership structure, with a designated music lead or head of department. A pilot Music Progression Fund will be started to support disadvantaged children with significant musical potential, enthusiasm, and commitment.

"Excellent music education opens opportunities, but it is not simply a means to an end: it is also an end in itself," the plan's forward reads. "It gives children and young people an opportunity to express themselves, to explore their creativity, to work hard at something, persevere and shine. These experiences and achievements stay with them and shape their lives."

Another aspect is that the Music Education Hubs program, which is currently providing opportunities for students to learn an instrument, perform in a choir, or form a band, will be getting £79 million every year until 2025. With this funding, the hope is to "build a sustainable local ‘eco-system’ for music education, through partnerships, with progression, access, and inclusion central to their work."

The plan was signed by Robin Walker, MP Minister for School Standards, and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Minister for the Arts.

"The achievements of music education to date are undoubtedly due first and foremost to the dedicated efforts of teachers, tutors and education leaders, in and beyond the classroom," they write. "We want to thank them, not least for their tireless work to keep music alive during the Covid-19 pandemic. This new plan seeks to guide, support and inspire them to continue their life-changing work."

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