We have come a long way. Despite the intense competition for curriculum time, a school in Solihull can sum up its approach to music in these terms:
“Music is considered by the staff to be as important to the students we teach as the food we eat. It is a corporate expression of our love and concern for each other and binds us together as a school community”
Lest it be thought we are excessively romantic in our approach to music education, here is an antidote from a Hertfordshire pupil’s feedback to a primary school string initiative:
“Playing the violin helps me to get into my bunk bed by strengthening my arms”
The good news of the last two years was no accident: we report another record number of submissions – 45 this time; and overall commitment, range of musics covered and volume of activity continues to grow. More and more services are concentrating on key stage 2 provision. We applaud that and look forward to more attention being paid to the top of key stage 2. While this is not always easy, we like to see more whole-class provision. And use of wider opportunities’ resources is not always as imaginative as it might be. But these are not serious criticisms. It is quite a humbling experience to see and read about what is being achieved by music services, teachers, tutors, advisers and, for those of us fortunate enough to hear them, the pupils and students whose engagement with music has become musical!
We make no apology for yet another acknowledgement of our indebtedness to the DfES and the Welsh Assembly for their absolutely vital specific grants to LEAs for music education. Whilst it is not yet universal, this musical renaissance, and we use the term advisedly, could not have happened without that support.
The first part of our report is devoted to those submissions that, while not this year receiving an award, do nonetheless qualify for an honourable mention for what they have achieved in the year and for the promise, in some of them, of even bigger and better things next year!
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