In this, my first year of having the
privilege of chairing the National Music Council Education Awards
panel, I have been bowled over by the difficulty of separating the
great applications from the merely good. Whilst we would have been
happy to have seen more detail in some areas, and some submissions
did hide their light under a bushel somewhat, I am gratified to report
that we have had no submissions about which nothing positive could
be said. Indeed I am informed that the quality has probably been
at its highest this year, reflecting well on the hard work and indeed
hard cash that has been going into music provision in Local Authorities
this year. The Tune In Year of Music initiative in 2009/10 has undoubtedly
raised the profile of music provision during the year in question,
and as I write the Henley Review is to be welcomed as a long-overdue “all
ends up” look at the good points and bad points of the music
education system in England.
UK music education may well be the best in world. It is incredibly
diverse, reflecting our multi-cultural society effectively in many
areas. It is full of talent, whether that be in teachers, workshop
leaders, pupils and even humble administrators! In the best areas
it offers children the most amazing opportunities to make music and
to compose. It benefits from an extraordinary amount of attention
from so many people, and an enormous amount of research is going
on into the holistic benefits to pupils provided by musical education.
And yet there are still some Local Authorities who don’t “get
it”. The National Music Council Awards are lucky enough to
reflect the best practice in the field, and hold a mirror up to those
Authorities and their Music Services who do the best work in the
best way, and benefit their children accordingly. Getting the message
across to those Authorities who are less successful in these areas
is a whole different matter, and one that we hope the Henley Review
My grateful thanks go the panel who have put countless hours of
effort into assessing the applications. This year they were, in alphabetical
order, Leonora Davies, Kathryn Deane, James Hannam, Fiona Harvey,
Ben Lane, Alok Nayak, and Alistair Salmond.
And we are also very grateful for the continuing association with
the PRS for Music Foundation, who are once again offering their awards
for provision in creativity and new music, and Jazz Services Ltd,
who provide special awards for the provision of education in jazz.
These awards go a long way towards to enabling us to recognise good
practice wherever it occurs.
Thanks must also go to both the Federation of Music Services and
the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, as well as Richard
Hallam, National Music Participation Director in England, for their
promotion of the awards. We are grateful for all your support.
But the last word of thanks must surely go, on behalf of pupils
of all ages, to the music teachers, staffs of music services, workshop
leaders, and indeed all those who contribute to our world-class music
education. Without you, the UK would be a much less musical, indeed
Chair, Awards Panel