These Diplomas are awarded annually by Jazz Services in association with the National Music Council Local Authority Music Education Awards Scheme which has been running for over forty years. They matter because they do two things. They are the only means of according national recognition to those music services and schools who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to jazz education. And secondly, they matter because they give national recognition to those field practitioners who are delivering jazz education and especially those who are helping to combat the widespread jazz phobia among classroom music teachers and instrumental tutors.
The Diploma is named in honour of Will Michael who, until his death in 2008, was a hugely respected jazz educator on the national stage and joint architect of this jazz education awards scheme; he was also an invaluable member of the Jazz Services Education Panel.
So far as England is concerned, this is the last time the Awards are made in the name of local authority music services. The National Plan for Music Education came into force in September 2012 and the music services underwent transmogrification into music education hubs; in some cases this meant a large scale merging with several close neighbours and severing of the tie with the local authority. Preparations for these changes represented large scale organisational turbulence which didn’t augur well for music service participation in the Awards scheme. In the event, we were heartened to receive a respectable number of submissions and look forward to a bumper crop next year by which time the new hubs will no doubt be humming jazz grooves galore!
As usual, there is a cloud on the horizon. This time in the form of the Government’s decision to exclude the arts, and therefore music, from the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which will replace GCSEs in 2017. Jazz Services has joined with all the other national music education bodies in campaigning against this retrograde step.
To conclude this introduction, my esteemed colleagues on the Jazz Services Awards Panel (Dr Catherine Tackley, Andrea Vicari and Bill Martin) and I, on behalf of Jazz Servces would like to thank:
- all those colleagues most of whom, above and beyond the call of duty, are spreading the jazz gospel nationwide;
- Yamaha Music Europe – UK for their very welcome support this year and the National Music Council of the United Kingdom, of course; and an especially big thank you to
- The Royal Academy of Music for their generosity in once again hosting the Awards’ presentation .
Chair, Jazz Services’ Education Panel
View the 2012 report...