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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Music learning is fading out from schools. We’ll lose more than the screech of recorders | Voices - The Bristol Cable

Media Lab graduate Marcus Smith goes back to his old school to find out what’s happening to music education.

Photo: Praiwan Wasanruk
Music lessons were some of my fondest moments of school. But in a city renowned for live music and across the country, music learning is under threat. To find out what is going on, I caught up with my old music teacher at King’s Oak Academy in Kingswood.

“The most important thing about music is being able to work and play together in a team… also building self confidence,” says Tim, who has been teaching music for over 30 years at various schools in east Bristol.

“Anybody that gets a qualification in music or can play something, demonstrates stick-ability,” he explains. “Any job in the world… a cleaner or the world’s top chemist, you’ve got to stick, if you’ve got to solve a problem, there’s no point in giving up after three goes.”

Despite the widely agreed benefits of learning music, a survey by Sussex University found schools in UK are cutting back music education...

Video killed the radio star  
A new report also suggests a disconnect between how young people use technology to access and create music, compared to how music is taught in schools. However, this latest and accessible technology could save music education from disappearing.

“What I’ve done is almost taken away the clarinet and saxophone players, and now we have lots of singers, guitar players, keyboard players…” Tim explains.

“In one way, I’ve killed off music as a specialist subject, but the positive is that lots of kids come to school and think ‘We’re gonna make music! We’re not gonna talk all day about Beethoven’s nine symphonies. Not to say that’s not important, but in the real world… it ain’t!”

Source: The Bristol Cable