As a company that supports the work of music educators across the United Kingdom, we are always interested in how educational policies affect the status of Music in the school curriculum. Many are arguing that Music’s place as a GCSE and A level is under threat due to the imposition of English Baccalaureate and a new tiering of A level qualifications.
So, in light of this, it was good to read an article about how important a well constructed music education is for every child. Richard Gill’s article argues that music should be part of every child’s education because, in his words, ‘it stimulates creativity at a very high level’. But he goes further than that. In the closing paragraphs of his article, he quotes Iris Murdoch and says:
I apply aspects of this philosophy in saying that music education doesn’t make you musical but may provide you with the resources to discover how musical you are or how musical you can become.
“Education doesn’t make you happy – nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free – if we are – or because we’ve been educated – if we have, but because education may be the means by which we realise we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever, that of the mind, and gives us the assurance – the confidence – to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers.”
A truly educated mind has had music as part of its education. Every child in this country should have an opportunity to have a truly educated mind.
Earlier in the article, he provides a wonderful illustration of the processes of music education through which young people can discover and engage with their musicality. These, he argues, don’t depend on any one particular method (be it Dalcroze, Orff, Kodaly or even Musical Futures) but rather are about teachers developing a skilful pedagogy, with a bedrock of singing and movement at their core. It is a fascinating (and short) read that we recomend to you all.