“Inspirational input from professional musicians” at the heart of new National Music Plan

The Association of British Orchestras today welcomed the publication of the National Plan for Music Education by the Department for Education and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Plan, which ring-fences funding of over £200m for the next three years, is the first national music plan to be published and stretches until 2020. It recognises the importance of music in the lives of young people, and at its heart, promises a commitment to involving inspirational professional musicians and orchestras in the delivery of high quality music education in partnership with schools and local music education hubs.

The ABO particularly welcomes the increase in funding for the extension of In Harmony, the Sistema England project which has been so successful in Liverpool, Lambeth and Norwich. ABO members the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been key partners in two of these projects and the inspiration provided by the musicians has notably changed children’s lives over the past two and a half years.

An important strand of the new National Music Plan is a clearly defined progression route from Key Stage 1 and the ABO supports the Plan’s commitment that exceptional talent will be nurtured by the National Youth Music Organisations, including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which will be key to developing the next generation of professional musicians.

Michael Eakin, Chair of the ABO said: “We welcome the government’s commitment to music education. A high quality music education is fundamental to any child’s development. At the ABO we want every child to have the opportunity to enjoy making music and to fulfil their potential to whatever level that may be. Hearing an orchestra play live for the first time is an incredible moment for children and can inspire them to take up music themselves. We believe that the involvement of professional musicians and orchestras is a key part of music education right from an early age. ABO orchestras will be a key part of the new Music Education Hubs, building on their experience and track record in involving young people with music making and enjoyment of the highest quality.”

Mark Pemberton, Director of the ABO said: “We welcome the publication of the National Music Plan and look forward to seeing our members play an active role in the music education hubs. The recognition that there needs to be specialist ongoing training for musicians involved in music education work and that the hubs will have resources to facilitate this is particularly welcome. A key strand of our conference in January will be examining CPD opportunities for orchestral musicians.”


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