Last Friday saw Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, launch his London Music Pledge to put music front and centre for London schools and provide opportunities for all children to progress in music.
Whether you’re independent or state, a primary, secondary or specialist school, London schools have the capacity to encourage students to take music as seriously as other ‘traditional’ subjects like mathematics and science.
Music isn’t a ‘nice to have’, he says, it’s essential.
Over the next 18 months, the Mayor’s Music Fund and City Hall are investing £1.8m in London’s students and teachers and to help schools make the most of the initiative, there are five pledges including:
- Specialist advice for headteachers
“Music can be a tough subject for heads and senior leaders to get to grips with,” says Darren Henley OBE, Chair of The Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce.
Pledge one is to provide headteachers with access to ‘London Music Champions’ – accomplished musicians or headteachers with outstanding track records with music.
- CPD and resources for teachers
Music Excellence London is a City Hall funded CPD scheme. KS3 music teachers can access world-class professional development, allowing them to implement the London curriculum, bringing London’s amazing people, places and heritage into day-today classroom teaching.
- Jargon free advice for parents and carers
Pledge three is to help parents and carers navigate their way through the range of music activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, jargon free. The Music Education Taskforce will be researching what information parents and carers want to know, and in what format.
- Nurturing young musicians
To ensure that talent, not money, is at the top of the agenda, the Mayor’s Music Fund has scholarships for KS2/3 students to learn an instrument and £250,000 to enable thousands of London students the chance to learn with top professional musicians and play in iconic London venues.
- Celebrating schools and young musicians
Schools and students will be encouraged to enter the London Music Awards – a star-studded celebration of London’s outstanding musicians, young and old. A new category has been created to recognise schools with an outstanding commitment to music.
It’s not just a one-way process, though. In return, Mr Johnson needs headteachers, teachers, musicians, music hubs and parents to make their own pledges to get serious about music.
Make your pledge
Find out more about the Mayor’s Music Pledge and how you can get involved: http://londoned.org.uk/useful-info/