In the United Kingdom, at least one hour of music per week is mandatory for all school children.

On June 25, the UK Department of Education notified the public the new version of its National Plan for Music Education which proves the government’s ambition to “Make access to music easy for all children, regardless of their material condition or geographical background.”

Music education is not an optional activity or reserved for extra-curricular hours and weekends, we can read in the press release on the website of the Department of Education. “Music is at the heart of the school and its community. It is part of the national curriculum for ages 5 to 14, and must be taught methodically and followed, such as math, English or science.. “

In the subtitle document “The power of music to change lives”it is therefore stipulated that schools have an obligation to offer “at least one hour of compulsory musical instruction” every week. A budget of 25 million pounds (approximately 29 million euros) will be set aside for the purchase of instruments and equipment for schools, including instruments tailored for students with special needs. 79 million pounds (approximately 92 million euros) per year, until 2025, is intended for the program of Music Hubs, a network of private legal entities whose primary vocation is to guarantee access , opportunities and excellence in music education for all children and young people. in the territory.

This new version was developed after an extensive consultation involving 5,000 people, from music education professionals to young musicians, were invited to make their suggestions.

“The new National Plan represents years of work, says the executive director of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)a company representing a wide range of profiles of professional musicians in the United Kingdom. ISM will study it carefully and listen to the opinions of the teachers. But on first reading many things were so very positive to us and our members were happy to see their suggestions incorporated into the document. ”

Compared to the version published in 2011, the new Plan places greater emphasis on everyone’s access to quality music education, on supporting particularly talented students up to professionalization, and on involving students with special needs thanks to customized methods and tools.

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A music -educated society has an interest in the country

The music community welcomed the news with enthusiasm: “We know that music is one of the most bizarre forces breaking down all barriers, and it’s good that the government has heard what a lot of professionals have been saying for a long time, British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber commented on Twitter. If we can all come together to bring music back to our schools, we can only make our country better.

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The chief executive of Britain’s leading music industry organization UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, commented : “Continued investment in music education is essential if we want to unlock the huge creative potential of young people and straighten out opportunities across the country. Music is a national asset that brings billions to our economy, improves our health and well-being, and strengthens our reputation in the world, and it all relies on a strong network of talent.A comprehensive music education brings many benefits to children though what they choose to do with life, and it is in our national interest to have a music -educated society. “

On the side of the unions, caution is needed. Chris Walters of the Union of Musicians alert : “The Plan is still in its infancy, and we are keeping a close eye on its key initiatives being developed and launched. Ultimately, the proof of its value lies in the results for children and young people, and it is important to evaluate it effectively. “

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