On 1st October 2019, we published the essential findings of our National Music Educators' Survey, revealing the significant barriers faced by young people looking to compose and create their own music. The first report in the UK to focus specifically on creativity and composing, Can Compose offers unique perspective on an area often overlooked.
Drawing on responses from over 500 educators, the report found that:
- 97% agree there should be more opportunities for students to compose their own music
- 42% report a fall in young people’s confidence to compose between Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) and Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)
- Only 27% of school teachers signpost to external opportunities, meaning few young people are able to progress their talent or interest
- Over 600 barriers reported that prevent young people from creating their own music in the UK
- Near unanimous agreement that creating and composing should be a central element of music education
Our analysis highlights the urgent need for change in perceptions, provision, policy and practice. In response, the report offers 21 key recommendations for the sector to address these urgent issues.
Sound and Music is committed to working with others to implement this report’s recommendations. We want to see a world where more young people have the opportunity, skills and confidence to create their own music; where their creativity and imagination can flourish; and where the composers of the future, key to the success of many of the UK’s creative industries, are nurtured.
If you too believe we must support the composers and creators of tomorrow, please share this report along with our hashtag #CanCompose.
Comment from our team...
Susanna Eastburn MBE, Chief Executive, Sound and Music said:
“This matters because now, more than ever, the creative, problem-solving and collaborative capabilities that composing uniquely requires and develops are vital for the future – both in terms of ensuring that we have a new generation of talented composers contributing to the future of our culture, but also because these skills are precisely those which our young people will need in order to thrive in and navigate an increasingly complex, changing and automated world.”
Judith Robinson, Head of Education, Sound and Music said:
“We want to see a world where more young people have the opportunity, skills and confidence to create their own music; where their creativity and imagination can flourish; and where the composers of the future, key to the success of many of the UK’s creative industries, are nurtured.”
Judith Weir CBE, Composer, Master of the Queen’s Music and Sound and Music honorary patron said:
“This wide-ranging, concise and sympathetic report covers pathways to composition, but expresses much more, about the formative importance of music in everyone’s life. Despite well-documented concerns about music’s place in the school curriculum at the present time, the report somehow conveys optimism about the simple steps that are needed, and how they can be accomplished.”