As part of the annual Music Mark conference in November 2019, Susanna Eastburn MBE, Chief Executive of Sound and Music calls for urgent and meaningful change to perceptions, provision, practice and policy in and around music education including the formation of an Alliance for Composing in Music Education to ensure the future of creativity in music.
In October 2019, Sound and Music’s #CanCompose report revealed serious structural deficiencies in how young people are supported to create their own music.
The #CanCompose report also highlighted that music educators were almost unanimous in valuing the positive impact that creating their own music can have on young people’s sense of identity and wellbeing.
In her keynote speech, Susanna makes a call to action to music educators to come together, share knowledge and work to ensure that composing takes its place alongside performing, singing, reflecting and listening as one of the fundamental building blocks of music education. She calls for the music education sector to work together to ensure that in a future world where creative thinking and imagination will be the essential skills people need to thrive, music education can fulfil its vital role in supporting the development of these skills.
Susanna Eastburn MBE said:
“At Sound and Music, we are looking forward to working with partners across the country to ensure that composing is embedded as one of the fundamental elements of every young person’s music education. We were delighted that almost everybody who responded to the #CanCompose survey recognizes the positive contribution that learning to create music has on identity and wellbeing.”
Sound and Music’s commitments
- Share information about opportunities and resources for young composers, as part of a growing central hub for creativity and composing in music education
- Shine a spotlight on good practice across the country
- Create an Alliance for Composing in Music Education – a national network of organisations supporting young composers and creating progression routes, launching in 2020
Sound and Music’s Call To Action
Things will only change if we work together to share information and provide pathways that cross geography and organisations. We would like to work together to:
- Share all the information that we received on the 250 opportunities for young composers you told us about in the survey – work with us to augment this information by filling out our form here>>
- Shine a spotlight on where there is good practice – We want to be generous about sharing fantastic examples, please help us!
- Create an Alliance for Composing in music education – a national network of organisations supporting young composers and creating progression routes. We want to launch this next year and are looking for strategic partners across the UK
What else can you do?
- Think about how your organisation can support young composers, for example through creating opportunities for participation, continuing professional development for educators and drawing on the expertise of composers working within your organisation
- Ask your music education hub or leadership team what they are doing and if they’re aware of the opportunities, resources and support available
- And please play a role in ensuring that there is wider understanding that a music education is more than learning to play an instrument and singing