A word from Lincoln Abbotts, Director of Strategic Development, ABRSM
Music is a fantastic thing. It has spirit, energy and discipline. Music is fun and engaging. It brings people together. Music is why we at ABRSM, and everybody who has contributed to this report, do what we do: we’re passionate about music and about inspiring musical learning, participation and progression.
Making Music has brought together many of the leading people and organisations in UK music education. We are particularly pleased that the two leading music exam boards – ourselves and Trinity College London – have worked together on the project. All of the partners you see named in this report want to make a difference by collaborating, to build on the strong foundations that are in place and to secure the future of music education in the UK.
This report – the largest cross-sector venture of its kind – offers fascinating insights into the teaching, learning and playing of instruments in the UK today. It shows us that there is plenty to celebrate when it comes to music education: an increasing number of people are making music; more people are learning an instrument; new technologies are encouraging greater engagement; and government interventions (designed to encourage more children to engage in musical activity) have had a positive effect. But while there’s plenty to celebrate, this report also shows that there is still much that can be improved upon if the music education sector and policy makers work together.
It’s amazing to think that ABRSM published the first of its Making Music surveys almost 20 years ago and the last one 14 years ago. What excites us is that we have been able to build on that body of work this year, reflecting the many changes in the sector, both the successes and the challenges.
Making Music is then a research project looking at music education in 2014 and a celebration of the work of music teachers – colleagues who truly care about teaching, and who are dedicated to imparting their knowledge, insight and love of music to others.
Whether you’re reading this report as a teacher or as a learner, parent, policy maker or anyone else, I hope it offers a useful context and that the Next Steps section at its conclusion provokes debate, decisions and action towards even more opportunities for people of all ages to learn, participate and make progress in and through music.