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COMMENT: "Music education should be at the heart of the curriculum"

Daniel Gumble

Jon Parkinson, a director of specialist orchestral instrument supplier, John Packer, looks at the far-reaching benefits of a healthy music education system… 

Just about everyone in our business relies to some degree on healthy music tuition in the broad church that is our education system.

In case you didn’t know, practical tuition of orchestral instruments is currently experiencing a chronic collapse in large areas of the UK. Sooner or later (probably sooner) this is going to hit your business. Hard.

There is an almost perfect storm of reasons for this situation. We know the MIA is striving to deal with this issue at a high level, but there is unlikely to be a short term fix.
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Isolated pockets of musicality are no good. For the industry to be healthy, music has to be healthy in the education system. So the retail industry has to roll up its sleeves and get stuck in.

One of the problems is that primary schools aren’t generating new players. Their focus is elsewhere, playing the government academic league table game. The irony is that a healthy music department in a school actually aids in the playing of the school’s academic game, but often there isn’t a connection in the mind of the head teacher. Lots of music means better academic results, better socialisation/behaviour and less absenteeism to name just three major benefits.

So, whatever your broad targets are for the year ahead, make sure that they include a full on crusade to get more music happening, particularly in your local primary schools: engage with them, tell them that the stats prove music isn’t just ‘nice’ to have in a school – it’s a necessity.

If we can contribute to the regeneration of music at primary level then it will percolate up through the secondary’s and we can all look forward to a sustainable future through a sustainable symbiotic relationship.

If you have education news or if you would like to voice your views on the music education sector, contact Ronnie Dungan on or call him on 01992 535646.

Tags: education , music education , comment , jon parkinson

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