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Musicians' Union Calls for Support to Strengthen Music Education Provision in Wales

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is calling on Welsh Government, Local Authorities, and other organisations in Wales to support and strengthen music education provision.

This follows the publication of two reports on the subject in recent weeks, and ongoing work by the MU across Wales.

MU welcomes recommendations from newly published reports

David Barnard and Andy Warnock from the MU gave evidence to, and attended the launches of, The National Assembly for Wales Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s report 'Hitting the Right Note: Inquiry into funding for and access to music education', and Professor Paul Carr’s report 'International Best Practice in Music Performance Education Models and Associated Learning Outcomes for Wales'.

The MU welcomes these reports, particularly the recommendations for:

  • Developing a national strategy or action plan for music
  • Having a national body or structure with core funding
  • A review of staff terms and conditions to ensure they are fair and consistent
  • Providing funding, support and advice for viable alternative models for music education delivery.

Support for music teachers

The Union is continuing to engage with teachers, music services, politicians, local authorities, the Music Education Council and other stakeholders and organisations across the education sector and music industry to support musicians and explore potential solutions to the current problems.

Andy Warnock, MU Regional Officer for Wales and South West England, said:

“We share the current widespread concerns about children and young people in Wales missing out on the opportunity to learn an instrument due to inconsistent provision and unequal access to music education across the country.

“We are also concerned about music teachers, who are increasingly working under poor pay and conditions with little support, but are essential for the delivery of high quality music education, which we know has a positive effect on children.

“The last 12 months have seen problems and changes across Wales, and unfortunately it’s likely that there will be further issues in the next year unless action is taken.

“We welcome the work done on the two reports that have just been launched and hope that swift action will be taken to investigate and implement the recommendations, which we are happy to assist with.”

Diane Widdison, MU National Organiser for Education and Training, said:

“Access to music education is extremely important to us at the MU, as many of our members work across the whole of the education sector, and we need the most creative and dedicated teachers to inspire the next generation of musicians who will be our future members.”

Seek support and get involved

Any teachers or musicians who are concerned about their pay and conditions, or broader issues around music education in Wales, should get in touch via teachers@theMU.org or cardiff@theMU.org.

The MU is also currently conducting research into the state of music education in the UK and advocating for music education across the UK as part of the current DCMS Select Committee inquiry. You can help with the research now.


Published: 03/07/2018
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