RNCM Principal joins expert panel to devise new music curriculum

RNCM Principal, Professor Linda Merrick, is part of an expert panel chosen to devise a new model music curriculum to help schools deliver world-class teaching.

The announcement, made today (11 January), comes as a £1.33 million funding boost is given to the Department for Education’s music education hubs, which helped hundreds of thousands of young people learn to play an instrument in whole classes in 2016/17.

The new curriculum will be developed by a group of teachers, education leaders and musicians and will be published in summer 2019. It will provide schools with a sequenced and structured template curriculum for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb said: ‘Having the opportunity to study and explore music isn’t a privilege, it’s a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum – and that’s why I’m determined that all pupils should have access to a world class music education.

‘All pupils at least up to the age of 14 should study music in school. We want to make sure their lessons are of the very highest quality and pupils leave school having experienced an excellent music education so those who wish to do so can take up opportunities to pursue musical careers.’

As well as ensuring all pupils can benefit from knowledge rich and diverse lessons, it is hoped that the curriculum will make it for easier for teachers to plan lessons and help to reduce workload.

Professor Merrick said: ‘The development of this new model curriculum is an extremely important and timely intervention. It will support teachers to deliver a meaningful and consistent musical education for their pupils, instilling a life-long love of music for its own sake, enhancing attainment across the wider curriculum and helping to develop the transferable skills essential for the workplace.

‘As Principal of one of the world’s leading conservatoires that takes its responsibility for access and participation extremely seriously, I look forward to contributing to the work of the expert steering group to ensure this exciting initiative realises its potential.’

In 2012 the government set up a network of 120 music education hubs to support the teaching of music both in and out of school. These hubs are being supported by £300million between 2016 and 2020, which forms part of an overall investment of £500million in the arts during that period, making it the second highest funded element of the curriculum behind PE.

The music hubs support the work of primary and secondary schools, with music compulsory in the National Curriculum for children up to age 14. The new model music curriculum will provide a framework for schools to base their own programmes of study on, safe in the knowledge that it is backed by some of the most influential and expert figures in music education.

Click here to read the full announcement, including all members of the panel.

11 January 2019