Music Education – the HUGE opportunity for our industry

On Thursday 24th October at the Victory Services Club, the team at Warwick Music all attended an MIA event in London called ‘Music Education – the HUGE opportunity for our industry’.

The event was designed to invite a range of industry and education organisations to join together and discuss how best get involved in future music education opportunities. Prior to the day Chris and Steve recorded a short clip about why they were excited about the day.

The day began with a welcome by David Barnard and Paul McManus, and then a few ‘scene setting’ introductions, including one from our CEO Steve.

Steve shared with the room some insights on the changing market, how these changes can provide many opportunities for creativity and innovation, and how by working together the music industry can lever these opportunities to the benefit of everyone who wants to make music.

There were three discussion panels that followed:

  • Music Education – the outlook – music in schools, hubs and the wider community
  • The growth of private providers – successes, challenges and opportunities
  • Education – the new frontier. Developing new opportunities for the industry

The panels, made up of a variety of representatives from both public and private businesses and organisations, generated some really interesting discussions. Key themes that ran through each were:

  • Demand – contrary to what we sometimes read in mainstream media there is huge demand for music education. We heard many positive statistics, research and success stories – summed up by Mark Burke, from Charanga who said ‘the demand is there, we just need to supply to it in a way that is relevant.’
  • Relevancy of music education in fact was something that came up repeatedly whatever the audience. Mark Pierce, who shared some insights from the recent Youth Music report; The Sound of the Next Generation, said that one of the key aspects to delivering music education well is working with young people on their own terms.
  • Quality – another key component to success was the quality of the work you do; whether that be ensuring you are Offsted approved, providing great working conditions for teachers, or making high quality instruments (that one’s us) its got to be good. Use what you are best at, make it better and your offer will be strong.
  • Collaboration – recognition of the fact that by working together, utilising relevant partnerships, we increase the chances of success. Charly Richardson of Lewisham Music Hub said that by collaborating with other businesses and organisations in meaningful partnership you can not only achieve more for the people you serve, but will all reap the benefits.
  • Variety of opportunities. Yes there are challenges and there can be many barriers to music education, however every barrier is an opportunity: solutions to access whether physical or financial, ensemble teaching, combining learning with additional services like childcare (such as Amy Cunningham’s Strings Club) – many opportunities to make a real difference right through from early years to later in life.

It was a thought provoking day, a positive day and one that we at Warwick Music Group hope will inspire everyone who works so hard, like we do, to go out and seize those opportunities – lets all make the joy of music accessible and fun!