London’s Islington Council has announced Music Education Islington, a new service for schools in the borough, in partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the internationally renowned conservatoire in the City of London. This is the first time a conservatoire has led the delivery of music education for a local authority in England.
Music Education Islington will be accessible to every Islington child and young person aged five to 18, regardless of their background, educational attainment or ability to pay.
Islington’s school pupils and teachers will be able to make the most of world-class music education and resources, as well as gaining access to a wide range of music and cross-arts experiences at both Guildhall School and at the Barbican, via its creative alliance with the Guildhall School. The partnership will also offer an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s executive member for children, young people and families, said:
‘Islington sits at the heart of one of the most important cultural cities in the world, attracting talented and passionate creative minds from far and wide.
Inspiring young people and broadening horizons
‘We have made it our aim to capitalise on this, so that all of Islington’s young people have every opportunity to thrive.
‘I look forward to seeing Guildhall School teachers bring their infectious enthusiasm and passion for music into our schools. We want to inspire our young people, broaden their horizons and fire their imagination.’
Every child in the borough will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through ensemble teaching, and there is a singing strategy to ensure every pupil sings regularly.
Sean Gregory, director of learning and engagement at the Guildhall School and Barbican Centre, said:
‘We are very excited that Music Education Islington is ready to launch and feels fully aligned with the School’s vision to help young people find their creative voice.
‘Our pioneering cultural alliance between a conservatoire and a world-class art centre will create transformative opportunities and help to equip the talent of the next generation through this new hub partnership.’
The new programme also offers training for music teachers and freelancers in local schools, enabling them to teach more effectively and make the most of the opportunities on offer.