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National New Music charity to create Alliance for Composing in Music Education

Susanna Eastburn MBE, Chief Executive of Sound and Music, the national charity for new music, has called for ‘urgent and meaningful change to perceptions, provision, practice and policy in and around music education’ including the formation of an Alliance for Composing in Music Education to ensure the future of creativity in music.

Earlier this year, Sound and Music’s CanCompose report revealed serious structural deficiencies in how young people are supported to create their own music. The CanCompose report also highlighted that music educators were almost unanimous in valuing the positive impact that creating their own music can have on young people’s sense of identity and wellbeing.

In her keynote speech to delegates at the annual Music Mark conference in Sheffield, Eastburn made a call to action to music educators to come together, share knowledge and work to ensure that composing takes its place alongside performing, singing, reflecting and listening as one of the fundamental building blocks of music education. She called for the music education sector to work together to ensure that in a future world where creative thinking and imagination will be the essential skills people need to thrive, music education can fulfil its vital role in supporting the development of these skills.

Sound and Music has announced a series of commitments to support this development including:

  • Share information about opportunities and resources for young composers, as part of a growing central hub for creativity and composing in music education
  • Shine a spotlight on good practice across the country
  • Create an Alliance for Composing in Music Education – a national network of organisations supporting young composers and creating progression routes, launching in 2020

To support these commitments, Sound and Music has opened a call for organisations and educators across the country to share the great work they are doing for inclusion in the central hub for creativity and composing, and to get involved as a strategic partner in the Alliance for Composing in Music Education. Music educators and organsiations can sign up here.

Susanna Eastburn MBE said:

‘At Sound and Music we are looking forward to working with partners across the country to ensure that composing is embedded as one of the fundamental elements of every young person’s music education. We were delighted that almost everybody who responded to the CanCompose survey recognises the positive contribution that learning to create music has on identity and wellbeing.’

Header photo: A student working on their piece at the Sound and Music Summer School 2019 © Martin Wess