National Plan consultation draws positive response from businesses and tech organisations

Students using Cubase © Steinberg

The Department for Education’s current Call for Evidence, announced on 9 February 2020, inviting proposals for the 2020 edition of the National Plan for Music Education, highlights the importance and potential of technology to support teaching and learning.

Businesses and music technology-related organisations have responded favourably to this explicit reference to technology.

MusicFirst is the digital education division of the international publishers Wise Music Group. MusicFirst’s cloud-based software is used by more than 500,000 educators and students globally, including a large user base in the UK.

Embrace the newest music technology now

Jim Frankel, Director of MusicFirst, said:

‘This important initiative is a welcome announcement by the DfE and we appreciate the recognition that technology has been given as playing a vital role in many aspects of music education. A clear vision for schools and hubs is needed in this regard for them to embrace the newest music technology now and as it evolves so that it can truly become embedded into the curriculum.

‘We look forward to being a leader in the quest to equip students to have the opportunity to extend their learning and creativity beyond the classroom using the best tools and resources for the job. With a robust plan in place, teachers will feel more confident they are delivering what is such a broad curriculum in the best way possible.’

There are two music industry bodies in the UK with music technology expertise: Joint Audio Media Education Services (JAMES), the public sector regulatory body which accredits higher education courses, and advocacy organisation TiME (Technology in Music Education).

David Ward, Executive Director of JAMES and Managing Director of TiME, said:

‘Contributions to the DfE’s Call for Evidence from music industry organisations with expertise in music technology and production are vital to the consultation process. The new National Plan for Music Education should reflect good industry practice including career paths and good financial choices in terms of equipment and processes.’

Offering creative music making opportunities to students of all abilities and background

Richard Llewelyn is UK Education Manager for the German company Steinberg Media Technologies, which offers a range of software for music production and music notation, including free education editions, as well as training for teachers, said:

‘Steinberg welcomes the government’s Call for Evidence and is delighted that music technology has been highlighted as an important subject needing greater support and understanding. The advances within music technology have been tremendous, not only in creating, recording and production, but also in its availability of access, simplicity of use and exciting developments such as virtual reality applications.

‘Music technology offers creative music making opportunities to students of all abilities and backgrounds. It is extremely useful and effective within SEND and is a growing area of interest within music hubs, which we have been working with for several years.

‘We hope that the new 2020 National Plan for Music Education will reflect and promote a greater use of music technology within schools with funded support and teacher training opportunities.’

Working together for a brighter future

Music Teachers’ Board (MTB) is a relative newcomer to the music education ‘ecosystem’, and makes extensive use of cloud technology to streamline its services as an international examinations board. Mark Kesel, MTB Chief Examiner, said:

‘The Call for Evidence is a great opportunity to increase accessibility to all, whatever their background or educational needs. We totally agree with the DfE’s assertion that ‘great music education is a partnership between classroom teachers, specialist teachers, professional performers and a host of other organisations’ and if we all contribute to this call for evidence we can work together to forge a brighter future for all those who aspire to learn to play, create and enjoy music. There are a multitude of ways to harness recent technological advances and engage young people in the world of music education. Exciting times ahead!’

The Department for Education’s Call for Evidence is open for submissions until 11.59pm GMT on 13 March 2020.

Header photo © Steinberg Media Technologies

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