During the pandemic, schools and wider society leant on music for a source of inspiration and joy; it was an antidote in a time of worry and confusion. Among our membership we saw all manner of creative responses from Music Education Hubs, services, and organisations to ensure that pupils could continue engaging with music making.
There were garden gigs organised by Sheffield Music Hub, Nottingham’s orchestral offer to pupils went online and youngsters from the Tees Valley came together to sing Something Inside So Strong for the NHS. Our membership worked with pupils to ensure that music making continued under the most difficult of circumstances at a time when it was vital.
Our updated resource, Music: a guide for governing boards, developed in collaboration with Arts Council England and the National Governance Association, supports governing boards to ensure every pupil has access to a broad and balanced curriculum that includes excellent music provision. The resource recognises that arts and cultural education allow young people to develop their creative skills alongside their personal development, giving them the tools they need to succeed in life.
At Music Mark, we were emphatic that music should aid the difficult transition for children and young people returning to school. In the context of discussions around recovery curriculums, we launched our #CanDoMusic campaign to advocate for the value of high-quality music education. Created alongside the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Music Teachers’ Association, #CanDoMusic has supported teachers by signposting to practical resources to continue delivering high-quality music education. Our strong belief is that pupils living in the context of COVID-19 and under the strain of returning to schools post lockdown need music now more than ever as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
Initially created to demonstrate how music education can continue to be delivered safely during the pandemic, #CanDoMusic has evolved to share practical ideas and resources that inspire teachers to deliver music provision in engaging and new ways. Since its conception, the campaign has consistently promoted the clear and unified message that musical learning in schools is both possible and essential. The #CanDoMusic website had over 20,000 users and #CanDoMusic has become one of the most regularly used hashtags in the music education sector. Within its first few months, it had over one million impressions on social media. School closures created challenges, but it is clear that pupils, staff and governing boards are committed to ensuring that music continues to contribute to a vibrant and enriching school life.
“So important we keep talking and sharing ideas for keeping music at the heart of schools. Children (and teachers) need it. Brilliant resources and guidance from @musicmarkuk and #candomusic have been invaluable in the last few months – thank you!”
Feedback from secondary school teacher