"WHY MUSIC?" - statements from head teachers, governors, celebrities, academics and other key figures around "Why Music?". These statements can be freely used by MEC members and others for the purposes of highlighting the vital importance of achieving universal access to music education.
Items will be added as they are submitted to MEC - so do please seek contributions from those you know who have an important message about "Why Music?"
Launched in February 2015 -
"Compelling evidence" for the benefits of music education are revealed in a new research review by internationally renowned Professor Susan Hallam MBE, UCL Institute of Education.
Commissioned by the Music Education Council (MEC) and published by the International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc), The Power of Music - a research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people brings together the vast amount of quality research evidence that has built up over recent years.
It provides the basis for the argument that every child and young person should have access to quality music making opportunities and supports calls for schools to ensure that all pupils receive a thorough, broad and high quality music education.
Professor Susan Hallam, MBE said: "The research shows there is compelling evidence for the benefits of music education on wide range of skills including: listening skills which support the development of language skills, awareness of phonics and enhanced literacy; spatial reasoning which supports the development of some mathematical skills; and where musical activities involve working in groups a wide range of personal and social skills which also serve to enhance overall academic attainment even when measures of intelligence are taken into account.
"The benefits are greatest when musical activities start early and continue over a long period of time. The teaching of music must also be of high quality for the benefits to emerge. If the quality is poor then the benefits will not be evident."
Angela Ruggles, General Manager of MEC said: "This important publication is a cornerstone of MEC's advocacy work. It provides strong arguments that justify the inclusion of music in the education of every child and young person. MEC commissioned the updating of Professor Hallam's earlier research synthesis as part of its drive to persuade school leaders of the importance of a strong music presence in their schools"
Notes to editors:
1) For further details e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
2) The Power of Music - a research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people is available for purchase through this link or download the Executive Summary or the full document as pdf files. MEC members will receive a link later this week to purchase the full document at a members' discount.
3) This publication builds on Professor Hallam’s earlier work The power of music: its impact of the intellectual, personal and social development of children and young people (2010) with analyses of significant new research carried out in the last five years
Mr Peter Nutkins, Headmaster of Humphrey Perkins School, Loughborough says “Imagine your life WITHOUT music… A morning with no melody from the birds. The commute without a get up and go beat. Happiness without a joyful whistle. TV news without the dramatic opening. The South without the Blues. A film with only speech. Church without a hymn. A revolution without a song. A game without a chant. Creativity without a sound. When we image life without it…we understand why we need it."
Julian Lloyd Webber - Chairman of Sistema England says: "Access to music should be a birth right for ALL children. How many surveys do you need to prove conclusively that learning a musical instrument and being involved with music has a massive knock-on effect on their school work and on all areas of a child’s life. Music reaches and develops parts of the brain like nothing else - and this has been conclusively proved, it is not just idle dreaming. Working with In Harmony, I have seen huge changes in the children’s self-confidence, their relationships with other children, their ability to work with teachers: music can change the whole relationship within a family. I have seen so many parents who never would have believed that their children could be so good on an instrument coming to concerts and being visibly moved. It is time for the government to get its act together and to deliver the pledges that they keep promising on paper. There has been far too much talk and far too little action. All children should be able to experience music regardless of their parent’s ability to pay for lessons."
Tamsin Murphy from Rugby writes "Music has helped me express feelings that can't be expressed in words. I believe this saved my sanity at several points throughout my life. It is one of the few activities humans can engage in which requires physical, mental, emotional and spiritual input all at the same time."