The Mayor’s Music Education Fund has delivered £250,000 to fund partnerships between local authority music services and top orchestras and institutions across the city, including the London Philharmonic and the BBC Concert Orchestras.
Six new partnerships have been created, involving 13 local authority music services, six orchestras and a music college. Over the next two years, these partnerships will give over 5,000 young people from a diverse social background and at different levels of learning, the chance to develop their skills on a musical instrument, play in a group with other students, and work and perform with some of the UK’s finest professional musicians in one of London’s many inspirational venues.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
‘There can be no greater joy than being able to pick up an instrument and bewitch others with music, but many youngsters in the capital don't get the chance to develop their musical skills. Although there are a great many examples of early and free access to music in London, ongoing affordable tuition is often disparate and patchy. As one of the world’s great cultural powerhouses, it is our responsibility to ensure that youngsters growing up in this city today can benefit from the world-class facilities and institutions we have based here.
‘I hope that this fund will be the start of a return to a London of yesteryear, when musical education was of a high standard across the board and instruments were generously thrust into the hands of young people irrespective of musical prowess or parents ability to pay. Musical exploration should not be for the few, but for everyone. ‘
Timothy Walker AM, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, who will be working with young people from South London at a workshop at the Royal Festival Hall said:
‘ Through our outreach project The Band, the London Philharmonic Orchestra works with teenagers from our local community in South London and any young person who is passionate about making and performing music is welcome to join. The LPO believes that all young people should have access to music-making opportunities and we strive, through our education and community programme, to engage with the widest possible audience. ’
‘Thanks to the Mayor’s Music Education Fund, the LPO has been able to forge a new partnership with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Greenwich and Lewisham Music Services, Southbank Centre and The 02 to create Animate Orchestra a new ensemble and a new musical pathway for talented young people in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham. We hope to support children who have participated in wider opportunities, Saturday centres and other instrumental learning schemes and nurture them as young musicians through transition into secondary education.’
Graeme Smith, Head of Croydon Music and Arts said:
‘Music services are where the world of education meets the world of music. This funding will help us to draw upon the expertise of our local professional orchestra to enable our young musicians to feel part of the world of music; an experience which will be of great benefit to their education.’
Currently music is a compulsory subject up to the age of 14, but fewer than one in 10 students takes the subject at GCSE level. It is hoped that with the Music Education Fund and through the work of the Music Education Strategy, more and more young people will be encouraged, not only to take up a musical instrument, but to continue their instrumental learning with opportunities to take part in orchestral, band and inspirational projects with professional musicians.
The Mayor is keen to build on the many excellent initiatives for affordable music in parts of London and develop a coordinated approach through better partnership working so that all young Londoners have access to high quality music education.
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