Teachers: "Why we've signed James’s petition"
More than 67,000 people have signed James Rhodes’ petition, calling on Education Minister Nicky Morgan to fulfil the pledge made in the National Plan for Music Education – that every child in England should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.
Many headteachers, classroom teachers and peripatetic music teachers working on the frontline of music education have added their names – and here are just a few of the reasons they gave for signing the petition….
Children need creative expression…
“I am a Headteacher of a large Infant and Nursery School.
The importance of music in early education cannot be emphasised enough.
Children learn to speak and communicate through music - children learn to sing
and enjoy the pattern of music and song before they develop speech. Music is
the medium for exploring social and emotional difficulties for children who
have experienced trauma and difficulties in their lives, and is a powerful tool
used to support children with Special Educational Needs. I fully support this
petition and would like to see every child in my school learn to play a musical
Music helps children in other subjects…
"I am a music teacher... I see how understanding music
and the mathematics involved improves academic achievement.... as well as
boosting their confidence.What
other subject can reduce both the student and the parent to tears as they show
what their school as allowed them to achieve? Do you need a better
My music budget is tiny…
“As a music teacher I appreciate the importance of a good music education. My primary school does value music - they employ me as a specialist but I only have a budget of about £1 a child. Budgets are very tight and it is hard to keep music as a priority when schools are being forced to focus on numeracy and literacy and the budgets are decreasing.”
“I am the music teacher at a special school and my budget is similar to the one quoted [in the Don’t Stop The Music TV series]! I am so exhausted trying to fight a system which should be there to help provide our pupils with the music education they deserve. I am endlessly having to try and raise money outside of school (when I'm already shattered from the current demands of the job) to try and supplement the budget. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up!”
Music is important too!
“I am a music teacher turned primary teacher. There was ONE
guitar at my school, which was hidden in a cupboard and not in a good
condition. There is not enough emphasis placed on music in education or time
for it in the timetable. This year because of the addition of a foreign
language to the curriculum, we now only teach music for 30 minutes per week.”
“…Music is not important in schools. P.S. I don't blame
Headteachers. It's because OFSTED are only interested in Maths and Literacy
results so schools place all their attention and resources on these 2
We need to invest in music…
“I work for a council music service and we are tasked with
delivering the Coalition's commitment - but we've been asked to do it against
the background of a 100% cut to our council funding, and cumulative cuts to our
central funding that have now added up to around 75%. Is it any wonder that
even with good governance and good teachers we can't fulfil on this? The recent
£18m additional funding won't even stretch to a new set of guitar strings for
every kid, much less pay for the expertise required to teach them. Let's make
this government honour its commitment.”
Ben, South East England
“I am a Music teacher and I love it! I teach in an inner
city comprehensive school where pupils receive Music lessons on a rota
throughout the year, meaning the KS4 cohort just simply haven't had the
learning time they need to gain a good GCSE grade. More teaching time, human
resources, opportunities and investment would make it possible for all of my
pupils to learn a musical instrument - it is their right.”
Have you signed James Rhodes' petition? If not, add your name now and let us know why you want every child in England to have the opportunity to play a music instrument.