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Ring of confidence is the key

All primary school teachers need to teach music is a little confidence - the same thing that children need to learn to compose and perform. That was the main message from this year's Music for Youth South Bank conference on key stage 2 music, part of the MFY's National Festival, sponsored by The TES.

Anne Francis, head of Brookside primary, Stockport, said: "The trouble is that because they don't understand the black dots, and because they can't play the piano for assembly, teachers feel they can't do music."

Gavin Henderson, principal of London's Trinity College of Music, said in his opening address that music was more beneficial than team games in promoting qualities of enthusiasm, confidence, appreciation of excellence and sensitivity to others.

"We who teach music are relegated to a role of frivolous optional extra, " he said.

"Yet it is we who unquestionably hold the means to the prevention of crime and to a vista of hope for many whose lives are deprived of purpose and achievement."

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