Musicians are better duetting

19th November 2004 at 00:00
The letter from Leonora Davies, Derek Kitt and Colin Brackley Jones (TES, November 5) suggests that buying-in musicians to free up class teachers'

time is a requirement for a "coherent" music curriculum.

Many examples exist of excellent partnerships between teachers and visiting professional musicians, which have usefully broadened and deepened the curriculum.

But a key ingredient for success is integration into the school's overall curriculum. The roles of teachers and specialists are complementary: they get the best results when they work with and alongside each other.

Instrumental teachers and professional musicians can play a vital part in enriching the music curriculum. They should not, however, take the place of class teachers unless they are properly qualified to do so.

The quality of music education in schools is more than likely to be enhanced by close collaboration and the integration of specialist skills.

Conversely, it will certainly not improve if buying-in becomes a pretext for marginalising music, or a way of relegating class music teaching to the status of a support function.

Neil Hoyle

Chief executive

The Incorporated Society of Musicians

10 Stratford PlaceLondon W1

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