Still alive with the sound of music

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
THE National Association of Music Educators fully supports The TES's Target Creativity campaign, and we join Evelyn Glennie, Julian Lloyd Webber, Sir James Galway and Michael Kamen in wanting the importance of music in schools to be recognised.

You quote Mr Lloyd Webber as saying: "There must be some obligatory music on the curriculum" and that "music has gradually disappeared from schools" (TES, May 9). But music is mandatory in the curriculum; it is a foundation subject, and as such, schools are legally obliged to teach it to all pupils between the ages of five and 14.

Of course there are problems, particularly in primary schools - hence the Target Creativity campaign - but in virtually all secondary schools, key stage 3 pupils have a weekly music lesson of around an hour in length.

They improvise, compose and perform music, often using technology, and although they may not all be able to name classical composers, they are learning about music at a more fundamental level, by getting involved in its creation and performance.

One of the problems confronting music teaching at the moment is a shortage of graduates applying for teacher training; let's hope they are not being led to believe that music has disappeared from schools.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Helen Coll

Chairwoman, National Association of Music Educators Gordon Lodge Snitterton Road Matlock, Derbyshire

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