Youth Music Study Presents Proof that Modern Music Ed Can Encourage School Attendance Among Hard-to-Reach Youths
Youth Music, a national charity in the UK that invests in music-making projects to bring opportunities for learning new musical genres to children of towns in want of such initiatives, has been calling on schools to overhaul their music lessons. The organization recommends the inclusion of hip hop, electronic music and other contemporary musical genre, as a means to encourage attendance among hard-to-reach youths.
In order to prove this point, Youth Music conducted a 4-year study collaborated with Birmingham University to show how schools that fail to include modern musical categories tend to discourage young people from taking part in the school’s music curriculum even at the onset of programs.
The study involved setting up partnerships between secondary schools and contemporary community music organisations, as a means of examining the impact of including modern music lessons in the school’s curriculum.
In encouraging nearly 1,000 pupils aged between 11-15 years old, to take part in programmes delving on modern music, the research study was able to reach young people who would have otherwise excluded themselves right at the onset. The study concluded to show that programme attendance was maintained at high levels, by as much as 95% throughout the entire set of sessions.
Even those who had already been excluded, attested that the new music programme inspired them to return to mainstream school. Moreover, researchers noted that participants in the new music programme showed improved performance in English and math lessons; proving related studies that engagement in lessons for learning music can positively impact student performance in other subjects.
The chief executive of Youth Music, Matt Griffiths said that they were able to provide evidence that young people’s personal and social development can be greatly influenced through modern music-making curriculum. He remarked of hearing consistent comments coming from young people that existing music programmes in schools, the one place where they can access music education, do not reflect their musical passion and lives.
Unfortunately, the sad reality in the UK is that access to music education in general, has become limited because school music departments are currently disappearing.
Youth Music Calls on Government to Ensure Schools Include Music in their Curriculum
In light of those findings, Youth Music is calling on the government to protect music education in schools by making certain all pupils receive at least one hour of music lesson per week. The national charity further suggests for schools to give less focus on attainment, and instead give attention to creative music-making.
In line with the Youth Music’s recommendation, the organisation met with the Department for Education to present a 21st-century music curriculum, which draws on existing musical tastes, music interests and listening habits of young people. The modern curriculum also supported previous calls for schools not to be rated as “good” or “outstanding” based on Ofsted judgment. Not unless the school professes a strong commitment to teaching arts and culture.
In response, a Dept. for Education representative said
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“We (DfE) wants all students to have the opportunity to learn music at school – that is why we have made music education for students ranging in ages between five to 14, compulsory in the national curriculum.”…”Also, we are currently working with music practitioners and various groups to refresh the national plan for music education, in order to develop a high-quality model music curriculum.”