Changing Schools, Changing Lives with Primary School Music Education

Imagine a music-centred school. Music as foundation subject. But also driving cognitive growth, peer relationships, school spirit, community engagement. Learn how.

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NPME’s New Landscape for Music Education

If music were very much at the heart of your school curriculum and culture, what would you see? What would you hear? What would you feel?

Step inside Sing Education provision and you’ll find amazing things happening across all these dimensions:

?️ Curricular lessons. Whole school assemblies. Instrumental clubs.

?Singing. Keyboards. Laughter.

? Achievement. Progression. Pride..

We know what good school music looks like and want every child to have this opportunity. And we’re not alone.

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

 

Music as A Foundation Subject

According to the refreshed National Plan for Music Education (NPME 2022), primary school music is meant to “to enable all children and young people to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together, and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally.” GOV

That’s why we’re so encouraged this is already happening in many school settings – albeit with some clear and persistent constraints. “The vast majority of schools have appointed music leads (with varying expertise), as it is a foundation subject. However, music specialists are still very rare in most schools.” MT

A music teacher with a beard and glasses is engaging with young students while holding a ukulele, raising his hand as if to illustrate a point or direct the class. The students, wearing green school uniforms, are attentively listening to the teacher, with the backdrop of a classroom featuring a piano, suggesting a hands-on music learning environment. The atmosphere conveys a sense of interactive learning and musical instruction.
A focused individual wearing a lanyard and a vest over a checkered shirt is working intently on a laptop, with a Sing Education mug nearby, suggesting a setting of professional educational planning or administration. A whiteboard with a schedule in the background indicates an organized work environment.

Too Few Music Teachers Qualifying

To add to the complexity, there’s a twin-stranded crisis brewing, namely the shortage of instrumental teachers being graduated nationally, combined with an ongoing difficulty in retaining peripatetic music staff. “Some staff have struggled to stay in schools when they haven’t felt part of the team or facilities are not the best. This was much compounded by Covid.” MT

Without specialist skill, schools will likely be unable to meet the ambitious new targets set for heads, schools, parents and pupils by the NPME. Moreover, it’s clear that recently updated music education objectives are meant to sit squarely within existing primary school curricula and timetabling – not as an afterthought or add-on.

Experts in the sector with considerable leadership and classroom experience, go on to warn that “[t]he Model Music Curriculum (MMC) is, quite frankly, beyond virtually all non-music specialists (even though many are brilliant) at Key Stage 2 and only possible, in my opinion, in Key Stage 1 with significant CPD, probably including weekly music lessons with a tutor themselves.” MT

So what can you do? 

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

Take A Page from this Headteacher’s Book

Sing Education suggests you follow the lead of one brave, visionary educator we learned about, whose commitment to music is very much in keeping with our own ethos. 

Speaking to her school’s music lead, an experienced headteacher of a recently merged academy trust primary “was [courageously] setting out her vision for her new, enlarged school, and she wanted music at the heart of it.

This headteacher (a non-musician) passionately explained how she believed she needed specialist music provision. She wanted a choir, an orchestra, all children to have lessons with a specialist and regular concerts with the best peripatetics (peris) in the city MT

The potential benefits of this uncharted, but very laudable, course of action? 

Clear and outstanding.

A teacher is engaging with young students seated on a colorful classroom rug. The attentive children, dressed in green uniforms, watch as the teacher gestures expressively, fostering a lively and interactive learning environment. The backdrop of the classroom is filled with educational materials and student work, creating a vibrant and nurturing educational setting.
Two schoolchildren in green sweaters with embroidered school crests are seated and attentively holding ukuleles, seemingly ready for a music lesson. The boy on the left looks slightly away with a thoughtful expression, while the girl on the right gazes forward, her hands poised to play her instrument. Their focus suggests a moment of learning and concentration in a musical setting.

Primary Music Education Pays Multiple Dividends

According to UKMusic, the collective voice of the UK’s world-leading music industry:

  • The music industry relies on a talent pipeline of accomplished and dedicated music students to produce the highly skilled professionals of the future. UKM
  • Musical skills need be nurtured at the earliest opportunity. This needs to begin at primary school and play a significant part in continued curriculum learning. UKM
  • There are educational, health and wellbeing benefits to young people having access to creating music. According to the Cultural Learning Alliance, participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%. UKM

Is this too much to hope for? Too much to achieve?

With the publication of the refreshed National Plan for Music Education (NPME) this year and a strong specialist music provider like Sing Education by your side, we hope you will bravely answer, “Certainly Not!” 

To learn more about Sing Education, including how our music provision, online instrumental lessons and at home learning resources contribute to a well-rounded music curriculum, please visit www.singeducation.co.uk/schools

For even more info, practical tips and guidance, click below to download your FREE “National Plan for Music Education Primary School Summary”

click here to download the national plan for music education summary for primary schools
Click HERE to download the National Plan for Music Education summary for Primary Schools

 

About Us

Founded in 2014 and serving more than 16,000 children each week, Sing Education is a first class provider of primary school music education. Focusing on high-quality, singing-led tuition, we deliver a complete solution for schools which includes teacher recruitment, training and management, bespoke curricular resources and educational consultancy services. 

Through music lessons, singing assemblies, choirs, after school clubs and instrumental tuition, Sing Education works with students from Nursery right through to Year 6. Our core philosophy is that “Every Child Has A Voice,” and, as educators active in the classroom, our directors and teachers know firsthand how much young learners benefit from exciting, rewarding music education. 

 

#SingEducation #MusicChangesLives #HubsAndSpokes

 

Sources:

  1. The power of music to change lives (Gov.uk) GOV
  2. NPME: Building a musical culture in a primary school – the nuts and bolts for success (Music Teacher Magazine) MT
  3. As above
  4. As above
  5. As above
  6. Policy: Music Education (UKMusic.org)  UKM
  7. As above
  8. As above
Three professionals are engaged in a lively discussion around a table, with a laptop open in front of them. The woman in the center, wearing a floral top and a lanyard, smiles and gestures as she converses with her male colleagues, who are attentively listening and holding mugs. The atmosphere is collaborative and relaxed, set against a backdrop of a white brick wall, suggesting a casual business or educational meeting.

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