Music Education Beyond the Classroom

Extracurricular music increases academic aspiration. It also safeguards our heritage and provides valuable life experience that should be open to all. Learn how.

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Extracurricular music boosts academics, wellbeing, and ambition

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

‘Tis the season to be jolly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

 

We’re just weeks away from one of the nation’s most festive seasons. And that has me thinking…what would Christmas be without a carols concert, nativity play or community theatre panto? 

Quite dull indeed! 

We treasure these experiences because they bring us together socially, help brighten our moods during the dark days of winter and provide an opportunity to express hope and cheer for the coming year.

But what would the holiday season be without music? 

First take away the beaming young choristers, traditional brass bands and Handel performances. 

Now strike out the Nutcracker ballets, Royal Albert concerts and wassailing High Street revellers.

Now still the bells of St. Clements, quiet the holiday jingles in shops, turn off the festive programming on BBC radio.

Without music, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same.

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
A close-up view captures the detailed artistry of a violinist in action, with a focus on the fingers deftly pressing the strings and the bow elegantly gliding across, creating a sense of the music's movement and the musician's skillful expression.
A young student in a green school sweater attentively holds a recorder, preparing to play, while a teacher's hands are seen in the foreground, guiding the child with a mallet, suggesting a musical instruction setting that fosters learning and creativity.

Keep Our Musical Heritage Alive

That’s why it’s so important to protect our musical heritage, particularly keeping the doors to learning open for young people. Today’s beaming young chorister may become tomorrow’s symphonic composer. And that shy holiday concert singer may become tomorrow’s global popstar. 

Extracurricular music is so very important to young people that the Social Mobility Commission, convened under Dame Martina Milburn in 2019 concluded that “[t]he breadth of extra-curricular activities, spanning the musical, artistic, social and sporting domains, are widely considered valuable life experiences that should be open to all young people, regardless of background or where they happen to live.“ SMC

In fact, music is so important to both young people and to our continuing sense of national heritage, that community partners and academics from The University of Sheffield have undertaken a formal study into the ways we transmit our musical heritage, concluding that: 

“Music is a cultural product of society, a sonic reflection of ideologies and behaviours – a performative heritage. 

Music allows for creativity, collaboration and communication without the need for spoken language. Heritage is a broad and malleable term and can apply to both individuals and communities. 

When we’re talking about heritage in music we use key words like folk, roots and tradition. Everyone can claim a heritage for themselves.SHEF

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

Pupils Benefit from Music Education

The benefits of music education are manifold. 

Learning music supports young people’s wellbeing and mental health, boosts their academic performance and as current research demonstrates, has a direct impact on pupils’ decisions to continue in formal education – broadening their future career opportunities, as well as overall life outcomes. 

The Social Mobility Commission published several key findings in their report, “An unequal playing field: extra-curricular activities, soft skills and social mobility,” among them the idea that:

[E]xtra-curricular activities – specifically music classes and playing a wide range of sports – are important in predicting intentions to remain in education after compulsory schooling. 

Youth who attend music classes regularly are almost 40% more likely to aspire to pursue further education. SMC

And, according to the Times Educational Supplement (TES) article, “Why music lessons make you a better learner,” the need to focus on keeping good quality music education in the curriculum and on the list of extracurriculars is clear.

“In both the UK and the US, school music has long been dragged down by teacher shortages, falling uptake and government focus on Stem – with some fearing Covid could be a final nail in the subject’s coffin. But with evidence mounting for the cognitive benefits of music learning, there is more reason than ever to prioritise it, finds [TES author] Holly Korbey.” TES

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
A group of focused schoolchildren in red uniforms are seated on the floor, holding yellow mallets, ready to play the colorful xylophones in front of them, fostering a sense of anticipation and musical collaboration in the classroom.
A group of schoolchildren, clad in green uniforms, are singing enthusiastically, accompanied by a man playing a piano. The children appear focused and joyful, participating in a harmonious choir session that fills the room with a sense of musical collaboration and learning.

Music You Remember for a Lifetime

Were you once Third Lobster in the Nativity musical? Or a Von Trapp in the Sound of Music? Whatever your history, our guess is you remember the music of childhood through the clubs, assemblies, choirs, instrumental lessons and school performances that made it possible. 

Extracurricular music is the opportunity for music to pour out of the classroom and into the wider life of the school. When built on a solid classroom music foundation, extracurricular music opportunities bring the vibrancy and joy of music-making to the heart of the school community. It’s an opportunity for children to make music and build relationships with children from other classes, year groups and peer groups and to nurture those friendships throughout the academic year. Extracurricular activities provide a framework for musical progression as well – a developmental opportunity where younger children can see from older pupils the outcomes and rewards of both hard work and practice.

Get Involved in Extracurricular Music

Join Sing Education over the next several weeks as we explore the vibrancy of extracurricular music across the schools we serve and also celebrate the talent and future promise of those young musicians we have the privilege with which to work.

We’ll be posting news of our holiday concert performances, spotlighting our amazing teaching staff and providing insights into how we partner with schools to place music squarely at the heart of the primary education curriculum. Don’t miss out!

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

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 Executive Summary and Video”

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. An unequal playing field: extra-curricular activities, soft skills and social mobility SMC Social Mobility Commission
  2. Transmitting Musical Heritage SHEF University of Sheffield
  3. An unequal playing field: extra-curricular activities, soft skills and social mobility SMC Social Mobility Commission
  4. Why music lessons make you a better learner TES TES

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