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Music & Education

In our second piece on music in education, Education Today hears from Ewan Grant, MD at the Notting Hill Academy of Music, a music school with courses designed and delivered by award-winning professionals and top educationalists in the field, which counts Trevor Nelson MBE among its patrons.


aving worked in the music industry for over 30 years, I’m able to recognise that music education is an important part of producing well-rounded young adults, and also an easy way of engaging pupils in something that isn’t just ‘school work’. However, the provision of music education in the UK’s schools can be patchy, which means that students can sometimes be swayed away from their passion of music at an early age, and lured in by the world of tech, particularly when encouraged to do so by well-meaning teachers and parents. This has meant that in the digital age, we’re losing good people, who could’ve been game-changers in music and the creative industries, to tech start-ups.

It’s a two-way street though. With new tech subjects garnering ever more attention from students at the early stages of their education, we

need to make sure in the music industry that we too are investing in young talent to keep their passion for music alive. Currently, the UK’s contribution to the music industry is under threat due to this lack of investment in human capital during school, when it really counts. Understanding the business of music At the Notting Hill Academy of Music, we believe that this starts with understanding the business side of the music industry, which should be introduced early on at levels 1, 2 and 3 in music (the equivalent to GCSE and A–level). Music performance is currently taught at specialist schools including The Brit School and ELAM up to level 3, but in the long term we would like to see music business introduced at GCSE level and upwards countrywide. This would give students an early understanding of the business side of the creative industries, and lend itself to more forward-thinking students considering a career in


music. The UK has an extremely proud music heritage and it is vital that students in secondary education understand the legacy behind it, as well as the career paths available to them within the business.

Making money out of passion

Part of this is ensuring that young people are aware of the revenue streams in the music industry, and how to monetise them based on their passions. The media might focus on how the industry is in a constant state of flux with some revenue streams dwindling due to digital, but the truth is that the Internet actually makes music more accessible to the public, so there’s more opportunity for young talent nowadays than ever before. Song writing and the world of live music for instance are still extremely lucrative areas for growth if you have the right product and know how to market it effectively in key areas of the industry. Learning about these areas is therefore

November 2015

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