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Arts Council England announces results of music education hub applications in south west

04 May 2012

Arts Council England announced today (4 May 2012) the 14 music education hubs in the south west which will be part of a nationwide network of 122. The music education hubs will play a key role in ensuring that every child has the opportunity to experience a high quality music education.

The new music education hubs will see a significant shift in the way music education has been delivered to date, both in and out of school. Organisations, including schools, professional music organisations, higher and further education institutions and other Arts Council funded organisations working in a local area will be coming together to create joined up music education provision for children and young people.

The aim of this work is to ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, to progress to the next level, and play with other children as part of an ensemble or choir.

The 122 new hubs will provide significantly improved opportunities for all young people to benefit from high quality musical experiences regardless of where they live.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:
“The Arts Council’s goal is to make sure that children and young people have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts, as set out in Achieving great art for everyone.

“After a robust application process we look forward to working with music education hubs to enhance and develop music education provision across the country. We look forward to seeing the music education hubs become a part of the cultural education offered to children and young people at a local level, and a part of the wider cultural landscape.

“We are ideally positioned to monitor and support a national network of hubs through our regional structure, local knowledge and artform and cultural education expertise.”

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England’s Director for the south west said:
“We know that experiences of learning music help children to improve across the whole curriculum, as well as providing an important part of young people’s cultural education. Music education provides opportunities to develop skills in a wide range of genres with something for all tastes and skills. The music education hubs will provide opportunities for young people to take part in musical experiences that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:
“All children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to play and sing with others.

“I welcome the Art Council’s announcement of the nationwide network of music hubs. They form an integral part of our national plan for music education. Over the coming years, these hubs will help countless children to discover and develop their musical talent.”

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“These hubs will mean young people around the country can access high quality music teaching, itself an important and fulfilling part of learning.

“Playing an instrument can enrich students’ lives and perhaps even lead to a career in teaching or performing.

“The Hubs will help ensure that all young people have the chance to become involved in an activity that is both challenging and highly rewarding.”

Many applicants clearly illustrated how they have realised the vision of the National Plan for Music Education. Their plans include new approaches to partnership working, and innovative thinking about their business models, including plans to work with others to develop, draw together and maximise resources for music education for the benefit of children.

Some notable examples of partnership working in the south west include:
• Devon Music Service which works across the 29 coastal and market towns of Devon and through the 31 Local Learning Communities. The service, which has gathered 53 partners from the arts and education sectors, provides a high quality music provision across the whole of the county and covers a wide range of genres including folk, world music, rock and classical.

• SoundStorm covers Bournemouth and Poole where the local authorities have joined together. The service works with an impressive range of partners and reaches out across the conurbation. Amongst other activities, they plan to give every child the chance to learn a musical instrument in whole class settings, with a range of genres and instruments on offer.

Some applications were stronger than others. A number of hubs will be asked to develop their plans further in the coming months. The Arts Council will encourage and promote on-going partnership development, and for hubs to raise the bar of aspiration, quality, and progression across all hubs. This will be done in order to make sure the quality of the experience for young people will be high.

Over the next three years Arts Council England expects to see hubs continue to evolve, develop and improve. Hubs will be encouraged to become a network, working together to increase the quality of delivery, the ability to respond to local need and to develop an improved use of digital technology to develop content and delivery. They will also be encouraged to be entrepreneurial and innovative in developing their business models to increase the resources available for the direct delivery of high quality music education.

Music education hubs were selected following an open application process with published criteria. More information on application criteria can be found here.

Music education hubs will be in place from August 2012, in order to deliver activity from September 2012.

Arts Council England will be holding meetings with all of the music education hub leaders in the next few weeks to build the network of hubs as the hubs develop their plans.


Notes to editors

Music Education Hubs in the south west
Dorset Music Service
Gloucestershire Music Service
Swindon Music Service
Bristol City Council
South Gloucestershire Council
Plymouth Youth Music Service
Somerset County Council
Cornwall Learning
Soundstorm (Bournemouth & Poole)
Bath and North East Somerset Council
Torbay Music Service
Devon LDP Music Service
Wiltshire Music Service
North Somerset Music Service

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.