2020 has been such a whirlwind that I have hardly had a minute to catch up with what’s going on myself, let alone post any updates on here. But one of the exciting things that has happened – or rather, that is going to happen in 2021 – is that I will be working on a new project on music education. I’ve been in discussion with the wonderful Jenn Raven at music education charity Sound Connections for some years, after she spoke (brilliantly) at one of the events I organised on music education and abuse at The Purcell School in 2017. After one unsuccessful funding bid, I am delighted that our second bid was successful. We are being funded by new music education charity Agrigento to run a project called ‘The Music Lab‘. This is a small-scale action research project that will be working with young classical musicians at Lewisham Music Hub (who run a Saturday music school in south London) to explore what youth voice might mean in classical music instrumental tuition. We have been having some initial discussions with Lewisham Music Hub who I am really excited to be working with as we share the same goals and ideals about what needs to change in classical music education. We have appointed a music facilitator – the dynamic and hugely experienced Isabella Mayne – and a youth worker – the equally brilliant Jacob Sakil – to work with us on this project. I was especially keen to have a youth worker on board as I know that classical music education could learn a lot from youth work practices, and I hope this project will be part of this learning.
We were hoping to start the project in January but the pandemic has scuppered our plans, so we are now planning to start in April. We aim to produce a toolkit that will be disseminated to music education Hubs across the UK as we know there is a lot of interest currently in how to adapt music education pedagogies to reflect youth voice principles. I can’t wait to get started but like so many other projects, we are now dependent on what happens with the pandemic as we really want to do this project face-to-face rather than remotely. I will post any updates as we receive them.