As we confront unprecedented political and economic changes both in the UK and across the world, just how important are the
Many skills we learn in and out of school do not translate very well to other aspects of life. However, for me, playing the
I've recently researched and written a report into opportunities for musical learning for children and young people in England. There is much to celebrate - UK ensembles have world leading education teams of extraordinary imagination and verve, Music Education Hubs work in 85% of primary schools giving group and individual instrumental lessons, local opportunities for music-making respond well to specific need.
I can't say Jarvis Cocker has ever featured large in my life, but last week he definitely caught my attention. On Monday night, he whispered in my ear (via Radio 4) as he explored the realms of the night with the BBC Philharmonic on Wireless Nights.
When I first became a music therapist many years ago, I worked with small children between the age of 3 to 5 in a community setting where both typical children and children with disabilities attended during the day. There were about 20 of them in the class. Half of them had disabilities, such as autism and Down Syndrome, while the other half did not.
For me, inspiration is key in catching children at a young age. We have to inspire children to take up an instrument; inspire children through the achievements of their peers; and, once involved in music, inspire them through offering experiences of the highest quality so that they keep music at the centre of their lives.
There is still a huge challenge in delivering musical education to children in the Palestinian Territories. Limitations on financial resources mean that teachers' salaries are low, instruments are often of poor quality, and teaching resources can be basic - and it's also difficult for foreign teachers to get visas to work there.
In these straightened times we need to seize the opportunity to work together: identify where our, and others, specialist skills lie and combine them for mutual benefit. I don't want to overstretch the orchestral analogy, but it is pretty clear that those of us in music education still have a lot to learn from music!
"Without music my life would be a dull place, I'm an obsessive, for me music is like cooking," Cerys Matthews (right) tells
It's the belief of AC Academy that every young person in the UK is entitled to a free first class musical education and deserves the opportunity to fall in love with music and learn to perform it themselves