A New Landscape for Music Education

Musical Routes, a report on the provision of musical education for school-aged children and young people in England, is now available.

Musical Routes: A Landscape for Music Education is an independently commissioned report by Sarah Derbyshire MBE in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society to investigate whether musical provision is failing to reach children from all social and ethnic backgrounds, and if 'postcode lottery’ results in inequity of opportunity. 

The report suggests that the National Plan for Music Education, adopted by the Department of Education in 2012, has some way to go in overcoming the barriers to access that still exist, not least because of the fragmented landscape of progression routes offered to children and young people. The principal failing is the lack of “an infrastructure that knits together the many and various strands for delivery”; the current structure for music education is widely acknowledged as complex and disjointed. Musical Routes offers practical initiatives designed to galvanise us to create more effective ways for performers and teachers to work together for the benefit of young musicians.

Speaking at the launch of the Musical Routes Report at Wigmore Hall (25 September), percussionist and RPS Honorary Member, Dame Evelyn Glennie commented:

“This report is to be welcomed by anyone who loves and cares about music. It offers practical suggestions that could help more children to enjoy music in its many different forms and it, quite rightly, demands equality of opportunity for all young people. It is important that the music profession takes careful note of areas of difficulty highlighted in the report, and comes together to find a way forward. We need to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower every child with an interest in music to fulfill his or her potential.”

The RPS is grateful to the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust and to many other individuals whose concern for the future of music education prompted them to contribute to the funding of the report.

Read the full report
Download the Press Release
Read the Storify (digest of related press and social media activity)


We welcome any feedback relating to this report. Please send feedback to Sarah Derbyshire MBE via web@philharmonicsociety.uk Thank you.

25 September 2015