Music Education: only for the white and wealthy?

Soul of the School

Charlotte Gill’s recent article on the problems of inequality in music education (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/27/music-lessons-children-white-wealthy), in which she rails against music education as she perceives it, fits right in with a long tradition of thought which see itself as fighting a traditionalist status quo in the curriculum that holds our pupils back. Her perspective, however, lacks knowledge of the current trends in music education and as a result her article attacks a straw man.

For those of us who feel that true freedom comes about through gaining as much knowledge and procedural skill as possible it is a constant challenge to refute the idea that a grounding in the theoretical aspects of music are a barrier to creativity. There is, after all, no denying that you do not need notation or an academic music education to become a great musician. Equally notation can without doubt be limiting; I have regular…

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