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NEWS - ISM publishes article on the microeconomy of music education

Written by William Thompson14/09/23

In this article, recently published, Nigel Taylor explores the history and impact of the microeconomy of music education, and how it can change for the better.

It is an interesting read: the microeconomy is “the financial models, processes, and transactions that underpin music education in and out of [state] schools”, and how this disadvantages some of the young people intended to benefit from it.

He defines music education as the sum of the range of experiences and opportunities that pupils in state schools might encounter, which includes:

  • Classroom music lessons, the music curriculum in schools (in secondary schools this includes external exam courses such as GCSE, BTEC, A-level, instrumental and vocal exams)
  • Co-curricular activities provided by a school, for example ensembles (bands, choirs, orchestras etc), shows, concerts, music clubs, tours etc
  • Instrumental and/or vocal lessons taking place in or out of school
  • Ensembles taking place out of school
  • Other musical activities and events taking place out of school, such as holiday courses, church-based activities, young people’s own informal group music making

But he also points out that not all pupils will encounter all of these experiences.

Nigel M. Taylor worked in music education for over 40 years, firstly as a secondary school teacher, then head of music service, county music adviser, Ofsted-accredited inspector of schools, and ultimately assistant director of education in a large local authority.