Music education has been pushed to the front of class in England’s secondary schools through a unique collaboration between industry and government.
Roughly 1.4 million children from 2,000 schools are expected to take part in National Music Week, a grass-roots initiative which kicked off today (Oct. 16) with a goal to enrich teenagers’ music tastes and educate them in the value of music.
The National Music Week has been organized by labels body the BPI; music retailers’ trade organization ERA; and Music Manifesto, the government-backed campaign to improve music education in schools. Radio network GCap is the broadcast partner.
National Music Week will provide teachers with lesson plans and activities, which place music at its core. The packs include an interactive CD-Rom and a “My Music” sampler of participating young music artists. Pupils will be encouraged to develop structured arguments for their favorite track from the disc.
“Investing in the future has always been a key part of what the music industry does,” comments BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said. “National Music Week is about investing in the nation’s youth and ensuring they have the broadest possible music education.”
Jamieson describes the project as “a major initiative that aims to create another landmark event alongside the Brits and the Mercury Prize.”
The week-long schools event culminates with the creation of a Schools Top 10 chart compiled solely by students. Ex-Busted performer Matt Willis, actor-turned-pop/goth singer Betty Curse and MOBO-nominee Keisha White are among the 10 rising artists whose works feature on the My Music discs.
Students can vote for their favorite artist by exchanging a special token, which will entitle them to one download from the 10 contributing artists. Roughly 1,500 music retailers throughout England are participating in the offer, which expires Oct. 29.
U.K. collecting societies Phonographic Performance Limited and Performing Right Society have waived fees incurred for events during the week-long festivities.
The act which pools the most votes will top the inaugural My Music Schools Top 10, which will be unveiled Oct. 31 on GCap flagship Top 40 station Capital FM.
National Music Week concludes Oct. 20.