Could you first introduce yourself for the reader?
Hi! We’re Music Mark – The UK Association of Music Education. We do a lot but, mostly, we are a membership organisation and subject association. We lobby for government-supported, high quality music education for all school-aged children and young people.
What happens at your organisation?
As a membership organisation, we offer networking opportunities, conferences and training events. We share the latest updates from the sector and provide access to key resources, research and other useful links on our MarketPlace.
What do you offer to young people?
Young people interested in music education can join our Student Membership (for 18 years+), which is free. This is a great way to see how the sector works and find relevant events happening near you. We also provide information on Courses and Workshops if anyone is considering Further Education and/or Higher Education options in music and job posts for all the budding music teachers out there!
But the best bit is our Annual Conference on 22 and 23 November, which this year is focusing on Youth Voice. We have lined up some fantastic speakers and workshops, and we’ll also have young journalists from Voice handling our social media on the day! We cannot wait!
What activities are most popular for young people and why?
We promote the news and events which our members run for young people. You can find out who your local music service is and what they offer via our Member Directory.
Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?
In June 2018, we ran our Summer Summit in London, an event for our members and the wider sector from across the country. Our guest speakers included Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, as well as members of the New Young Voices Collective who managed to get the 200 delegates singing, dancing, and laughing at the start of the day – very impressive!
It generated some great debates about what is and isn't working in music education today, and delegates contributed to the lobbying work we're doing with the Department of Education. We truly believe it is important we all work together when it comes to defending the right of all children and young people to have access to music making.
Is there anything you particularly want to promote to young people at the moment?
Autumn 2018 it’s all about our Annual Conference! The debate continues on the current state of Music Education and most importantly, its future. This year’s theme is Youth Voice as we invite both children and young people, as well as their parents, to inform the national debate.
There will be about 350 delegates and you can choose from a wide range of breakout sessions, workshops and CPD sessions. Be inspired by keynote speakers such as MOBO award-winning musician and chair of Youth Music, YolanDa Brown and the incredible Faz Shah, violinist, beatboxer and Harmonise Project Coordinator for Music Action International. Read about Faz here on Voice
We will also be hosting youth-led panels on governance, communication and so much more.
We’d love to have you as part of the discussion and ensure your voice is heard! We’ll be publishing our full programme soon so stay tuned via Twitter or Facebook, or just sign up for Student Membership. And if you feel you can’t afford it (£25+VAT for Members, £35+ VAT for Non-Members), maybe your school or local music service can sponsor you? Get in touch to find out more.