Music

Stormzy could be added to curriculum to help kids reconnect with music

Youth Music say young people thrive on relevant education

Close your eyes, now think of what you do when your favourite song comes on; perhaps you dance, sing, or make up words to the lyrics you don’t know.

Either way, it’s safe to say we all get lost in a bop-a-long and forget about our worries.

It’s this power of music that is so fundamental in helping young people connect with the world around them, and why one organisation is championing to see music on the curriculum.

Not just for the privileged few whose parents can afford extracurricular violin lessons, but for the masses so that all children will be able to have musical lives.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

While forgetting your worries is a pretty compelling argument to put music at the heart of education, evidence also shows that it develops areas of the brain related to language and reasoning, making young people more adept at self-expression and social skills.

Getting schools to take note of this is just half the challenge though; with the genres of music they choose to explore in class just as crucial.

This is why Youth Music, a charity creating music-making projects for young people to develop personally as well as musically, are so vital.

Youth Music work closely with unprivileged children to understand their needs, advocating for a music education revolution that is relevant by allowing students to learn not only about Mozart and classical composers but also chart-toppers they feel connected to like Stormzy.

[Credit: Youth Music]

They work tirelessly to drive change and influence policy so that inclusive, relevant, long-term music education is standard practice to help nurture young people’s creativity.

Currently, music education follows very loose guidelines and while it is part of the national curriculum in key stages 1, 2 and 3 (ages five to 14), academies and free schools are not required to follow the syllabus and have autonomy on how much time they dedicate to it.

Youth Music say the proof is in the pudding of how music has the power to shape our lives.

[Credit: Youth Music]

Speaking about one of their many projects, they said: “We wanted to see what would happen if young people at risk of disengagement, low attainment or exclusion from school had access to a creative and inspiring music curriculum that was sustained over four years.

“Exchanging Notes worked with 974 young musicians, 72 of whom were tracked across four years. The findings show that music in schools has the potential to re-engage young people in education, develop their confidence, resilience and self-belief, and create a more positive attitude to learning.”

Their #MusicShapedMe initiative had a similarly positive effect, in which they shared stories from young people about how music has transformed their lives, including how gang leaders have become music leaders and others have used music to tackle their mental health.

We’re waiting for the day Vossi Bop is sung to parents at the Christmas music concert.

To get involved, click here: Youth Music.

[Credit: Youth Music]

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