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CMU Insights partners with Urban Development and BIMM to redefine music education at The Great Escape

By | Published on Tuesday 17 April 2018

Book stack with headphones

An increasing number of articles and reports are declaring music education to be in crisis. Now CMU Insights has announced it is teaming up with both music development organisation Urban Development and music college BIMM on its ‘Redefining Music Education’ research project. It will be launched at The Education Conference at The Great Escape next month.

CMU Insights, Urban Development and BIMM are also co-hosting the full-day conference, which will kick off this year’s Great Escape Convention on Wednesday 16 May, the day before the TGE festival swings into action.

Bringing together music educators and music employers, The Education Conference will review music education provision in England today and the skills musicians and the music industry need to succeed. There will be speakers from the likes of The Roundhouse, Musicians’ Union, Live Nation, BIY Talent, Rhythmix, Youth Music, Incorporated Society Of Musicians, Featured Artists Coalition and Arts Council England, plus artists and songwriters including Georgia Train, Roxanne De Bastion, ShaoDow, Steve Hiller and Svetlana Eliason.

Launched by CMU’s consultancy unit CMU Insights last month, phase one of the ‘Redefining Music Education’ research project is currently mapping both music education providers and the music careers available today. Phase two will be informed by the conversations that take place at The Education Conference on 16 May, and will seek to identify, assess and champion innovative approaches to music education in schools, colleges, universities and elsewhere, while looking into how music education and the music industry can become more closely aligned.

The project will be led by CMU Insights MD Chris Cooke, BIMM’s Music Industry Ambassador Phil Nelson and Urban Development’s founder and director Pamela McCormick, all of whom will also speak at the conference. Seeking to complement existing research into music education, the three organisations plan to work alongside a number of other groups on the research, and are also looking for companies interested in sponsoring the project in order to access extra insights.

Cooke says: “There has been a lot of talk in recent months about music education in England being in crisis, partly due to funding cuts, and partly due to the way schools are assessed. But at the same time we know about a lot of great initiatives encouraging young people to engage with music and the business of music. We’re interested in exploring how those initiatives could become better connected, both with each other, and with the music industry and artist community. Basically we want to join a lot of dots. Part one of that is identifying all the dots to be joined, which is what we are doing in phase one of ‘Redefining Music Education’. We’ll report back on that work at The Education Conference next month”.

Nelson adds: “As both a lecturer and an artist manager, I have feet in two camps, both music education and the music industry. Both sides benefit when they work more closely together, which is why BIMM has always put so much effort into proactively building its industry relationships. I’ve been involved in various initiatives to further enhance those connections, so it’s great to now partner on the ‘Redefining Music Education’ project to fully understand the wider music education landscape, and how the industry can better connect and support that work, in order to access and better prepare the artists and industry execs of the future”.

McCormick goes on: “We’ve spent a lot of time investigating and analysing how music education works, using that knowledge to inform our own programmes that seek to provide opportunities to young people whose musical passions are in genres often missed out in the more formal curriculum. We are really keen to share that knowledge with the wider world and help lead a conversation about how a sector under pressure can still succeed in encouraging and enabling young people to pursue their creative ambitions, fuelling the creative industries of the future”.

Standalone tickets are available to The Education Conference, which takes place at Dukes @ Komedia from 10am-5pm on Wednesday 16 May, for just £65. TGE delegates and convention pass holders also have access to the event. For a breakdown of the discussions due to take place or to book tickets click here.