In common with many leading figures in the arts and music world of this country, I am deeply concerned about Education Secretary Michael Gove’s plans to replace GCSE’s with the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which will not include ‘creative’ subjects such as art, design, drama and music.
Mr Gove has said that schools may still offer the arts as GCSE subjects alongside the EBacc, but the worry is that many schools simply will not have the resources to do this, and these subjects will become the preserve of independent schools and/or wealthy parents, who can afford private music, drama or art tuition for their children.
I was very fortunate at my secondary school (Rickmansworth School) to enjoy fantastic music and arts facilities, all free and in a state school. As well as enthusiastic and inspiring tuition by my music teacher (to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for encouraging my talent and excitement about the piano in particular, and music in general), I had the opportunity to play first desk clarinet in the school orchestra, harpsichord continuo in a Baroque group, and sing in the school choir. Thus, I experienced the great pleasure and joy that comes from shared music-making, the sense of satisfaction and self-fulfilment in progressing through my graded music exams (piano and clarinet), and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as regular trips to concerts, and opera dress-rehearsals at Covent Garden, all of which broadened my cultural horizons.
My musical education at school still resonates with me, as I attempt to share my passion and excitement about music with my students.
Please don’t deny our children the opportunity to experience the same excitement. Sign the petition to secure the future of creativity in our schools here
Arts leaders voice deep concern over lack of cultural subjects in EBacc – a recent article in The Guardian