Islington Council is launching Music Education Islington, a pioneering new music service for its schools.
The aim of the partnership is to ensure every child can discover and develop their musical skills under the guidance of some of the best music teachers in the world.
This week the council announces its new partnership with lead delivery organisation Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the internationally renowned conservatoire in the City of London. This is the first such partnership of its kind and the first time a conservatoire has led the delivery of music education for a local authority, as part of a wider partnership involving several other outstanding music education providers.
Music Education Islington will be truly universal – accessible to every Islington child and young person aged five to 18, regardless of their background, educational attainment or ability to pay.
Islington’s school pupils and teachers will be able to make the most of world-class music education and resources, as well as gaining access to a wide range of music and cross-arts experiences at both Guildhall School and at the Barbican, via its creative alliance with the Guildhall School. The partnership will also offer an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s executive member for children, young people and families, said: “Islington sits at the heart of one of the most important cultural cities in the world, attracting talented and passionate creative minds from far and wide.
“We have made it our aim to capitalise on this, so that all of Islington’s young people have every opportunity to thrive.
“So I am thrilled to announce our new partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, an internationally renowned conservatoire, and a host of leading music organisations. Together Islington will become true leaders in music education.
“I look forward to seeing Guildhall School teachers bring their infectious enthusiasm and passion for music into our schools. We want to inspire our young people, broaden their horizons and fire their imagination.
“Our young people deserve the best, the new Music Education Islington programme will give them access to exceptional music education and experiences, allowing them to flourish, no matter what their background.”
The vision and aims of Music Education Islington are truly ambitious. Every child in the borough aged five to 18 will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through ensemble teaching. There is also a singing strategy to ensure every pupil sings regularly, and clear progression routes will be provided for those who want to develop their passion.
Sean Gregory, director of learning and engagement at the Guildhall School and Barbican Centre, said: “We are very excited that Music Education Islington is ready to launch and feels fully aligned with the School’s vision to help young people find their creative voice.
“Our pioneering cultural alliance between a conservatoire and a world-class art centre will create transformative opportunities and help to equip the talent of the next generation through this new hub partnership.”
The new programme also offers training for music teachers and freelancers in local schools, enabling them to teach more effectively and make the most of the opportunities on offer.
Guildhall School of Music & Drama is provided by the City of London Corporation.
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation said: "Access to culture and music education from a young age really helps to becoming a well-rounded, confident person and should be open to all. Education has the power to transform every young person. I’m proud that Guildhall School is playing a leading role in Music Education Islington, together with the Barbican.”