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Bridget’s Blog: thank you to our music educators

22nd March 2022

Music Mark CEO Bridget Whyte

Ahead of the Music and Drama Education Awards on 23 March, Bridget takes a moment to look back at the inspiring contributions across the sector over the course of the pandemic and say thank you. 

It is always nice to get a pat on the back, whether that’s a simple ‘thank you’, a card or letter of appreciation for a job well done, or an award recognising the contribution you are making in your field.  This week I am really excited to be attending the Music and Drama Education Awards on Wednesday.  In the past when I’ve attended this event – the last time being just weeks before lockdown 1 – it has been great to meet and talk with colleagues from across the sector. But for the awards themselves it has always been hard to choose who I would want to win from the nominations in each category.  You can’t really have favourites as the CEO of a membership organisation when lots of those on the list are your members!

However, this year there will be one nominee I really hope will get a pat on the back for their contribution to Music Education during the past two ‘pandemic’ years.  Gary Griffiths may not be a household name (yet), but his Music Unlocked resource which we initially commissioned back in the spring of 2020 and which he has tirelessly updated throughout the past two years will be well known to many of you in the music education sector.  I really hope that he wins at least one of the two of the nominations he has received! This week we shared an interview with Gary ahead of the awards which you can read here.

Of course, there are many, many great people and organisations who have done and continue to do amazing work for children and young people across the UK.  Sadly, they can’t all be nominated for an award, but I do hope they know how valued they are.  Music has been a rock for so many over the past two years.  The recent update to The Power of Music by Dr Susan Hallam and Dr Evangelos Himonides explains why, but these benefits – social, psychological, educational – can only be felt thanks to the great work of our music tutors and the support systems and organisations which enable them to do their jobs.

As we wait for a ‘refreshed’ National Plan for Music Education in England and a new National Plan for Music Education for Wales, and in the week that marks two years since the first lockdown across the UK, let’s take a moment to thank colleagues for the amazing work that they have done.  Some will get an official ‘thank you’ at the awards on 23rd March, and hopefully Gary will be among them. But the evening will also be a recognition of everyone in the music education sector and what we’ve all achieved to keep musical learning available to children and young people when they needed it most. And that’s certainly something to celebrate! Is there someone in particular you could thank this week?

On behalf of Music Mark I’d like to thank each and every one of you!  Oh, and good luck Gary!