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Bridget’s Blog: Together, Schools and Academies #CanDoMusic

15th February 2024

Abi is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has blonde hair and is smiling at the camera.

This month, we are joined by Music Mark’s Schools Lead, Abi Marrison, for a special guest-written edition of Bridget’s Blog all about #CanDoMusic. Before joining Music Mark in October last year, Abi worked in primary education for 10 years, and for another eight years supporting schools to connect to the wider arts and cultural sector at Festival Bridge (with much of this work centred on training and support for the creative quality standard: Artsmark). 

One of the exciting projects I’ve been working on since I arrived at Music Mark has been building on our partnership with the ISM and MTA to re-launch the ‘Can Do Music’ website, which was originally created as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic which reduced access to music education in school for children and young people. Although we are not facing the challenges of social distancing and bubbles that consumed us then, we do still have huge challenges. To support our music educators, #CanDoMusic continues to tackle these together as the three Subject Associations for Music. 

In August 2020, Bridget wrote a blog for the ‘Can Do Music’ website titled ‘A school without music is unimaginable’, but in reality, there are schools and academies with minimal music, as well as huge disparities between what learning music in school looks like from one setting to another. 

In that blog, Bridget said:  

As pupils return to school it is vital that they are able to continue their musical learning. Yes, they must have access to the subject as it is an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum, but also because music’s wider social and emotional benefits will be invaluable in supporting students’ wellbeing…” 

In the three and a half years since this was written, I don’t think the message has changed at all. Music is still a vital part of education, and its importance is still making compelling reading in mainstream news publications. For example, on the 1st February, Melvyn Bragg wrote in The Times: 

“Music is under attack and theatres are closing. It’s time for a radical overhaul of the arts in the UK before it’s too late.” 

And ‘Music in Schools: A plea’ was published on the same day in Byline Times by composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall. 

The challenges have shifted for school leaders and educators, with financial burden currently having the strongest hold, followed closely by recruiting teachers, and retaining teachers in the profession (by ensuring they have a manageable workload). Our new termly programme for teachers called T-Time premieres in March on the theme ‘Finding the Finances’. These sessions will provide a space for teachers and leaders to learn from colleagues across the country and contribute their own experiences to the discussion. 

Can Do Music provides a wealth of high-quality, fun, and accessible resources and CPD available for teachers; it’s exciting to be involved in the relaunch of #CanDoMusic as it provides a platform for us to collectively share this with you, the teachers delivering music directly to children and young people. 

The social media hashtag #CanDoMusic is there for you to respond and share your reflections. We want this space to be reserved for educators to tackle challenges together and share examples of great things happening in classrooms, so that together, we #CanDoMusic. 

Head to to discover a variety of high-quality resources and blogs for music teachers, and don’t forget to share your reflections on social media using #CanDoMusic! You can also find out how Music Mark supports schools and teachers by clicking here