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Introducing our new Chair: Peter Smalley

19th October 2023

Peter Smalley

We are delighted to introduce our new Chair: Peter Smalley. Peter leads Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust as its Chief Executive, and the Northamptonshire and Rutland Music Education Hub as Chief Operating Officer. Peter has been a member of the Music Mark Board for 6 years, most recently as Vice Chair to James Dickinson who is stepping down as Chair. James says My time as chair has enabled me to talk to and learn from so many colleagues from across the sector. Despite everything the sector has had to contend with, the passion and commitment to high quality musicmaking remains undiminished.”

We spoke to Peter to learn more about what he is looking forward to in his new role as Chair and the Music Education sector over the coming years:

“I welcome the honour of being invited to become Chair of Music Mark with mixed emotions. I look forward to getting to know colleagues around the entire UK, but I am aware that we are all facing a significant period of change, particularly in England, and that we are operating in the shadow of a financial crisis. There is a responsibility on all of us who lead Music Education to continually advocate for proper support for the sector, which needs a secure financial basis to achieve all that is expected of it. I look forward to supporting Bridget and her team to enable them to continue supporting you.”

As Music Mark has now reached the age of 10, we are now looking ahead to our second decade. Peter says “It is a cliché to suggest that time appears to move faster as you get older, but it is hard to imagine that Music Mark is 10 years old. It is also hard to remember that Music Mark is only 10 years old. It feels like it has been there forever. It has established a presence in the Music Education landscape which puts it at the centre of policy discussions and sees it as a supporter of innovation. We must retain, and build on that position, so that 10 years from now, it will be impossible to believe that there was ever a time when Music Mark wasn’t at the front, and centre, of supporting Music Education in the UK.”

A message from Peter to our colleagues in the Music Education sector…

We have the most important job in the world.

We know that the economic position is challenging, schools do not have enough money, and parental purses are squeezed. The next few years are going to be tough, but as long as we all hold fast to our core beliefs about why Music Education is important, and we remember to put the needs of Children and Young People at the heart of everything we do, then we will always have a purpose, and there will always be a need for us.

Through engagement with children and young people we get to change lives. We get to mould and develop the next generation, and that makes our job, the most important job in the world!”

We are greatly looking forward to working with Peter in his new role as Music Mark’s Chair and want to thank James for his service to Music Mark.