On March 20th 2017, two leading music education organisations, ABRSM and Music Mark, launched a first of its kind website to enable parents in London’s 33 boroughs to find a wealth of local opportunities for their children to get involved, develop and make music.
By selecting their borough on the www.learnmusic.london website, parents are taken directly to their local music service to begin a conversation about how their child can start their musical journey, or take their music to the next level.
Together the capital’s music services – which are funded through a mix of public money and fees – offer thousands of music lessons each week both in and out of school, giving children and young people aged 5 to 18 the opportunity to play individually or in groups, as well as compose, produce and perform, while working across all musical genres from classical to grime. Almost 8,000 different bands and orchestras are run by the music services every week. Many of these culminate in children playing in prestigious concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the O2, as well as taking part in international tours.
The www.learnmusic.london website also features videos of young musicians and their parents talking about the many benefits of music-making, including making friends, improving self-confidence and learning from mistakes.
ABRSM Executive Director of Strategic Development Lincoln Abbotts and former Music Mark CEO Jem Shuttleworth said:
‘Many children across London are already learning instruments, but their parents may not be aware of the wealth of other musical opportunities on their doorstep. Through their local music service, children and young people can get involved in orchestras, bands and choirs and have opportunities to tour their music or play in some of the capital’s high profile music venues. Not only does this develop children’s talent and deepen their musical experiences, it also gives them opportunities to meet likeminded people and make great friends.
‘Equally we know there are parents whose children want to learn music but they’re unsure who to ask for advice. Their local music service is a great place to start to understand more about the instruments that are available and how best to support their children to get involved. Often a phone call is all it takes!
‘So to any parent keen to encourage their child’s music making we’d say visit www.learnmusic.london, find your local music service and start exploring the musical opportunities for children in your part of London!’
London-born saxophonist and double MOBO winner YolanDa Brown, whose many musical collaborations include touring with Billy Ocean and recording with X Factor winner Matt Cardle says:
‘I’m delighted to support the launch of the Learn Music London website for parents. Music allows you to dream… it heals and it is so powerful. My career in music was born out of my parents’ encouragement when I was just 6 years old and learning instruments. Parents and guardians have a huge role to play in helping children experience the gift of learning music. The Learn Music London website helps connect all the dots to get children started on their musical journey.’
18 year old Nadia from Enfield, who is one of Learn Music London’s young ambassadors, says:
‘Young people listen to music a lot on the radio, but I don’t think they understand the joys of playing it rather than just listening to it.
‘I have a group of friends who play and it’s quite nice to be like a society or community where you can relate with other people. When you’re with people who do the same things as you, it motivates you to want to go further.’
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons, says:
‘London is the music capital of the world and we want to help build the creative talent of tomorrow, ensuring young Londoners make the most of our great city’s musical wealth and fulfil their potential. This new platform is a really fantastic way for parents to tap into local musical experiences for their children.’
Learn Music London is a collaboration between international music examination board ABRSM and national membership organisation Music Mark, and is backed by the GLA. The Learn Music London website signposts parents to their local music service based on where they live and highlights the opportunities available. The website also contains a wealth of information about the benefits of making and learning music.
Music services are the lead partner in local music education hubs. Hubs receive funding from the Department for Education and aim to provide opportunities for all children and young people to develop a lifelong love of music and realise their musical potential, while developing their personal and social identity.
ABRSM (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is a music education body and world leading provider of music exams, offering assessments to more than 630,000 candidates in 93 countries every year. ABRSM’s mission is to inspire achievement in music. In partnership with the Royal Schools of Music, we support high-quality music-making and learning around the world. We offer pathways and resources for learners and teachers that help build musical skills, provide goals and encourage progress.
Music Mark is a membership organisation for music services, their teaching and support teams, their partners and their schools. They work with and on behalf of our members and the wider music education sector to deliver high-quality musical and social outcomes for all children and young people.