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National Plan for Music Education Released in Wales

17th May 2022

We can be proud that our communities across Wales have long produced music renowned across the world’ – Minister for Education and the Welsh Language states at the opening of the new National Plan for Music Education for Wales, published today.

Music Mark is delighted to read the published plan for Wales which outlines the vision for music education in Wales and the priorities for work going forward.  At the heart of the plan is the idea that there will be ‘equality by ensuring access for all learners to play, sing, take part, progress and create music’.

A new National Curriculum for Wales and increased financial investment come together within this new plan which has been developed through consultation with classroom teachers, instrumental tutors, and others in the education and arts sectors.  The plan acknowledges that it will be important to build on, existing out of school activities’ recognizing the great work already underway in Wales that the plan seeks to champion and enhance. It recognizes that ‘A strategic and sustainable approach is needed to ensure a diverse and equitable music education is accessible for our children and young people from ages 3 to 16.  Strengthening our music education is important to rebuild and support the well-being of our children and young people after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Enhancing the teaching, learning and joy of experiencing music in all its forms is vital with the support of our communities and wider music sector’. There is the overarching desire to, ‘support children and young people to explore their full potential’.

The report goes on to explore the programmes of work in school and beyond, which include:

  • first experiences
  • music pathways
  • music tuition
  • live music experiences
  • professional learning support
  • improving equity, diversity and inclusion
  • music for lifelong learning, health and well-being
  • Making music with others – music activities and ensembles
  • Making music with others – performing and creative industries

There is a focus on partnerships, ED&I and progression with the plan clearly celebrating the importance of collaborative and collegiate approaches to music education. The plan comes with an increased funding settlement for local authorities to support music education beyond the curriculum, as well as some seed funding last financial year which has enabled music services to purchase instrument sets, including adaptive instruments, to support the programmes of work, and to invest in new teaching resources. It’s highlighted in the plan that Music Mark will work with the MIA to support that National Music Service in the delivery of the national instrument, resource and equipment library. We are looking forward to supporting with this vital work.

Music Mark is looking forward to supporting the National Music Service for Wales in its coordinator role and the 14 Music Services and the wider music education community across Wales who provide music tuition to children and young people and training and support to schools.

To read the plan please visit the Welsh Government website here.

Bridget Whyte, Music Mark CEO said about the plan:

This is a great opportunity to ensure that all children and young people across Wales have equitable access to a progressive musical learning programme in and out of school.  The plan recognizes the important of the wider music education ecosystem beyond the school gates, and looks to bring partnership working to the heart of provision at a local level as well as to develop a stronger national partnership too.  Music Mark is proud to have the Music Services of Wales within the membership and will be working closely with them and the National Music Service for Wales, the WLGA and the Welsh Government to support the delivery of this exciting and ambitious plan.