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Music education – fun or fundamental?

schoolSummerGalaThere has been a good deal of coverage in the press in recent months about arts education in general, as well as music education in particular, and the threat it is under from budget cuts.
Many, including policy makers, consider music to be a ‘nice-to-have’ subject rather than an essential one, putting it way down the list behind maths, science and English in order of importance and thus at the top of the list when it comes to budget cuts.
Who can deny that music is universal – think about how much music one encounters everyday – on TV, in shops, as the background to life – and then imagine life without that omnipresent accompaniment? It is embedded in our culture and cannot simply be ignored. Music is something that everyone can relate to – who does not have a piece of music that jogs their memory? It allows us to express our feelings, mood and personality and to prompt emotions in both ourselves and others.

All that magic, and the joy of music, comes hand in hand with the other benefits. It requires a bit of ‘grit’ to do well – a bit of risk-taking, struggle, determination and perseverance if you like. Think of the guts it takes to perform, and consider also the practice needed to even reach a standard where you feel ready to perform in public.
We are lucky at Burford School where music is highly valued. As a result, it plays a central part in the education of all of our students. We firmly believe in the importance of music for all, and want as many of our students to benefit from varied musical experiences.
The Burford Institute of Music was established in 2014 to give our students opportunities that are found in few other state schools. The departmental staff wholeheartedly throw themselves into lessons and extra-curricular activities, demonstrating an infectious passion for their subject, which rubs off on the students. Participation in our ensembles is at an all-time high and there is always something going on in the department.

A new venture for the Institute this year is the establishment of a Choral Society. Students, parents, staff, alumni and keen local residents will be performing Fauré’s Requiem in Burford Church on 15th March 2018. If you would like to join us, either as a performer or member of the audience for this inaugural event, then this is your opportunity to take part in something special. If you are interested in learning more, contact me at bim@burford.oxon.sch.uk
We look forward to welcoming you to one of our many various musical events throughout the year.

Helen Jenkins
Music Administrator

December 2017 – January 2018