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Lifelong Learning Pathways for Music and the Arts

Lifelong Learning Pathways for Music and the Arts

This thinkpiece explores the significance of lifelong learning pathways in music and the arts, recognising their profound impact on personal development, cultural enrichment, and societal well-being. Through outlining current provisions revolving around training in the music and the arts, we emphasise the importance of fostering a culture of lifelong learning that transcends formal education, encouraging individuals to pursue their passions and forge lifelong connections to music and the arts.

Image by Julien Riedel
22 May 2024
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Key recommendations include:

1. Invest in upskilling the current teaching workforce through arts- and music-based continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities.

2. Forge strong channels for active, reciprocal relationships founded on the sharing of expertise between schools, local government, central government, and organisations with specific focuses in music and the arts to foster meaningful dialogues across the industry to communicate barriers to learning, industry issues, and sharing best practices.

3. Strengthen musical literacy from a young age to allow pathways to be accessible as the individual matures, and foster more opportunities at a grassroots level to create an accessible musical pathway for learners.

4. Create more funding for community projects which will benefit all learners, and provide more access to music and the arts training through a centralised pot by central government, to be accessed by local governments, school bodies, and non-profit organisations to increase community engagement and access to the arts.

5. Enhance skills transferability across curriculums to aid personal development. Creating links between English and mathematical knowledge, as well as social skills such as public speaking and expression of thought learnt in an artistic environment, are not mutually exclusive to one sector.

6. Increase adult participation in music and the arts, whether it be socially or professionally, and accessible to all regardless of financial ability, and recognise the importance of community-based projects and organisations in providing opportunities to individuals.

7. Encourage the use of new technologies to enhance engagement and development of new practices in an increasingly digital age from within schools to allow learners to access further opportunities in their future pathways.

8. Promote career opportunities within the music and the arts industry to engage young talent within the sector and dispel the misconception that music and art qualifications do not hold value in comparison to engineering and STEM subject qualifications.

9. Safeguard engagement in music and the arts from financial barriers within schools until the age of 18 to allow for access to resources and teaching across a child’s education, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Increase promotion of music and the arts in providing health services to children, young people and adults through services such as music therapy and provide more services which use music and art as a foundation for social well-being.

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