Without stating the obvious, 2020 has not quite been the year that we’d all been expecting. For the Music Education Hub, months of planning were undone in just one day with the closure of schools. We saw the cancellation of tours, numerous workshops, Artist residencies, our collaborative Summer school and much more. But from adversity comes resilience and the last six months have brought that in abundance.
Despite the gloom there have been some silver linings this year, not least the sharing of resources, the opportunities for online collaboration and the determination shown by our sector to keep the music playing. Looking beyond the tragedy of the pandemic, it’s also been a year of discussion and debate, with many areas of shared concern coming to the fore – from the environment to Black Lives Matter (BLM) what has become clear though, is how young people have positioned themselves central to the discourse, voicing their priorities, often with urgency and putting forward some radical proposals for change. And that’s something educators cannot really afford to ignore.
The arts and music do not of course exist in a vacuum – arguably the history of music charts the development of humanity and everything that has gone with it. As a platform for expression, it’s hard to think of a topic that hasn’t been broached through the craft of song writing. It’s not surprising therefore that musicians and artists have been central to the debates of 2020, not least BLM and the profound impact that Covid has had on the sector.
We are proud to launch the very first (we believe) Music Education Hub Podcast. Co-curated by SoundStorm in partnership with Chris Woods, who narrates and produces, we set out to bring to our community two main things – topical conversation and provocation. Chris’ work with the Hub has always embraced inclusivity and his thoughts on pedagogy and alternative routes to learning are well worth investigating. In the first episode, he talks to Nate Holder, author and music educator who’s recent poem ‘If I were a racist’ sparked not inconsiderable debate. Martin Fautley, Director of Research in the school of education and social work at Birmingham City University, joins Chris in Episode 2, taking forward the constantly evolving discussion on what the post-Covid landscape might mean for music education.
Regardless of your position on the topics we touch on through this series, what we’re keen to enable is dialogue and discussion. Plug in, sit back and have a listen…
Michael Armstrong, September 2020