Drake Music were pleased to read Nick Gibb’s recent letter to Arts Council England, following a review of Music Hubs’ roles by the Department for Education.
It is good to see that access to music is high on his agenda, with the letter making particular reference to the musical needs and interests of disabled young people:
‘(I) believe that disabled children should have the right support to enable them to play a musical instrument. I look to hubs and schools to work together to remove barriers.’
The annual data returns provided by Music Hubs have consistently evidenced fewer disabled young musicians having access to playing an instrument or taking part in ensembles.
The data is also inconsistently reported, although this is due to be improved in the next report, due out in the Autumn.
Drake Music are currently working with several Music Hubs as part of our three year ‘Think2020’ initiative, funded by Youth Music.
We believe the ‘tide is turning’ in relation to inclusive music-making in the UK and that Music Hubs can make a significant impact towards a musically inclusive England.
However, with no new money available from the government before 2020, Music Hubs may need to prioritise their work with disabled young musicians in order to achieve the level of progress we all want to see and we encourage ACE and Hub staff to make this a priority.