Current signatories: 2044

The Music Manifesto

Music can be magic. It calls for and calls forth all human virtues: imagination, discipline, teamwork, determination. It enriches and inspires.

We have come together because we share a passion for the power of music. We believe that music is important in itself and for its ability to change how we think, feel and act. For this reason, music plays a prominent part in young people's lives, both in and out of school, and from the very earliest age.

We believe music has a unique contribution to make to education - and by that we mean the education of all children, not just those with the potential to become great professional musicians and composers. We know that the creativity at the heart of music-making can help raise attainment and motivate young people.

We believe that music is important for the social and cultural values it represents and promotes, and for the communities it can help to build and to unite. We share the conviction that music education should reflect the diversity of Britain today and should be accessible to everyone. We also recognise music for the important contribution it makes to the economy.

In this country, we are extremely fortunate in the richness of our musical heritage - and in the breadth and quality of our contemporary resources. From professional orchestras to aspiring DJs, from composers and songwriters to music publishers, from adult and mixed age ensembles to the youngest musicians, we have many strengths. But we believe that music can do more.

The signatories to this manifesto are committed to working together to deliver an exciting range of musical experiences to all young people, helping to create the soundtrack to their lives. The manifesto sets out our shared priorities over the next five years. It is not a conventional kind of manifesto. Most significantly, it is not a one-off statement.

The first part of the manifesto represents our joint commitment - a shared strategy and set of priorities for the future. The second part allows each organisation to showcase its own distinctive contribution. As each of our organisations moves forward, we will use this manifesto as a benchmark for our activity and Government will use it as a guide for future policy development. In this way we hope it will continue to inspire new supporters, and support initiatives, rather than gathering dust.

The Music Manifesto has been developed by DfES and DCMS in collaboration with music organisations and arts practitioners, with the music industry, the Musicians' Union, the TTA, the Specialist Schools Trust, Arts Council England, QCA, Ofsted and Youth Music. Its purpose is to:

  • Act as a statement of common intent that helps align currently disparate activity
  • Set out a shared agenda for future planning, because we know that real progress depends on action by all of us
  • Make it easier for more organisations and individuals to see how they can contribute to music education
  • Guide Government's own commitment
  • Call on the wider community, in the public, private and community sectors, to join us in enriching the lives of schoolchildren

The time is ripe for a Music Manifesto. There is a groundswell of interest, energy and support from people who want to work together to ensure better music opportunities for all. There is an increasing belief in the power of music to contribute to whole school development and community regeneration. It is no surprise music plays such an important role in all kind of events like weddings, christenings, anniversaries (read more about wedding anniversaries) and so on. There is greater understanding about what young people want and an increased recognition of the need to bring music education into the 21st century.

Our vision is simple. We want to build pathways for progression in music so that all young people, whatever their background or abilities, have access to a rich and diverse range of musical experiences, within and outside school. We want to create opportunities for young people to pursue their interest wherever it takes them and to develop their talents to the full.

For some, the guidance and support they receive will lead to a passion for music which will last throughout their lives. For others it will lead directly to careers in music - as teachers, producers, composers or performers. Finally, we want to develop a flourishing music sector, strongly supported by music technology and the broadcast media.

The experience of each individual must lie at the heart of this vision. Working together, we have five key aims to fulfill.

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