Were Aristotle and Plato right about music, and what are the implications for school leaders and teachers in the world of contemporary education?


Music has a power of forming the character and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young. (Aristotle)

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything… Without music, life would be an error. (Plato)

With falling uptake at GCSE and A level, patchy provision in both primary and secondary schools, the negative impact of the Government’s headline accountability measures such as the EBacc, fewer teaching hours and declining teacher recruitment, the current crisis in music education means that our schools are struggling to deliver on the ancient philosophical expectations. In this session Deborah Annetts (Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians) and Kevin Rogers (formerly County Inspector for Music in Hampshire) will address why the place of music in schools and society still matters, what music education should include, and why curriculum music is vital to a broad and balanced curriculum. The session will also explore some of the most recent national developments (such as the review of the National Plan for Music Education, Ofsted’s new framework, the continuing pressures of accountability measures in all Key Stages, etc), and will provide forthright arguments for change.

Across two days, over 250 sessions will take place at the Festival. A full timetable of sessions will be available from late May 2019. Until this point we will only be announcing the day(s) sessions will be taking place.