Thursday, 20 January 2011

Passionate about the Arts!

The arts are a central part of the human experience and young people cannot participate or understand our history without engaging in the arts... 

My experiences in York and Leeds, and working with some brilliant colleagues, musicians and artists, have shown me that the arts provide languages for shaping and expressing our understandings and can engage diverse learners and provide them with opportunities to share what they know. They help develop capacities and attitudes central to learning and to life and helps develop imagination and empathy.  To work in the arts, young people are required to think critically, pose problems and make decisions, things that lie at the heart of all learning. Students who participate regularly in the arts develop self-confidence, self-discipline and self-esteem and come to understand what it means to achieve high standards and to work as part of a team.   And of course the arts bring us joy and bring joy to learning and make schools happier and more vibrant and exciting places. What would our lives be like without music and the arts?

Sadly, for those of us who are passionate about the arts, research by the Federation of Music Services has revealed that on in six of music services receiving local authority subsidies are likely to have their funding stopped and around half of all music services supported by local authorities are facing cuts of between 10% to 50%; with the rest still waiting for the results of their local authority’s budget review. 

We all know that local authorities are facing huge financial challenges and choices but everyone who cares about music and the arts should urge them to hold back and rethink their plans until we know the results of the Henley Review. Our children and young people are too precious to lose the arts from the curriculum and deep learning is too important to lose the arts  from our schools.

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