Much to celebrate, and much to work on
It seems like we are only just beginning to understand the many ways in which opportunity is unequal across the music education sector when a new issue, one that we should have seen coming, takes us by surprise. With the rise of online grade exams, the huge differences in the ways we record student performances have become apparent. Without specialist equipment and knowledge, there is a danger that dynamic range and other elements of a performance might be completely obscured. Even if you pay for a studio set-up, you are at the mercy of whatever kit your examiner has been able to get their hands on. This is just one of the many ways in which digital inequality is coming to mean inequality of access to music education, and we have a lot of work to do in order to offer an equal playing field. With this in mind, we spoke to the Music Teachers’ Board about their new ‘record and submit’ app video update (see page 30), and invited Karen Marshall to look back on her experience with online exams through other boards (see page 12). We will be following up with an article in the May issue looking at steps you can take to best record your students’ performances.
After an enjoyable six-month stint back in the hotseat, this is my last issue as interim editor. I am very pleased to hand over to the excellent Harriet Clifford, who takes on the permanent role of editor from mid-March. Please continue to let us know your thoughts on what we produce and on what you would like us to cover through our social media channels or by writing to us at email@example.com.
All that remains at this point are some thank-yous. The Music and Drama Education Awards online ceremony takes place on 24 March at 6pm and will be streamed at www.musicdramaedawards.com and on our Facebook page. Many thanks to Classic FM and tv’s Alexander Armstrong, who will present the show, and, of course to all of the entrants, nominators and judges. The awards are by their nature highly selective, but we were inundated with worthy entries. It has been an unprecedented year, but we rose to it and we endured. Let’s hope that better times are on the horizon, and when they come, you will have more than earned them.
Thomas Lydon, interim editor
Music Teacher is the UK’s only magazine aimed at music educators from across the sector. It is a place where music is valued in and of itself, embracing all genres. We offer up new approaches to pedagogy through in-depth features, engaging opinions, lesson plans and schemes of work. We cast a critical eye over the latest research and products to help inform the conversations that shape musical teaching. This is a platform for raising awareness of the key issues affecting music teachers, and for championing existing efforts to ensure music education is accessible to all.
MUSIC TEACHER F April 2021 F 5