Topical and tempting as it was to open my first editorial with a proud-promising but ultimately undeliverable MT Manifesto, I fear it may have suffered the same fate as most of the manifestos published around this time: in the bin by 8 May. (After all, that’s certainly what happened to Nick Clegg’s copy five years ago.)
Instead, I would like to call on each and every reader to take the opportunity of a new editor to say what they feel about this magazine. What do you want MT to be?
For my money, it should continue to provide essential practical advice, keep its readers up-to-date with news, and draw attention to stimulating examples of the best work of brilliant colleagues. I also believe it should be a forum for its readers and, building on that foundation, should be a strong voice for music teachers at the highest levels.
But you may disagree – and you will surely have more to add. Last month we published a letter calling for more content to benefit private music tutors. While it is my job to respond to such concerns – and as soon as possible, I always will – I do not believe it is a cop-out to ask for your ideas as well. It can only help make this magazine the best it can be. So, be it on a postcard, an email, a Facebook post or tweet, I am looking forward to reading as many views as you will shortly have end-of-year reports to write.
Finally, back to Nick Clegg. Imagine a world in which, come 8 May, he finds that old 2010 manifesto and holds Labour or the Conservatives to ransom, over the cornerstone pledge to ‘scrap unfair university tuition fees so everyone has the chance to get a degree, regardless of their parents' income’. In 2010, that seemed a completely possible, entirely reasonable, objective. Five years later, it seems cuckoo. Learning music can be a uniquely empowering, inspiring, wonderful thing. Whatever the next government, we must all work together to make sure that music teaching of the highest quality is available to as many people as it possibly can be.