Perhaps it is the time of day, but it seems to me that this issue of MT particularly demonstrates the remarkable, multifaceted qualities and powers of music.
Turn a few pages to the news and you will see a story on the Chineke! Orchestra – Europe’s first professional BME orchestra, which made its debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last month. Music here is bringing people together yet making a point.
A couple more pages in, and the Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglić talks about how performing was a comfort to him and others during the years of conflict in the Balkans. Yet he also expresses his complicated relationship with the orthodoxies of technique: jealous of others’ ability, but glad to have the freedom to be a musician without the ‘burden’ of the classical tradition.
Then there’s an interview with ABRSM’s new(ish) chief executive, Michael Elliott – the man ultimately responsible for maintaining standards in an organisation which works in 93 different countries, all of them different. Music, at once so free, is at the next moment plugged into a standardising tool to measure ability: but also, of course, to motivate and inspire.
And for some people, perhaps those with special educational needs or disabilities, music can be a therapy and a support. Over several pages in this issue we look at some of the ways in which music can be opened up to become a vital means of self-expression.
Of course, that self-expression is not necessarily any more vital to musicians with SEND than it is to anybody else: we all require that outlet in some form or another. It is this fact that means accessibility is not an added extra, but a duty.
In the above context, Drake Music Scotland’s #iamamusician campaign is particularly important. Raising awareness of the simple, day-to-day difficulties faced by disabled musicians at work – which is often, of course, teaching music – the initiative is aiming to make people take a moment to consider what disabled musicians can and cannot easily do. MT gives the campaign its support and urges its readers to do the same.