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Music Mark, a major new organisation for music educators, launches

17 March 2013

A new organisation, entitled the UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark, has been launched to support the teaching of music in the UK. The result of a merger of the Federation of Music Services (FMS) and the National Association of Music Educators (NAME), Music Mark is a new charitable, independent organisation that will 'provide a unified voice for those involved in music education'.

According to its official literature, Music Mark will aim to bring together leaders and experts in music education to represent and support music services, instrumental and classroom music teachers, private tutors, consultants, advisers, inspectors and teacher trainers. With a central mission of providing quality music for all, it will set out to champion young peoples’ music-making, support the professional development of music educators and encourage partnership working with the aim of raising standards and improving outcomes for children.

Music Mark was launched with a live performance from a young Oxfordshire-based string quartet and brief speeches from Darren Henley OBE, managing director of Classic FM, and Nigel Taylor, chair of Music Mark and head of Staffordshire Performing Arts. Henley said: The government has made it clear that it wants to engage with a single voice for music education. There are lots of reasons for not joining together, but also lots of reasons to do so. We must have an infrastructure to support music teachers and show them that they are valued.'

Referring to rapid changes in government policy, Taylor commented: 'We've got schools who are bewildered about where music should sit in their consciousness.' He went on to say that Music Mark would argue powerfully for a coherent vision for music in schools.

Virginia Haworth-Galt, chief executive, said: 'After months of hard work, we’re delighted to launch this new organisation which we hope will support and encourage those involved in music education in providing high-quality music opportunities. This is the first time all those involved with music education have been part of one organisation, and we’re excited about the opportunities this will provide to improve outcomes for all children and young people.'

The conductor Charles Hazlewood has been appointed Music Mark's first patron. He said: 'It is a privilege to be a part of this new organisation which builds upon the illustrious pasts of the FMS and NAME and looks forward with vision, ambition and a huge range of talent and skill among its membership. A great music education is not a luxury for the few, it's a birth right for all. Whether it's an opportunity to play a musical instrument or sing or compose or improvise or play in a band or an orchestra, music is sovereign among all subjects in being able to spark young people's imagination, unleash their creativity, stimulate their social conscience and galvanise their sense of community and belonging.'

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