CMU Insights, Urban Development and BIMM present a full-day conference at The Great Escape putting the spotlight on music education. Following numerous reports about music education in England being ‘in crisis’, we bring music educators and music employers together to discuss how music education and the music industry could be more closely aligned.

The Education Conference takes place at Dukes at Komedia on 16 May.
• For a ticket to the CMU Insights Education Conference click here
• For a ticket to all three CMU Insights conferences click here
• For a full delegate pass for the TGE convention and festival click here

NOTE: TGE delegates will be able to access Dukes at Komedia on the Wednesday without their delegate passes – you just need to check in at the entrance of the Komedia complex. You can then pick up your pass to get access to the rest of TGE from 5pm on Wednesday. 


Everyone agrees that the British music industry is one of the UK’s success stories. British artists, songwriters and music companies constantly punch above their weight, and the government acknowledges the value of British music – culturally, commercially, and as a calling card around the world. Yet music education in the UK has seen its funding cut and its place in the curriculum down-graded. How can we ensure the UK music industry of the future has the talent and knowledge it needs to continue to prosper?

Step one is building closer ties between employers and educators in music. What skills is the music industry looking for and are those skills being taught? Most musicians pursue portfolio careers and run their own small music businesses – beyond the crucial art of songwriting and performance, is music education preparing young people for that challenge? How can we better support young music entrepreneurs entering the business? And how can the different strands of music and music education better collaborate to capitalise on the opportunities and meet the challenges?

We will bring together music educators and employers from across the UK and beyond to create a new manifesto for music education.


Adam Joolia Director, Audioactive
Anthony Emms HR Manager, CAA
Arit Eminue Founder & Director, DiVA
Chris Cooke MD, CMU Insights
Dan Francis UK Education Strategy Manager, RSL
Diane Widdison National Organiser For Education, Musicians’ Union
Eckoes artist entrepreneur
Francesca Treadaway Communications Manager, Incorporated Society Of Musicians
Georgia Train singer/songwriter
Hannah Fouracre Director of Music Education, Arts Council England
James Thomas Head, Hackney Music Service
Jane Beese Head Of Music, The Roundhouse
Julia Ruzicka College Principal, BIMM London
Julian Deane Managing Director, Raygun Music
Louise Jackson Head Of Learning Enhancement, Trinity Laban
Lucie Caswell CEO, Featured Artists Coalition
Mark Davyd CEO, Rhythmix & Music Venue Trust
Mark Irwin Dean Of Higher Education, BIMM
Martin Elbourne Co-founder, The Great Escape
Matt Griffiths CEO, Youth Music
Mel Thornton Head Of Careers & Employability, BIMM
Mike King VP Enrollment Management and Marketing, Berklee
Oliver Morris Director of Education & Skills, UK Music
Pamela McCormick Founder & Director, Urban Development
Paul Latham President UK, Live Nation
Paula Hearsum Principal Lecturer, University Of Brighton
Peter Chivers Head Of Music & Arts, BHMA
Phil Nelson Music Industry Ambassador, BIMM
Robert Wells Curriculum Adviser, Urban Development
Roxanne De Bastion artist entrepreneur
ShaoDow artist entrepreneur
Silvia Gargiulo Founder, BIY People & Talent
Simon Raymonde MD, Bella Union
Steve Hillier songwriter/producer
Svetlana Eliason musician
Vanessa Wilson Consultant, Value Added Kids
look out for the final speakers being announced next week!


What do we even mean by music education? In the classroom, outside the classroom, primary, secondary, further, higher, performance-centric, production-centric, business-centric, school-led, venue-led, charity-led, artist-led, industry-led, mentoring, internships, apprenticeships and continued professional development, whatever the age, whatever the genre, we map music education across England in its widest sense. Redefining music education means joining lots of dots. We identify what dots need to be joined.

The Research
CMU Insights, Urban Development and BIMM have embarked on a major piece of research called ‘Redefining Music Education’ which began with a mapping exercise. Utilsing that research, Chris Cooke from CMU Insights and Phil Nelson from BIMM present a music education map for England.

The Interviews
Having identified all the key segments of music education in England, we meet people working in each of them to get an understanding of what they do, what they teach and how they teach it.

10.25- 10.40 In The Classroom
We start in the music class, key stage three (ages 11-14), GCSE (ages 14-16) and A-Level (ages 16-18). What’s being taught, who sets the curriculum and what support do music teachers need?
with Dan Francis, RSL; Robert Wells, Urban Development; Vanessa Wilson, Value Added Kids.

10.40-10.55 Music Hubs
Music education in schools goes beyond music class, with instrument lessons and extra-curricular activities. A lot of this activity is funded by the local music hubs which, in turn, receive funds from Arts Council England. How did the hubs come about, what are they meant to do and how do they differ around the country? We find out.
with Hannah Fouracre, Arts Council England; James Thomas, Hackney Music Service; Peter Chivers, Brighton & Hove Music & Arts.

10.55-11.10 Innovations In The Classroom
A number of external organisations are now working with schools to innovate in the way music skills are taught in the classroom. We find out about some of those initiatives and what they have achieved.
with Matt Griffiths, Youth Music; Pamela McCormick, Urban Development; Philip Flood, Sound Connections.

11.10-11.25 Innovations Outside The Classroom
Looking beyond the classroom we put the spotlight on those organisations engaging young people with both the art and business of music outside of school.
with Adam Joolia, Audioactive; Jane Beese, The Roundhouse; Pamela McCormick, Urban Development.

11.25-11.40 Higher & Further Education
Next up music courses at colleges and universities around England. Across the genres, we explore the approaches different institutions take and discuss the curriculum they teach.
with Louise Jackson, Trinity Laban; Mark Irwin, BIMM; Mike King, Berklee; Paula Hearsum, University Of Brighton.

11.40-11.55 Industry Led Initiatives
The music industry itself offers a range of programmes and opportunities for those considering a career in music. We put the spotlight on three of them.
with Arit Eminue, DiVA; Lucie Caswell, Featured Artists Coalition; Oliver Morris, UK Music.

There have been a flurry of articles and opinion pieces in the last year declaring there is a crisis in music education. We hear music education is under-funded, under-valued and under-played. So, is music education really in crisis? And, if so, what can be done about it? Chris Cooke from CMU Insights reviews the headlines and then consults a panel of experts.

12.25-12.35 The problem with eBacc
The eBacc sets out the criteria by which English schools are rated. It doesn’t include music. Why not? What affect has this had? How can we bring about change?

12.35-12.45 The problem with the hubs
The music hubs have come in for a lot of criticism since their launch in 2012. Some hubs seem to work really well, some less so. What’s the current state of play and how can performance be improved?

12.45-13.15 Crisis, what crisis?
What are the most pressing problems in music education and what possible solutions are worth considering? If bigger budgets aren’t incoming anytime soon, can the money we’ve got be spent better?

with Diane Widdison, Musicians’ Union; Francesca Treadaway, Incorporated Society Of Musicians; Hannah Fouracre, Arts Council England; Matt Griffiths, Youth Music; Pamela McCormick, Urban Development; Paul Latham, Live Nation.

The Education Conference is all about connecting music education and the music industry. If music educators are equipping and enabling the young creators who will fuel and lead the music and wider creative industries of the future, what knowledge and skills do those young creators really need? Chris Cooke from CMU Insights and Phil Nelson from BIMM investigate.

14.10-14.30 The Recruiters
We talk to recruiters in the music industry about what knowledge and skills music companies are now looking for from their new recruits.
with Anthony Emms, CAA; Mel Thornton, BIMM; Silvia Gargiulo, BIY People & Talent.

14.35-14.55 Music Makers
What do professional music makers wish they’d been told when they embarked on their music careers? And what advice would they offer for those starting out today? We find out.
with Georgia Train; Steve Hillier; Svetlana Eliason.

14.55-15.15 Musicians Turned Execs
We talk to artists who went from performing on stage to working in the business of music to find out why and how they made the switch and what they learned along the way.
with Julia Ruzicka, BIMM; Julian Deane, Raygun Music; Simon Raymonde, Bella Union.

15.15-15.30 Artist Entrepreneurs
CMU:DIY and the Featured Artists Coalition recently launched the Artist:Entrepreneur Day, where a team of artist entrepreneurs open up their individual artist businesses to demonstrate how you go about building a business around your music. We meet the artist entrepreneurs to find out what knowledge and skills they reckon new artists need to acquire.
with Eckoes; Roxanne De Bastion; ShaoDow.

CMU Insights, Urban Development and BIMM will spend the next year undertaking phase two of the ‘Redefining Music Education’ research project. With that in mind they outline some key themes that have come out of phase one and set out some objectives for phase two.

Under the spotlight will be how to better identify and champion innovation in schools and the music hubs; how to better connect music initiatives inside and outside the classroom; how to better demonstrate the value of music education to schools and policy makers; how to more closely align music education with the music industry; and how to provide young people with the skills they need to pursue a career in music or the wider creative industries.

16.00-17.00 MAKING IT HAPPEN
We wrap up the day seeking practical measures, simple solutions and – perhaps – radical new approaches to enhancing music education in England and beyond, taking in what we’ve learned so far, and providing ideas aplenty for the ‘Redefining Music Education’ research project to investigate further.

with Chris Cooke, CMU Insights; Mark Davyd, Rhythmix/Music Venue Trust; Martin Elbourne, The Great Escape; Pamela McCormick, Urban Development; Phil Nelson, BIMM; Vanessa Wilson, Value Added Kids.


FULL DELEGATE PASS gets you access to both the convention and the festival on all four days – click here to buy.
CONVENTION-ONLY PASS gets you access to the convention on all four days – click here to buy.
EDUCATION CONFERENCE PASS gets you access to The Education Conference on Wednesday 16th May – click here to buy.