The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music has published its latest report, Learning, Playing and Teaching in the UK: ABRSM Making Music 2021. The report has some interesting findings and shows that a real shift in music learning has taken place. This is unsurprising given how Covid-19 and the various lockdowns that took place in 2020-21 had a huge effect on the music industry as a whole. It was detrimental in many ways but the report has highlighted opportunities to support more people to learn music.
Some key findings from the report, last published in 2014 are below:
86% of children are actively making music
43% of adults are actively making music
15% less children are learning a musical instrument than in 2014
64% of children using digital resources for music learning.
ABRSM Making Music 2021 highlights opportunities to address these fundamental issues around access to music learning and progression by recognising learner preferences, giving learners more personalised support and bringing schools, private music teachers and community music organisations together to encourage learners to keep learning.
ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said: “ABRSM Making Music 2021 shows how an incredible 86% of children are actively making music today but we cannot ignore the very clear challenges which the latest report also sets out.
“It is down to all of us in the sector to now build on this enthusiasm for music, and the tangible energy and optimism across many areas of music education right now, to meet the needs of today’s learners – whether they want to learn in classroom, in a community hall or alone at home.
“The reason is simple. Music is about joy, about making connections. Learning to play and sing helps us flourish as individuals and as part of society. Quality, personalised support for learners, wherever they are on their journey, will help to keep them excited, enthused and wanting to progress.
“We must work together as a music education sector to reflect this and, even as we all facing rising costs, find ways to overcome the fundamental and deep-seated barriers that stop people accessing music learning in the first place.”
The report is available to download here.