New National Curriculum for music announced

By 2021, every 14-year-old in the country will be able to read music, if the new curriculum is approved in August.

music score

The Department for Education released details of the proposed new National Curriculum today, due to come into effect in September 2014, which would see youngsters studying music up to Key Stage 3 (age 14). The consultation closes on August 8, but today's 224-page document gives a good indication of the curriculum teachers might be working to from 2014.

The proposed document describes music as a 'universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity', which could increase pupils' self-confidence and sense of achievement. Improvisation and composition will both be taught at age 7-14 (KS2 and KS3), and pupils will learn about great composers and great musicians from a range of periods, genres, styles and traditions.

Pupils will also be taught staff notation from the age of 7. If the changes are carried out, this would mean from 2021 every 14-year-old will be able to read music.

Michael Gove called it 'a tougher, more rigorous national curriculum' and placed children’s education in the context of a competitive global economy. "It will raise standards across the board and allow our children to compete in the global race," he said.

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