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Guildhall to provide music education for London council in ‘pioneering’ collaboration

The Music in Secondary Schools Trust Saturday School Quartet performing at the launch

Guildhall School of Music and Drama [1] has partnered with Islington Council to deliver the local authority’s music education programme, in what is being described as the first collaboration of its kind.

The two organisations said they want to create a “pioneering new music service” for schools, which aims to make music education accessible to every child in the London borough, with initiatives including a free or discounted instrument loan service for low income families.

Guildhall will be the lead partner on the project, making it the first time a conservatoire has spearheaded the delivery of music education for a local authority. It is partnering with the Music in Secondary Schools Trust and will engage with other arts organisations and funders.

Music Education Islington will offer every five to 18-year-old in the borough the opportunity to learn an instrument through ensemble teaching, while every pupil will take part in singing regularly, with “clear progression routes” provided for young people who want to develop their skills.

Pupils and teachers in Islington will also gain access to various other arts experiences at Guildhall and the Barbican – where the college is based – as well as additional teacher training.

Sean Gregory, director of learning and engagement at Guildhall and the Barbican, said: “We are very excited that Music Education Islington is ready to launch and feels fully aligned with the school’s vision to help young people find their creative voice.

“Our pioneering cultural alliance between a conservatoire and a world-class art centre will create transformative opportunities to help equip the talent of the next generation through this new hub partnership.”

Last month, Southwark Council committed to ensuring every primary school child gets to see one theatre show a year.

London council commits to giving every primary schoolchild free theatre trip [2]