CMU@TGE: The Education Conference


Wednesday 16 May
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.

Standalone tickets are also available for The Education Conference getting you access to the full day programme and accompanying research for just £65. Click here to buy


Chris Cooke MD, CMU Insights
Diane Widdison National Organiser For Education & Training, Musicians’ Union
Lucie Caswell CEO, Featured Artists Coalition
Mark Davyd CEO, Rhythmix & Music Venue Trust
Mark Irwin Dean Of Higher Education, BIMM
Mel Thornton Head Of Careers & Employability, BIMM
Pamela McCormick Founder & Director, Urban Development
Paul Latham President UK, Live Nation
Phil Nelson Music Industry Ambassador, BIMM
ShaoDow artist
with many more to be announced very soon!

A guide to the key sessions taking place during The Education Conference…

01: Mapping Music Education
CMU Insights provides an overview of music education in the UK taking in schools, music hubs, music schools, colleges, universities, conservatoires, and industry-led career, education and apprenticeship initiatives. We summarise what is happening where, how schemes and initiatives crossover and interact, and where the gaps are. Along the way we’ll put the spotlight on specific initiatives and hear from the people behind them.

02: The Value Of Music Education
Music adds value to a young person’s education and personal development in multiple ways. Speaking to artists, educators and industry leaders, we consider how the music curriculum could and does open doors: to the excitement of performance, to the appreciation of music of all genres, to possible careers in music and the music industry, and to transferable business, communication and creative skills.

03: Informing The Curriculum
A key theme at The Education Conference is the belief that industry and entrepreneurial skills, and practical careers advice, should be incorporated into the music and wider arts curriculum.

This will better prepare young people to pursue careers in the music and creative industries; provide young people with increasingly important transferable media, communication and IP skills; and ensure music education is providing the next generation of creatives and business leaders for the music industry.

More closely allying music education and the music industry will also make a stronger case for funding the former, as an investment in education will become an investment in the industry. But what specific skills and knowledge are we talking about? To answer that big question we will ask three more…

• What jobs are available in music? The role of the performer in the music industry is the very visible tip of a giant iceberg of economic activity. We look beneath the surface at the many creative and commercial jobs available, and consider how music educators could better inform young people about all the opportunities out there.

• What skills do music industry employers need today? We ask labels, publishers, promoters, managers, marketers and digital music companies what they are looking for when recruiting new talent.

• What knowledge do artists need to succeed? We ask music makers – artists, session musicians, songwriters and record producers – what they wish they had known when starting out their music careers, and what practical skills you need to make a living out of music today.

04: Making It Happen
Having identified what skills we believe should be incorporated into the music curriculum, we will then consider the different ways that could be done; the resources and support the music education sector will need from the industry and government; and how we can ensure those resources and that support are forthcoming. Whose buy in do we need and how can we secure it?

05: A Music Education Manifesto
Based on the day’s discussions, we will identify practical objectives for better connecting educators, with each other and the industry, and political decision makers.

For more information on the wider TGE:CONVENTION, check the official website here. You can access the whole convention including the three CMU Insights conferences with either a TGE delegate pass or a TGE convention-only pass – get yours here.