Islington Council launches pioneering partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Music Education Islington launch event 1

02 Apr 2019

Islington Council launches pioneering partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Islington Council is launching Music Education Islington, a pioneering new music service for its schools.

The aim of the partnership is to ensure every child can discover and develop their musical skills under the guidance of some of the best music teachers in the world.

This week the council announces its new partnership with lead delivery organisation Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the internationally renowned conservatoire in the City of London. This is the first such partnership of its kind and the first time a conservatoire has led the delivery of music education for a local authority, as part of a wider partnership involving several other outstanding music education providers.

Music Education Islington will be truly universal – accessible to every Islington child and young person aged five to 18, regardless of their background, educational attainment or ability to pay.

Islington’s school pupils and teachers will be able to make the most of world-class music education and resources, as well as gaining access to a wide range of music and cross-arts experiences at both Guildhall School and the Barbican, via its creative alliance with the Guildhall School. The partnership will also offer an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s executive member for children, young people and families, said: “Islington sits at the heart of one of the most important cultural cities in the world, attracting talented and passionate creative minds from far and wide.

“We have made it our aim to capitalise on this, so that all of Islington’s young people have every opportunity to thrive.

“So I am thrilled to announce our new partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, an internationally renowned conservatoire, and a host of leading music organisations. Together Islington will become true leaders in music education.

“I look forward to seeing Guildhall School teachers bring their infectious enthusiasm and passion for music into our schools. We want to inspire our young people, broaden their horizons and fire their imagination.

“Our young people deserve the best; the new Music Education Islington programme will give them access to exceptional music education and experiences, allowing them to flourish, no matter what their background.”

The vision and aims of Music Education Islington are truly ambitious. Every child in the borough aged five to 18 will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through ensemble teaching. There is also a singing strategy to ensure every pupil sings regularly, and clear progression routes will be provided for those who want to develop their passion.

Sean Gregory, director of learning and engagement at Guildhall School and Barbican Centre, 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 and help to equip the talent of the next generation through this new hub partnership.”

The new programme also offers training for music teachers and freelancers in local schools, enabling them to teach more effectively and make the most of the opportunities on offer.

Guildhall School of Music & Drama is provided by the City of London Corporation.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair, City of London Corporation, said: “Access to culture and music education from a young age really helps to becoming a well-rounded, confident person and should be open to all. Education has the power to transform every young person. I’m proud that Guildhall School is playing a leading role in Music Education Islington, together with the Barbican.”


Notes to editors

About Music Education Hub

The Music Education Hub is part of Islington Council's commitment to a fairer Islington and our ambition to make Islington a great place for young people to grow up, to ensure our schools allow all young people to learn and thrive, and to equip young people with the skills they will need to join the world of work.

Music Education Islington is the new Music Education Hub for Islington Council. Music Education Hubs are local partnerships of music education providers, funded by central government, who work together to ensure all children and young people have sustained opportunities to engage in musical learning activities.

Music Education Islington is led by Islington Council and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, in partnership with Music in Secondary Schools Trust and leading arts organisations and funders, as well as the Islington Community of Schools. It receives core funding from Arts Council England.

The partnership is part of a wider initiative by Islington Council and the City of London Corporation (which provides Guildhall School and Barbican) to work more closely on shared priorities, including music education.

About Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Guildhall School is a vibrant, international community of young musicians, actors and production artists in the heart of the City of London. Ranked the UK’s top conservatoire in the Guardian University Guide 2019 for Music and selected as one of the top ten performing arts institutions in the world (QS World University Rankings 2019), the School is a global leader of creative and professional practice which promotes innovation, experiment and research, with over 1,000 students in higher education, drawn from nearly 60 countries around the world. The School is also the UK’s leading provider of specialist music training at the under-18 level with nearly 2,500 students in Junior Guildhall and the Centre for Young Musicians, as well as a joint Creative Learning division with the Barbican which seeks to create inspiring arts experiences for all

Guildhall School is one of the world’s leading conservatoires, highly regarded in the profession for intensive, dedicated training taught by renowned international teaching staff and through partnerships with the Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House and the Academy of Ancient Music. Guildhall School offers state-of-the-art facilities to match the talent within its walls, including a world-class concert hall and three theatres at Milton Court, and has a distinguished list of music graduates, including Thomas Adès, Alison Balsom, Sa Chen, Sir James Galway, Tasmin Little, Zara McFarlane, Anne Sophie von Otter, Sir Bryn Terfel, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

Contact Information

Islington Council