Matthew has accompanied representatives from the Music in Secondary School Trust (MiSST) and Lord Lloyd Webber to meet Education Minister Nick Gibb at the Department of Education to discuss their initiative.
The meeting follows Matthew's Written Question to the Department for Education in which he asked whether the Secretary of State for Education will make it his policy to roll out the Music in Secondary School Trust (MiSST) initiative throughout state schools in England.
Since 2006, MiSST has worked with 17 secondary schools – predominantly in London – who have disadvantaged and challenging pupils to provide funding for classical instruments, regular teaching and a chance to perform. Supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme, the MiSST initiative has reached over 10,000 pupils and in 2012 the first pupil secured a place to read Music at Oxford University. But the scheme is not just about learning to play an instrument. Headteachers whose pupils participated found that their exam results improved, pupils engaged in other subjects and developed their leadership, communication and collaborative skills. Parents reported the growth of their children’s self-esteem, confidence and worth.
It has been said that 20% of children learn to play a musical instrument but 70% of adults wish they had. While music remains a compulsory subject in the national curriculum up to the age of 14, many pupils do not learn to pay a musical instrument. Last month Matthew asked Education ministers to roll out the Music in Secondary School Trust MiSST) initiative throughout state schools in England.
Matthew said: “Music is a vehicle for transformation. MiSST is not necessarily about children becoming musicians, that is simply a positive by-product. The programme teaches life skills beyond music and gives students the opportunity to learn a skill that may not have previously been available to them.
"The Minister has agreed to take this proposal away with a view to expanding it to other parts of the country and I hope to many schools in the Hendon constituency.”