For me the key questions arising from the debates around the Model Music Curriculum are:
- Whether the repertoire is racist / has an air of ‘white superiority’ / is described or labelled in a culturally inappropriate way.
- Whether there is now a conflict of interest (through no fault of their own) in the involvement of Music Education Hubs and their membership organisation in the original panel now that Music Hub funding has been explicitly tied to the Model Music Curriculum (when the DfE said at the time that Music Hubs would not benefit from funding related to the MMC).
- By extension, whether promoting a ‘non-statutory’ document can actually be a condition for public funding in education, and whether Music Education Hubs can be penalised if their schools decide that they do not want to adopt it.
- If a public document is allowed to promote ‘paid for’ resources, particularly those belonging to organisations represented on the original panel.
- If the document oversteps its remit by moving content from one Key Stage to another, thereby not functioning as an exemplar of the National Curriculum as it currently stands.
I am not setting out to answer any of these questions, but they do need to be asked! Asking them doesn’t make you ‘anti’ the Model Music Curriculum, or ‘anti’ the people involved. It doesn’t make a value judgement about the content, or about its authors.
What asking these questions does do, is hold the government to account for the use of taxpayer’s money, which if we have learned anything from the PPE debacle is both necessary, and ultimately futile! But still we try…
Dr Liz Stafford, March 2021
If you are interested in an independent analysis of the content & pedagogy of the Model Music Curriculum, with a view to deciding whether it is right for your school, we have webinars available here.