Technology and the Music Curriculum: Maximising Inclusion, Diversifying Options

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The purpose of the chapter is to draw the reader’s attention to the perceived-as-perilous state of music education in the UK, to share findings from the 2019-2021 Musical Futures/Ableton project known as ‘Tech Champions’ and to propose that, if music education is not only to survive in the UK’s state sector but also to thrive, it will be necessary to engage with the contemporary popular forms that do not involve music-making of a traditional type. In the first part, the chapter demonstrates that music became more popular, as an ‘option’, when GCSE replaced the ‘O-level’ qualifications in 1988. With the introduction of the GCSE in Music, the curriculum coverage was expanded to ‘rock and pop’ repertoire and instrumentation, and uptake of Music as learning option has been shown to have improved thereafter. However, non-traditional music-making (DJ decks, rapping, launchpads and so forth) and non-traditional musics (hip hop, grime, house, EDM and so forth) continue to receive limited coverage in UK classrooms. The chapter therefore focuses on the Musical Futures/Ableton-instigated ‘Tech Champions’ project of 2019-21 which represented a clear effort to redress this set of problems. The most important thing a music teacher can do, the chapter concludes, is to place the interests of the learner at the heart of the educational process and to diversify the music education offer: if and when this is done, the field of music education can only benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic for Inclusion and Healing in Schools and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationHip Hop, Techno, Grime, and More
EditorsDale Pete, Burnard Pamela, Travis Raphael
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2022

Cite this