We live in a world where we are constantly being offered, or at least promised, the 'future'. Whether it is in a new car, an airline seat, or even in a packet of corn flakes, it would seem that every aspect of our everyday life can be transformed by the future in the here and now. One wonders what the future actually will be like if we are already being offered the opportunity to experience it today. So what might the 'future' of music education be, and how desirable is our perception of 'tomorrow' in today's ever-changing world?
None of us can escape the only too apparent effect that the financial crunch is having on every aspect of life. While some continue to use the rhetoric of blame, presumably in the hope that somehow this will magically make things better, the majority of us realise that the only way we are going to move forward is by doing it together, and sometimes having to make some tough decisions. However, sometimes even the most level-headed of us are left wondering whether or not these cuts are really necessary, and indeed even if they are whether or not there are some things that we simply cannot do without, no matter what the cost. It would seem that music, and the arts in general, are among some of the hardest hit. In a world obsessed with money, personal gain and a quest for scientific understanding, the lessons and insight that can be gained from the arts are being overlooked. Music won't cure disease, it won't feed the hungry, and it won't prevent climate change. However, in our journey not only to acquire worldly goods and protect our own self-interest, there are just as many of us who recognise the value of understanding the human condition -- where have we come from and, more importantly, what makes us who we are. Throughout human history, mankind has sought to express himself through the arts, and it is only in understanding the significance of that expression, whatever form it takes, that we can hope to understand something about ourselves. Surely this is just as important as any other form of educational pursuit?
With music budgets being slashed across the board across the globe, perhaps the question we should be asking is not what the future of music education is, but whether or not it has a future at all. The vast majority of music teachers realise that music is not just an extra-curricular activity. Rather, it is a serious academic discipline that requires just as much focus and attention as any other subject and that teachers need to be able to have the opportunities and resources to enthuse and excite their students in just the same way that students can be genuinely excited about literature, maths, languages, and any other subject that one might care to name. It is this concept that is central to the OpusYou philosophy. Following years of research in the educational world and using a 'hands-on' approach to music education, we have seen that it is only by placing musics of all variety, notably Classical but not exclusively, in a more familiar environment that children really find a way of engaging with it. By using internet-based technologies that many young people are intimately acquainted with, interactive options, and a whole host of other features, we are now able to offer music teachers the one resource that many have been crying out for for years, AND it is available at a fraction of the price of many of the leading alternatives.
OpusYou believes that, in spite of all the problems that we face today, there is a future for music education in schools around the world. That future is a bright and vibrant one and starts here. The future of music education might not have arrived just yet, but we are all here ready to set out on this new journey, and we at OpusYou are ready to walk that journey with you all.