Geographical and social demographic trends of A-level music students

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    The music education research team from Birmingham City University, based in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, were asked by the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music to investigate changes in the demographics and uptake in A-level music over the last few years. This is a matter of significant importance not only for the higher music education sector in Conservatoires and Universities, but also for the pipeline of musicians of all types for the country and beyond. The ways in which these changes have been occurring, and the speed at which they have been taking place, is a matter of unease for all those concerned with the cultural life of the country. It may seem obvious, but it needs to be stated that a supply of high-level musicians cannot and does not begin at age 18, when schooling ends. It needs to have begun much earlier, in school classrooms and music hubs, from when children and young people are at a much earlier stage than choosing where to study at undergraduate level. Music needs to have begun in the early years, been developed through primary schools and on into secondary schools. Higher music education institutions cannot be charged with increasing access to their courses and simultaneously prevented from doing so by the pipeline upstream having been removed! This report looks at the A-level music situation, but it also paints a picture of where there is a need to support younger students who may go forward to take A-level music in the future. As a country, we need to take a long hard look at what we have been doing to music education over the past few years, and engage critically with recent findings from the sector, of which this report is but one contribution. We hope it will be helpful.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBirmingham
    PublisherCentre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 20 May 2019


    • A-Level
    • examinations
    • music education
    • music students
    • music
    • demographic
    • distribution


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