Times are changing and I think the education system needs to adapt to this. A study by Youth Music Charity with Birmingham City University was released this week and it showed that students maintained higher levels of attendance to modern music lessons (More than 95% during the programme). In this blog, I will be discussing why a change in the school curriculum could be a great move for at-risk kids in our generation.
As a boy who was kicked out of school numerous times, it is only really me that can explain why I could have been acting the way I was. I would often skip certain lessons to go and play football or get up to no good, not because I was a bad kid, but more because I had no interest in the lessons that were being taught. In secondary school, we’d have music lessons that would be based completely around classical artists and their music, and I can tell you first hand that this is not something that I or my peers enjoyed. Bringing in new lessons that involve current popular artists and their music(especially in urban areas) will almost certainly breed a new attitude towards learning.
Teaching grime and hip hop in lessons doesn’t only attract more interest from pupils but it will also offer them a new modern avenue into working in music. Students will be more engaged learning the ways of Stormzy (who is alive) than learning the ways of Mozart (who isn’t) because it offers them a real life and modern role model to research and look up to. For students its a lot about relatability or popularity, meaning that if people can’t relate to it they won’t pay it any attention.
The results of the study completed by Youth Music showed that music-making is a strong contributor to young people’s personal and social development. I believe that including these lessons in schools will also keep at-risk kids off the street. Actively showing them that their ‘style’ is accepted will encourage them to come to the lessons as opposed to spending that time bunking or out on the streets.
We can all agree that music brings us together and it can be a beautiful thing, but I believe that including modern music into the curriculum could be one of the best things for students at risk of exclusion or those who struggle to focus in traditional lessons.
An opinion piece by Babs Isaiah Shittu