Yup, you read that right. An organization in the UK is calling for schools to replace classical music lessons with contemporary music (i.e., grime, hip-hop, electronic). Youth Music is a charity that focuses on teaching music to the youth regardless of their socioeconomic background. They believe music is the key to changing someone’s life.
Currently, Youth Music is pressuring the school system in the UK to open its ears. There has been a success in including DJing into the UK’s GCSE music curriculum. The rise of electronic production has changed the way musicians approach music. Pop culture has, for the most part, embraced the crazy synths and deep-basslines to the point where young people forget about orchestras and symphonies.
But should classical music be replaced completely? Many producers and DJs today were once classical musicians. For instance, Alison Wonderland began as a cellist and Morgan Then of SLUMBERJACK is a classically trained pianist. So, there are definitely benefits in taking a traditional approach. What Youth Music is really pushing for is the chance to reach children who are otherwise disinterested in music.
“We’ve seen the benefits of students exchanging Mozart for Stormzy as part of a re-imagined music curriculum.”
Michael Griffiths, Chief Executive of Youth Music
Youth Music released an impact report regarding the success of their programs. Overall, diversifying the music curriculum seems like the right move. Hopefully, the US will take note and implement a similar program.