This is a follow up to a previous post, Why is this public?
Great music education is a partnership between classroom teachers, specialist teachers, professional performers and a host of other organisations, including those from the arts, charity and voluntary sectors.
The quote above is from page 3 of the government's "The Importance of Music", a National Plan for Music Education.
Reactions from some CWYM parents to the concerns I have raised have been along the lines of "fake news!", or "what does it matter if the rehearsals are secret?" "this is just admin, life's too short for that" or "stop criticising the Centre!".
My answers are:
- To the best of my knowledge, nothing in this blog is "fake news", and I have written evidence to back up everything I have said. With regard to whether cooperation between CWYM and other musical organisations has been good, I have written statements from several witnesses (which I supplied to the College) that in their view cooperation had been unsatisfactory over a long period of time. The email from CWYM to a school head of music refusing an advance request for help when one of six (!) extra rehearsals clashed with a weekday school concert provides clear supporting evidence to back up what those witnesses told me. Note that there has been no denial from the College that that email is genuine. Notice also that, even today, the CWYM website still instructs parents and children that the rehearsal schedules are secret (http://www.cwym-music.com/wyo-membership-guidelines.html still says "Members will be informed of a following season’s concert dates by email each summer, and then regularly throughout a season on the WYO schedules (for WYO members and families only) and by email"). This is 13 months after a senior member of staff at the College told me in writing that he/she expected the schedules to be published.
- To the follow up questions, "so what if they are secret?" "so what if cooperation is poor?" my reply is: isn't that a rather selfish attitude? At a minimum, the likely absence of key players at key times seems to have caused significant stress to some other teachers/ensemble leaders, who have a difficult enough job as it is. Overall the impact on those other musical organisations seems to have been harmful, as indeed one might logically expect it to be. In any case, the College claims to want to work harmoniously with other community organisations. Indeed as a publicly funded body and a charity doesn't it have a duty to do so? How does secrecy and a lack of cooperation comply with the importance of working in partnership referred to in the quote at the start of this post? In the absence of any valid counter to arguments such as these, if someone were still to say "so what?" then I think their views of right and wrong and mine differ enormously. I believe most CWYM parents would agree that music teaching plays an important part in schools (see here for my thoughts on this).