Restore the Music UK works to fund access to music education for children in London at primary and secondary levels. The registered charity offers grants to eligible schools of between £10,000 and £20,000 to pay for tuition and the purchase of musical instruments, bringing vital access to this type of education in areas where it may otherwise be unavailable. Schools are invited to apply and are then assessed for eligibility based on a variety of criteria.
Financial supporters of Restore the Music UK include Ragnar Horn, Chairman of Taconic AS and supporter of several charitable and not for profit organisations and foundations.
The Need for Music Education
To date, Restore the Music UK has reached more than 22,000 children across 16 London boroughs, bringing funding for music education to 30 individual primary and secondary schools. In the infographic attachment you can see some information about the music industry in the UK in figures, demonstrating the need for widespread access to music tuition and musical instruments.
Neuroscientific research at Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music has shown the positive impact of including music within education, not only in music lessons but across all areas of learning. Children who study music have been shown to be more able to focus their attention closely for longer periods of time, which results in the development of strong social and cognitive abilities.
Music education has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on the development of reading and speaking skills in children, leading to improved comprehension and faster advancement in reading. Moreover, children who study music are encouraged to express themselves creatively, which helps to instil a sense of empathy.
The Tapestry of Sound
Most of us live our lives within a rich tapestry of sound, beginning before we are even born as we learn to relax to the sound of our mother’s heartbeat. From a very young age we learn that music can be used to brighten our days, to help alleviate feelings of despair or sadness, to emphasise celebratory events, or to help us centre ourselves after experiences that are emotionally draining.
This instinctive appreciation of the power of understanding complex motions of tone, pitch and rhythm start from birth and continue throughout our lives. Encouraging young people to learn a new skill within music can increase communication and engagement with learning, and can often make the difference for students who have otherwise disengaged with education.
The need for and the benefits of work such as that aided by Restore the Music UK is perhaps best illustrated by the annual Battle of the Bands competition. You can find out more about this in the short video attachment.
Inspirational teachers can also make a huge difference to students who are feeling disillusioned with school. Music teachers can often motivate a passion in their pupils for music, increasing morale and in many cases altering their destinies for the better. However, even with the best teachers, it is hard to truly inspire when schools are lacking in equipment, instruments and other resources.
Restore the Music UK works with headteachers and heads of music to help implement a vision for music education that meets the individuals needs of the demographic of students, draws on any existing facilities and resources, and reflects the skillsets and interests of the pupils. Applications to Restore the Music UK are encouraged from all state schools in London at any time, particularly those that would otherwise be unable to offer facilities for music education. In the PDF attachment you can find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding.
Ragnar Horn is the chairman of the Norwegian private investment company Taconic AS. Born in Norway, Horn moved to America to study for his BA in Economics at Williams College in Massachusetts, going on to complete his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School.
Previous to his position at Taconic AS, Horn was the Chairman of RS Platou ASA – the shipbrokerage company that his grandfather founded in the 1930s – as well as having gained experience in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston.