DIT President calls for concerted plan for music education

The President of DIT, Dr. Brendan Goldsmith, today called for music education to be fully integrated into the broader curriculum and asked that the Minister responsible bring together the major providers of performance tuition to develop a national policy which places existing resources in a context and which clearly identifies where further development should be focussed.

Dr. Goldsmith made his comments following the abandonment of the government proposal to establish an 'Irish Academy for the Performing Arts'. He said the development of IAPA was a 'flawed policy', and he applauded the government decision not to proceed.

"However, it is now quite evident that there is an urgent need for a comprehensive policy in relation to education for the performing arts. Tuition is currently concentrated in a small number of institutions, and resources are not sufficient to maintain wide access to music education as well as to nurture the musicians, performers and composers of the future".

"It is not entirely clear whether responsibility for this area should appropriately rest with the Minister for the Arts, Sport and Tourism, or with the Minister for Education and Science. I am writing to Minister Dempsey and to Minister O'Donoghue to propose that they invite the major providers of music performance tuition - including the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, the Cork School of Music, Waterford Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and the CDVEC - to meet as soon as possible to develop an informed and coherent policy on this important issue."

Dr. Goldsmith said the report for the proposed Irish Academy for Performing Arts did not take into account the role of the major providers, and any practical approach must incorporate this. He felt confident that providers would see this as an opportunity to address the global issues affecting the development of the performing arts in Ireland rather than taking a protectionist position in relation to their own areas.

DIT is the largest provider of tuition in the visual, performing and media artsin Ireland. In its Conservatory of Music and Drama, students taking voice and instrumental tuition range from primary to postgraduate level, and perform in wind, string and percussion ensembles; in the award-winning DIT choir; and in the chamber and symphony orchestras.

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