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Kate’s songs added as set works for UK’s A-level music students from 2016!

Kate & learningKate you’re finally being taught in school! Works by Kate have been added to the UK’s A-Level Music syllabus for schools after a drive to include female composers! Kate is included from 2016 in the popular music and jazz set works, along with The Beatles and Courtney Pine. Cloudbusting, And Dream of Sheep, and Under Ice are the set works.

A student, Jessy McCabe, had noticed that Edexcel’s A-level music syllabus featured 63 male composers and no female ones.

She contacted Edexcel to make it aware of the situation, but despite the board’s insistence that the music course aims to let students “engage in and extend the appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music”, its head of music seemed reluctant to implement any changes.

In response to an email from Jessy, the head of music wrote: “Given that female composers were not prominent in the western classical tradition (or others for that matter), there would be very few female composers that could be included.”

A petition subsequently launched by the student received almost 4,000 signatures. She also wrote an open letter to the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, the executive director of the exam regulator Ofqual, Ian Stockford, and Pearson UK’s managing director, Mark Anderson. Jessy urged them to change next year’s syllabus “so that girls are freely able and inspired to become composers, to enrich the A-level syllabus and to ultimately ensure that women’s works are valued, as they should be”.

Pearson, the organisation that offers the Edexcel qualifications, has now implemented changes to its 2016 A-level music specification to include five new set works by female composers. They include Clara Schumann, Rachel Portman, Kate Bush, Anoushka Shankar and Kaija Saariaho. DOWNLOAD THE FULL SYLLABUS DOCUMENT HERE

Read more at the Guardian site here. (thanks to Thomas Ovens for letting us know)


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  1. Mark

    Great news but I wish the song selection was more diverse (three songs from HOL?) and should overall be more than three songs.

  2. David Morris

    My students have been happily studying Hounds of Love full album for the post-modern element of the soon to be scrapped OCR Performance studies A level for many years now. They have loved the beauty and inspiration of the album. What a shame our lousy Government has chopped a brilliant course. My students have also studies Kate as a practitioner for OCR’s GCSE in Expressive Arts which you guessed it our philistine Government are also cutting.

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