Introduction to the Musicians’ Union (MU) Music Education Department.On February 3, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
We’re a very active department so we do everything like this. We organise a weekend for teachers every two years and this is a whole range of activities that hopefully address the wide range of settings that our members work with. We support music teachers on a range of subjects whether that’s lobbying government for more funding of music education, to support self-employed music teachers, advising on employment rights for classroom teachers. We have lots of resources for music teachers such as the Teachers’ Toolkit. That gives advice on a number of subjects such as child protection awareness, self employment, policy for the classroom, equality and diversity policy. So it covers a whole range subjects that teachers can access all the time. I think the Union’s always been there for me as a kind of fall back and also a very supportive kind of arm around me as I’ve gone through my career and also in terms of continual professional development which is why these kind of conferences are so useful. I first became involved in the Musicians’ Union when I was a student. Mainly just because I thought it was quite important to be part of my trade union for my sector. And because the Musicians’ Union does lots of really good work lobbying on behalf of musicians and providing professional support for them. You can call them anytime Monday to Friday and literally any time and as long as someone’s there, they’ll answer whatever query and they’re there to back you whenever you need them to back you. A lot of the time music teachers are self-employed or can be self-employed, which can be quite an isolating job so we become their support system and their network. The Music Education Department is absolutely fantastic. The support that they that they give to musicians and also the kind of political work that they do ensuring that our voices are heard, and that someone is speaking for us at a government level is really really great.