Back in 2013, in the BJME editorial for issue 30(2), we considered the place of knowledge in the curriculum (Fautley & Murphy, 2013). Things have not stood still since that date, certainly in England, and other parts of the world too. What we have now is a situation where the idea of knowledge as assuming supremacy over skills is on the increase. For those of us concerned with music education, many aspects of this increasingly fractious debate are to be viewed with concern. Allied to this, we have neoliberal-leaning governments in many parts of the world, Britain included, who seem to find it difficult to understand the important role that music education has – or should have – in the education of our children and young people. Indeed, in the UK, the education secretary is on record as making this observation:
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has warned young people that choosing to study arts subjects at school could ‘hold them back for the rest of their lives’ (The Stage, 2014)
This attitude, and Britain is certainly not alone in this, is clearly going to be problematic for those of us involved in music and the arts.