What is the role of classical music in the 21st Century? How will classical musicians maintain their relevance and purpose?

This book follows the working activities of professional orchestral musicians and opera singers as they move off stage into schools, community centres, prisons, libraries and corporations, engaging with their communities in new, rich ways through education and community engagement programmes. Key examples of collaborative partnership between orchestras, opera companies, schools and music services in the delivery of music education are investigated, with a focus on the UK’s Music Hub system. The impact of these partnerships is examined, both in terms of how they inspire and foster the next generation of musicians as well as the extent to which they broaden access to quality music education. Detailed case studies are provided on the impact of classical music education programmes on social cohesion, health and wellbeing and education outcomes for students from low socio-economic communities. The implications for the future training of classical musicians are analysed, as are the new career paths for orchestral musicians and composers straddling performance and education.

Opening Doors: Orchestras, Opera Companies and Community Engagement investigates the ways in which the classical music industry is reinventing its sense of purpose, never a more important or urgent pursuit than in the present decade.

Introduction; 1. Musicians Offstage: an overview of the aims and activities of orchestral and opera education and community engagement programmes; 2. Origins and Development: Understanding the early history of orchestral and opera education and community engagement programmes; 3. Working Together: Models of partnership delivery of music education; 4. Leading the Way: Case studies of orchestral and opera education and community engagement programmes; 5. Orchestras building communities: The El Sistema model and its global influence; 6. Creative music making: the new role of animateurs and teaching artists; 7. New roles, New Skills: implications for the tertiary training of classical musicians; 8. Virtual music making: Classical music engagement utilising digital and online technology. 9. Music, Health and Wellbeing: Benefits for both musicians and participants; 10. A second pillar, or working on the fringe? A summary of the current situation and examination of future developments; Conclusion; Index