With massive deficits in most local authorities in Wales, music services (the local authority-funded departments or organisations that provide tutors for music lessons to schools, out of school music groups and centres, and other music opportunities for young people) have either closed, or had to lay off staff and vastly reduce their services.
Music Development Cardiff (MDC) – one half of the local authority music service – had a story to tell about it how it had faced up to 100% budget cut, and turned a threat into an opportunity: securing support from 67 primary schools in the most disadvantaged areas of the city, increasing revenue by 38%, protecting jobs and creating six new teaching posts.
However, only those who were directly involved knew about the transformation that had happened.
Emma Coulthard, now head of the music service, asked Anita Holford if she could help – but she had no budget. Anita saw that a quick win would be to write an article for a national magazine, and so she approached Music Teacher magazine, a Rhinegold publication distributed to a large readership of music educators across the UK and beyond.
The article was published in November 2014 and has led to interest from colleagues across the UK, and a speaking slot at Music Education Expo, a national conference.