Back in 2014, James Rhodes of the united Kingdom started a campaign to address the issue of local primary school not offering a decent music education. James took to the streets and started a petition to lobby the government into action, and provide musical instruments to all kids regardless of background or ability to pay. James believed that music was important and is quoted saying (2014), “I want music to inspire brighten, and improve the lives of every child in this country, but today thousands of primary school kids aren’t getting the opportunity to learn an instrument” (Para 3) Soon after ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ began, and it was a campaign headed by James to call the people into action. What he called for was an ‘Instrument Amnesty’ in where anyone could donate instrument to their local schools music department so that children could have the opportunity to play and learn. Even later James even aired a 4 episode series promoting the donation of instruments and was also named ‘Don’t Stop The Music’.
The source of this campaign was the Royal Opera House which is one of the oldest and major performing venues located in central London. The article was first published in 2014, and has some snips from James 4 part series on music, its impact, and why it’s important to donate to the schools now. The Royal Opera House has sided with James in his petition for a change, and to allow him to work with more school and local communities to spread the message. The Royal Opera House hosts activities and cultural events that allow more children the opportunity to play an instrument as well in participation. In 2015, they were even able to get the petition as far as making music included on the school board curriculum.
The dominate motivational appeal in this campaign is to improve the lives of children and their education through music. In James Rhodes (2015) campaign letter, he writes, “If you get an instrument into the hands of a kid who wants to learn it, and you provide a place and the means for them to learn it, you will see an undeniable impact in every other area of their life”(Para 1) James wanted to appeal to the parents of those children and others who have been inspired by music to reach out and join the petition to the government, and to donate instruments to supplement the local school low supply. He wanted to appeal to the parents of the children by getting the message out there that they were missing out on a musical education that could benefit them academically and socially in life.
One thing that really stood out to me with this campaign was the personal motivation and driving force of a single individual who was able to make this a reality. James Rhodes was able to get the message out their effectively, and with the help of performing arts studios around him, change the way that music was thought of in the educational curriculum. Darren Henley wrote a review for the department of education in response to the additional of music into the curriculum which stated, “Our vision is to enable children from all backgrounds and every part of England to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence”(Page 9, Para 1) With the support that James was able to pull together, and the progress that he has made I would believe that this campaign was very successful in accomplishing what it had set out to do. Now again, not every student now has an instrument, but progress in the right direction is still an accomplishment.
I think the ethics of the appeal and the appeal in general was fairly appropriate as James was an advocate for music and wanted to share his experiences with the rest of the youth. Realizing that the best time for anyone to be influenced by music was at a young age, and wanted to reach out to the parents of a new generation to act on making music apart of their children’s lives. With this campaign I feel that the issue was narrowed to the parents and the youth attending primary school without access to musical instruments. While the direction was great, I think a campaign to teach everyone music would reach a wider spectrum of individuals. Anyone has the opportunity to play, and really is only limited by their exposure or inspiration to play from other musicians. Making this a mass appeal campaign rather than a youth educational campaign would allow your message to be more broad and hopefully persuade more people to join along. All in all this was a great campaign that I feel was really successful.
Henley, D. (2011) The Importance of Music Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/180973/DFE- 00086-2011.pdf
Shipman, C. (10 September 2014) Don’t stop the Music Campaign calls for ‘Instrument Amnesty’ to help schools Retrieved from http://www.roh.org.uk/news/dont-stop-the-music-campaign-calls-for- instrument-amnesty-to-help-schools
Rhodes, J. ( 2015 – 2016) Making a Beautiful Noise Retrieved from http://www.dontstopthemusic.co.uk/making-a-beautiful-noise