Restore the Music is a UK charity striving to ensure every primary and secondary school aged child has access to music. The charity offers grants to schools so that musical instruments can be purchased and tuition for children can be funded. It seeks to establish access to music as a birth right for all.
In a country with such a thriving music industry, it seems objectionable that musical education has become accessible for only the privileged few. The UK is the second largest global music exporter after the US, with one in eight album sales being by a British artist. The music industry contributes billions of pounds to the UK economy; £4.4bn in 2016 alone. Conversely, only 15% of 15-year olds learn a musical instrument at school.
The charity has so far funded 30 state schools across 16 London boroughs. Grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 have been offered to schools, allowing the charity to reach over 22,000 children. Despite these impressive figures, Restore the Music recognises the need for its grant programme to expand. According to deprivation indicators such as Pupil Premium and Free School Meals, there are 1,500 schools in London alone which would qualify to apply for funding. The charity has the goal of raising £17 million to reach every child in every eligible school.
Restore the Music relies on generous donations to fund a fully bespoke service for schools. Regular donations enable the charity to remain sustainable and finance continued growth. Joey Horn, Managing Director of investment management company Oak Management AS, is involved with this charity as a financial supporter and fundraiser for the gala committee, regularly helping to find sponsors for the gala and silent auction items.
Restore the Music believes that musical enrichment can benefit children and help them achieve their full potential. Music has been proven to raise academic attainment standards, which is all the more important in deprived areas. Unfortunately, government funding no longer affords schools the opportunity to finance music departments. To keep music on the curriculum, provision must be found elsewhere; Restore the Music seeks to fill this void.