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The music industry in 2012: more small gigs and a national plan for music education

After a turbulent 2011, the British music industry is looking ahead to a positive 2012 and according to Paul McManus, chief executive of the Music Industries Association (MIA), there is a lot to work towards in the coming months.
Two of the biggest aspects of 2012 will be regarding music education and the Live Music Bill.
For the latter, the Bill is just moments away from becoming law, as it now waits for the final stage of Royal Assent, a date of which has not yet been set.
When it becomes an Act of Parliament, small gigs will no longer be subject to the 2003 Licensing Act, meaning that more musicians, particularly those starting out, will be able to play in more venues.
Currently, venues such as pubs face huge fines if they allow live music without a licence but this could completely transform and strengthen the British music scene.
Elsewhere, the National Plan for Music Education, which was published last November, will be brought in this year.
Writing for Mi-Pro.co.uk, Mr McManus noted that the MIA has lobbied hard on the “critical importance of children continuing to have a statutory right to learn a musical instrument at school”.
Related to this, he added that 2012 will mark a huge transition as the Local Authority Music Services become new music hubs as part of the National Plan for Music Education. They will see regions apply for funding to become hubs and offer music services inside and outside of schools.
In the government’s plans it states that every child will have the opportunity to play a musical instrument and Mr McManus explained that the MIA is working closely with the Department for Education to ensure that purchasing of new instruments is being done cost-effectively.
Away from the education sphere, the exec said that the MIA will this year be working to secure government grants to help manufacturers exhibit at major overseas trade shows, support music events like Next Brit Thing and monitor US and EU law on the sourcing of woods for musical instruments.
How will the Live Music Bill effect you? Will you be able to play and attend more local gigs and shows?
What are your thoughts on the National Plan for Music Education?

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