RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Music Commission is aiming to see 1.3 million Saudi students enrolled in music classes at school, the CEO of the Music Commission Paul Pacifico said at an XP Music Futures panel in Riyadh tilted “Sound Governance: Crafting the Future of Music Policy.”
Pacifico said that 26,500 kindergarten teachers are being trained to teach music and “music is going into school as a compulsory subject” for kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students in the Kingdom.
He added: “1.3 million Saudis will be doing music school for the first time. And we'll be developing that program up through middle school. It'll be elective in high school. We're working with the first four universities in the Kingdom to build lots of faculties and support music programs.”
The panel discussion featured industry professionals Lutz Leichsenring, co-founder of Vibelab, and Mai Salama, founding partner of Creative Industry Summit. It was moderated by Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt, director of innovation and education at the International Music Managers Forum.
Pacifico says the Music Commission has three main objectives: Music policy, education, and the commercial sector.
“(Firstly) The development of copyrights, intellectual property, licensing, recreation, all the aspects you think of when you think of government. Secondary is education. So, we are responsible for taking the lead on the education strategy for the Kingdom … (for) the entire commercial sector. We're responsible for supporting the development of the live music sector, recording and publishing.”
He told Arab News that the commission aims to support non-mainstream music genres through programs and festivals like the International Jazz Festival in Saudi Arabia.
“The thing is to not treat these genres in silos, to look at them as an intersecting creative community. How do we support the community and how do we let the grassroots tell us what music is needed? … it's about fostering creativity and enabling a young population,” he said.