by Sam Bowerman In 2015, the UK government announced that it was to close its first academic instrument department at the University of Sheffield.
The decision was partly driven by the cost of the department, which had been created by the government to address a shortfall in instrument design and performance.
In February this year, the university announced that the instrument department had been sold.
The department will be dissolved by the end of March 2019.
It will be renamed The Music Instrument Design and Performance Unit.
The new department will consist of ten people.
This new department is likely to be led by Dr Ian Johnson.
Its members will include people with a musical background and experience in instrumental music.
They will include students, faculty members and academic staff, all of whom will have a musical training background.
It is likely that they will include a few other students and students of other disciplines.
It’s possible that this department will have no role in instrument development and/or instrument performance.
As it turns out, Johnson has had a career in the instrumental music field.
He was involved in the creation of a range of instruments, including a range instrument for use in opera and symphony orchestras.
He also has a PhD in classical music.
He has a keen interest in instrumental performance and has been involved with the creation and management of several instrumental music education centres and events.
His appointment as Director of the Music Instrument Development Unit has been described by some as a move to create a ‘music academy’ at the university.
This sounds a lot like what the instrumental training industry is calling a music academy, which is a non-academic organisation.
The music academy concept has its roots in the United States where students in music education courses can attend and perform on an instrument.
This concept was used at the Universities of Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State in the US, where students have been taught to play instruments for professional musicians.
What are the implications for the future of the music instrument design community?
There are a number of implications for those involved in instrument music.
The instruments in question will no longer be funded by the Department of Music Education.
The Instrument Designers Association (IDA) has been contacted for comment and will be following up.
The instrument department will not be able to continue to develop new instruments.
Its instruments will be decommissioned and it will be up to the University to decide whether or not to renew its contract with the instrument division.
The new department might also have a different approach to the role of instrument design students and faculty.
It may have fewer students and fewer faculty members.
It might not have a dedicated instrument design programme, and students and other faculty members might not get to experience instrument development at all.
It might also be possible that the new department may have an interest in creating a new instrument for the University.
The IDA has been in contact with Johnson about the possibility of a new Instrument Design School, and he said that he would be interested in exploring the idea.
Another possibility is that the department might develop instruments that are not technically instrument specific.
In other words, it might be possible for a student to study an instrument, learn how to play it and then, after completing a degree in music theory, write a music theory paper to be presented at an instrument design course.
This could allow a student with a non instrument background to apply their skills to designing and producing an instrument for performance at the instrument design college.
In the meantime, the instrument development industry has been waiting for a move away from the instruments that it is using in its education programmes.
It was recently reported that the number of instruments being designed and produced in the UK fell from 3,000 in 2005 to 500 in 2019.
A move towards a more instrument-focused approach to education could mean that instrument development could become a more viable and profitable career for young people.
However, I would still be interested to know if there is any truth to the notion that the music industry is preparing to create an instrument development academy.
The instruments in this article are from the British Museum.
Image Credit: British Museum