Responsible Printed Music Usage – an interview with Abi D’Amore

Responsible Printed Music Usage – an interview with Abi D’Amore

Responsible Printed Music Usage – an interview with Abi D’Amore, Director of Every Copy Counts

Photo Credit: Emile Holba

In this blog, we interview Abi D’Amore, Director of Every Copy Counts. If you haven’t yet discovered this fabulous campaign, read on to find out what it’s all about and how to get involved!

What is the Every Copy Counts initiative and what is your role within that?

Every Copy Counts is a new campaign to help schools make the most of the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML). It aims to raise awareness of the benefits of the SPML to teachers, as well as increase the quality and quantity of data being submitted about how schools are using printed music. I’m the Director of Every Copy Counts, I’m also an independent music education consultant who has been working in and around schools for the past 23 years as a researcher, programme director, and strategic advisor. I’m passionate about access to music for all children, and the SPML is one of many ways that schools can ensure a music entitlement for all.


As teachers of primary music, what is our responsibility in terms of our usage of printed music? Why should we be logging our printed music usage?

The good news is that you automatically have a Schools Printed Music Licence, as the Department for Education funds a blanket licence for all schools. This means that you can photocopy and arrange printed music, including digital downloads, as well as share copies of music on whiteboards, virtual learning environments, and transcribe music. 


Under the terms of the SPML, you should be reporting on what you are copying/arranging once per year. This is really important, because currently royalties from this licence aren’t being distributed to fairly to the creators of the music (composers and songwriters), due to a lack of data from schools. 


Until recently, there wasn’t a clear mechanism for schools to report their data. But more good news! Now there is. Every Copy Counts has been working closely with the Printed Music Licensing Limited organisation (who administer the licence to schools) to create an online portal. Any school can now quickly and simply report on the music they are copying and arranging by signing up to the portal, and collecting and submitting the following key pieces of information:

  1. Title of work (song or piece of music)
  2. Title of book (or website if it is a digital download)
  3. Print publisher (shown on the book)
  4. Music publisher
  5. Composer or arranger


Is it just music teachers who should be logging their usage? Who else might need to be involved?

Anybody who is photocopying/arranging music for use with pupils of that school can log usage, for example peripatetic instrumental/vocal teachers, staff employed by a local Music Service or Music Education Hub, librarians, administrators and so on. We have put together various templates and guides on our website for how you might collate data, and our team can help schools individually if you would like to book a one-to-one. 


What can teachers get from Every Copy Counts in return for their printed music logging?


By reporting on the printed music being copied and arranged, schools not only play an important part with ensuring that the right creators are being paid, but gain automatic access to a suite of free classroom resources and webinars. These are all carefully created and designed by teachers for teachers, and aim to support you with composing and songwriting in the classroom. Entering just one line of data will unlock all of this for your school, and new resources are added each year.   


And more exciting news…if you submit your data during our ‘Annual Copycat Challenge’ week, as well as unlocking free resources you will also be entered into a draw to have the chance to win brilliant prizes for your school including a ticket to the prestigious Ivor Novello awards, and music for your school. So please consider collecting your data to submit during 20-24th June as there are lots of benefits! 



Where can teachers find more information about responsible printed music usage?

Visit the Every Copy Counts website, and have a browse of the various information we have available including a link to our extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions. You may also find it useful to check out Copyright and Schools, that covers all aspects of licensing. 


How can we encourage our children to be more responsible when using printed music?

By raising awareness of the craft of composing and songwriting, and the importance of having licences in place to ensure a revenue stream for creators. In many cases, the brilliant performers we see at the forefront of the music industry aren’t actually the people who wrote the songs, and children may not be aware of that. Explore our Every Copy Counts resources and webinars to find out about a range of composers and songwriters that you can share with your students, and also about the work of the music publishing industry. We have written a guide to careers in the music publishing industry which is available once you have reported your printed music usage on the online portal. 


In which direction do you see Every Copy Counts going in the future and how can music teachers, primary classroom teachers and schools get more involved with you?

The more schools that take the time to regularly submit data on the printed music they are using, the more accurate the music publishing industry can be with distributing royalties. So in time, I hope that Every Copy Counts just becomes part of what teachers do, without it feeling like a chore. Additionally I am hoping that in time we will build a really fascinating picture of how schools are using printed music, meaning that we will be able to identify trends and also gaps regarding the representation of music. 

We would love all schools to become part of our community committed to supporting fairness in print music copyright. We’re here to help and support, and are happy to answer all questions! 

Visit our website Every Copy Counts, sign up to our newsletter and get involved in the Annual Copycat Challenge in June! We would love to have you on board.