Today I heard that the Government had yet another crazy plan to save money; cut the funding of the Music Services in UK. The Government has asked Local Authorities to stop supporting their local Music Services to save money. This is a crazy idea. It wouldn’t be acceptable to cut all sport funding in an area, so why apply this idea to the Music Services?
The music services aren’t there to support Middle Class parents who want their child to learn the violin in order to get into a top school; they are there for EVERYONE. The Music Services provide music education for children in schools, at their music centres and for adult learners. Their activities in the community include learner orchestras for adults, community choirs, school and pupil orchestras playing at community events and general well-being for the community.
The Music Services provide specialist teachers to go into schools to teach singing and other musical activities. Without their expertise, teachers that aren’t trained and possibly lack confidence in teaching music, are forced to teach singing. Yes: there’s rightfully a campaign for sports specialists to go into primary schools to teach sport – but it is the same for music lessons too!
Music isn’t just for the privileged; people from every walk of life enjoy music both by listening to it (or dancing) as well as participating. My particular concern is that schools and the community will become live music free zones. A culture where talent from all parts of the community won’t be identified or nurtured by experienced and skilled professionals.
What the Government doesn’t realise is that for every £1 funding received, the Arts generate £6. By nurturing our own talent from a young age, these musicians and entertainers will generate more money for UK plc, not waste money.
Also, there is a significant amount of research on the impact of music in education and the huge benefits. These include developing creative thinking, participation, team building, communication skills and general well being.
Music plays a huge role in generating income for UK; our creative industries generate £36Billion a year. A large proportion of this is from the music industry. If we don’t nurture the next generation, this will FALL.
So please, support the campaign to keep Music Services partially funded by signing the www.protectmusiceducation.org campaign.