Letter: Rattle fights on

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Sir: I was saddened to learn that Sir Simon Rattle may leave the country.

I, too, despair of the future of school music. In many primary schools, the whole of the morning sessions are now given over to Maths and English. So all the rest of the subjects - science, ITC, geography, history, music, art, PI, drama and RE - jostle for a precious place in the shorter afternoon sessions.

Last term, I conducted a straw poll among 60 of my students training to be primary teachers. Only a handful had been given an opportunity to observe or teach a music lesson on their school placement; the rest had found music elbowed out of the curriculum to almost vanishing point. One school's classroom music consisted of half an hour a term for each class.

Each day your Gazette lists birthdays of famous people, well over half of whom have attained distinction in those very curriculum areas which are now being marginalised: music, drama, sport, religion and art. What a chilling thought that, in 50 years' time, your birthday Gazette might be reduced to a dreary list of MPs, lexicographers and accountants.

BARBARA POINTON

Thriplow, Cambridgeshire

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