Cost of instruments keeps pupils out of music lessons

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Children are being denied the chance to learn music because schools cannot afford the instruments, according to a survey published today.

Thousands of primary and secondary schools are suffering from lack of cash - on average they have just pounds 340 a year to spend on musical instruments.

The figures are part of a study commissioned by the Co-op, which has launched a Music for Schools Initiative with the backing of the classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the rock superstar Phil Collins.

The study showed that:

n Four in five schools (82 per cent) do not have enough musical instruments to go round

n Two-thirds (63 per cent) blame poor funding for the shortages

n Three in five schools (59 per cent) say pupils have been denied the chance to learn an instrument.

The Co-op, whose scheme begins today, is giving away vouchers for free musical instruments to shoppers who spend pounds 10 at participating stores.

Ms Glennie said: "Music often seems to be the soft target for the hatchet man looking to cut school budgets . . . New research overseas has shown that learning music can help children improve in other areas, such as reading - so it's a shame so many of our youngsters are losing out."

Phil Collins added: "Most kids want to learn to play musical instruments - but it seems the demand often exceeds the availability of instruments in schools."