Cutting music lessons will ‘cost soul of the nation’ warn musicians after drop in funding
Radiohead’s classically trained guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Julian Lloyd Webber are also among the high-profile musicians supporting the campaign
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 13 July 2014
The celebrated violinist Nicola Benedetti and trumpet soloist Alison Balsom are among leading musicians calling on the Government to drop controversial advice to local authorities to pull funding for music lessons, warning it could “cost the soul of the nation”.
They have been brought together by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), a professional music body with over 6,500 members, which is fighting to maintain funding for lessons. Radiohead’s classically trained guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Julian Lloyd Webber are also among the high-profile musicians supporting the campaign.
The ISM said national funding has dropped from £82.5m in 2010/11 to £58m this year. The funds are distributed to 122 “music education hubs” which oversee the funding.
But in March, the Department for Education proposed advising councils to cut support for music education. The ISM said this contradicts statements made in the Government’s National Plan for Music Education, which recognised the “important role music plays in children’s academic and social development”.
Benedetti said: “This isn’t an investment into the lives of musicians and artists, but in that of our entire society. This misunderstanding could cost the soul of this nation dearly.”
She added: “It is widely acknowledged that music education can improve numeracy, literacy and social interaction, and it deeply confuses and saddens me that we are having to fight so hard to save it.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We want every child in the country to have the opportunity to play and enjoy music. That is why music remains statutory under the new national curriculum. We have also committed £171 million to set up 123 music hubs up and down the country, and £84 million to help exceptionally talented young musicians and dancers from low income families access specialist training.
“Councils are free to spend the Education Services Grant as they see fit. While we know that these savings will be challenging, we are protecting the overall schools' budget in real terms up to 2015-16, including the pupil premium. We will carefully consider the responses we received to the ESG consultation and will respond in due course.”
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...