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Government urged to reconsider music lesson funding cuts

Murray Stassen
Government urged to reconsider music lesson funding cuts

Johnny Greenwood and Julian Lloyd Weber are among a group of musicians urging the Government to reconsider its plans to reduce funding for music lessons. 

The musicians have been united by the 6,500-member Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).

The ISM state that the funding cuts contradict the Government’s National Plan for Music Education, which outlined the “important role music plays in children’s academic and social development”.

According to the ISM, national funding for music lessons has fallen from £82.5 million in 2010/11, to £58 million this year.

Violinist Nicola 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.

“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.”

Via The Independent

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Tags: Talent, ISM, Incorporated Society of Musicians, Johnny Greenwood, Julian Lloyd Weber, Department for Education, Music funding

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