Music lessons media surge

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New research was released yesterday by the Royal Albert Hall which revealed that 7 in 10 parents believe the cost of music lessons is prohibitively expensive and – as a result – children’s creative development is being impeded.

The media have given this report a lot of attention, and since the release of the research MIA/MfA’s Paul McManus has been interviewed by BBC London and Radio 5 Live; he was live on air with Vanessa Feltz this morning.

To hear the interview follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0588dd7#play – the interview begins at 1 hour and 50 minutes into the program (skip to 1:50 and 30 seconds; it lasts until 01:58.)

The statistics in the research by the Royal Albert Hall go show that 85 per cent of parents think access to musical instruments enhances their children’s education. Financial support, parents believe, is at the heart of the problem. Only 5 per cent of those surveyed believe that there is enough funding to ensure children who would be interested in getting involved in music have the opportunity to do so.

In spite of the costs, a third of parents say they have paid for their child to have music lessons at some point in their education, but the majority still rely on schools to fund lessons.

Here’s some thoughts from Paul Mc and the issues he discussed on the radio:

“In real terms, individual music lessons have not really become more expensive over recent years, although people are surely being more and more careful with the family budget in these uncertain times.

Instead, the issue I highlighted on the show was about the importance of children retaining curriculum-based music as part of the school day. I naturally spoke about the combined threat of the government English Baccalaureate proposals and the school budget cuts with the evidence already showing a reduction in music provision in schools. I also highlighted the many benefits that playing a musical instrument brings to a child’s development be it health, socialization and sheer enjoyment!”

For more information about the campaign to stop the English Baccalaureate proposals, go to:

www.baccforthefuture.com