Received from: MU
Merged into composite 16
Congress notes that the Musicians’ Union is currently conducting research into access to instrumental music tuition for young people. Early indications show what we have long suspected – that children from poorer backgrounds are not getting the same access to music education as their wealthier peers.
Cuts to funding for music education over the years have affected job security for highly qualified instrumental teachers, and many have left the profession. The National Plan for Music made a number of positive recommendations to ensure that all children would have the chance to learn an instrument, but schools were never required to engage with music hubs and so musical opportunities for young people continue to be a postcode lottery.
Congress notes that in many schools, there is no provision or subsidy for music tuition, and so only young people whose parents can pay for instrumental lessons are given the opportunity to learn to play. Not only will this deprive many young people of the recognised benefits of learning an instrument, there will also be serious knock-on consequences for society. Orchestras are already criticised for a lack of diversity and there are fewer and fewer up and coming bands from a working-class background. The rich tapestry of our music industry will be seriously impoverished unless music education is properly invested in and made a part of the national curriculum.
Congress asks the General Council to support the MU’s campaigning on music education.