Every child should be given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument in school, education secretary Michael Gove has said. To this end, the government minister has launched a review into music education in the UK to be headed by Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM.
The education department has said that access to a quality music education can help children to concentrate more, as well as improve their behaviour, numeracy and language skills.
However, in a letter to Mr Henley, Mr Gove said it was a “sad fact” that many state school children do not get the opportunity to learn an instrument.
Indeed, the education secretary said the review should prioritise the use of public funding to give every child the opportunity to learn an instrument and to sing.
In addition, the report will look at ways to improve classroom teachers’ skills and confidence in giving music lessons, following criticisms from the education watchdog Ofsted.
“Evidence suggests that learning an instrument can improve numeracy, literacy and behaviour. But more than that, it is simply unfair that the joy of musical discovery should be the preserve of those whose parents can afford it.”
Minister for the creative industries, Ed Vaizey added that there is “so much more that can be done to harness the passion and enthusiasm that children have for music”.
“Young people need to be given greater and more equal opportunities to benefit from formal music education. We need to encourage them to see the link between learning an instrument and the artists they hear on the radio and the songs they download,” he said.
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