Boris Johnson has launched a new music charity which aims to raise money to help improve music education for young people living in London.
The mayor hopes to raise as much as £2 million by March 2012 through the innovative Fund for Young Musicians initiative.
It will give musically talented children between seven and 11 years of age fresh opportunities to progress as musicians.
Some 400 youngsters from 33 London boroughs with high levels of musical commitment, talent and financial need will be given the opportunity to embark on a music scholarship.
These four-year scholarships are intended to give children a real opportunity to move forward with their music education and will provide the students with small group instrumental tuition, access to various instruments, one-to-one mentoring and frequent performances.
In addition, there will also be a chance for around 10,000 children, up to the age of 18, to spend time working with professional musicians.
“Music can transform the lives of young people. If a young Londoner has a talent for music and the commitment to progress, I want them to be able to do so regardless of their starting point,” said Mr Johnson.
“The new fund will help to make this not just an aspiration but a reality for young musicians who could otherwise be overlooked.”
Originally born out of the mayor’s Music Education Strategy, the Fund for Young Musicians also sits in line with the recommendations in the recently-published Henley Review of Music Education.
Munira Mirza, mayoral advisor on arts and culture, added: “We know that music education can have a hugely positive impact on a child’s life but sadly there are many families who simply cannot afford it.
“The Fund is an ambitious initiative that will transform access to music education in London and with it, help improve the lives of many disadvantaged young people.”
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