Music education in schools is underrated, the Duchess of Kent has claimed.
The Royal, who retreated from public life in 1996 and spent eight years as a music teacher in a primary school, stressed the importance of music education and the skills that it can give young people.
“When I was teaching the first thing I began to notice was the power of music as a stimulant to these children to give them confidence and self-belief,” she told The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
“Some of the children I taught haven’t necessarily become musicians, but the confidence it has given them, some have joined the Army, some to university, which they might not have done otherwise.”
Teaching in relative anonymity and known to pupils as Mrs Kent, her time at Wansbeck Primary School in Hull showed her how music can provide stimulation for underprivileged children and help them climb the “Berlin Wall” surrounding council estates.
“I have always loved talent, I love that tickle up the neck when you see talent and I began to realise I was teaching some very, very gifted children,” she said when recalling her time as a teacher.
The duchess told the ITV1 show of her desire to see music as a compulsory GCSE subject. “I think that would be wonderful,” she remarked.
At 78-years-old, the duchess is no longer a teacher but has launched a music charity called Future Talent, which supports gifted children in pursuing their music even further. It also sees professional orchestras work with primary and secondary schools.
As for her own music career, the duchess plays the piano, violin and organ, but missed out on a place at the Royal Academy of Music, although she always dreamed of playing at Carnegie Hall.
She also told the presenter in the pre-recorded interview that she uses Shazam on her iPhone to identify a song and listens to Heart FM.
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