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Music lobby declares peripatetic priority

The new Federation of Music Services is keen to hold talks with the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority to help peripatetic teachers link in with the national curriculum, according to its chairman Michael Wearne.

The federation, which aims to unite the fragmented world of instrumental music teaching, was launched in Oxford last month.

About 70 organisations took part with encouragement from local education authority associations, the Arts Council and the Office for Standards in Education.

The federation is worried about the decline in the teaching of certain instruments such as bassoon, tuba, viola and double bass - all vital in orchestras. It intends to promote them and plans to issue guidelines on the number of instruments schools should aim to teach.

Mr Wearne, who is the director of Kent Music School, said the federation would also offer advice and expertise to authorities recently created by local government reform as some music services might be at risk under the new unitary councils.

Teachers' professional development, better contracts of employment and flexible responses to the demands of the market are also areas of concern to the federation.

Information about the federation is available from either Michael Wearne on 01622 765072 or from Richard Hickman, the chief executive, on 01494 439572.

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