Amateur musician is often 'limited'

15th December 2000 at 00:00
MUCH has been written about the "lottery" in schools for instrumental tuition and its availability.

Of far greater concern to me over the past 15 years has been the "lottery" about the quality of teaching. The current qualifications still demanded by many local authorities remains that of a postgraduate certificate in education which may well have been spent doing class music and have no relevance at all to the teaching of an instrument.

The result can all too often be a limited amateur player with no training whatsoever, the equvalent in maths being a teacher who is a bit hazy on basic addition and thereby crippling pupils' chances of succeeding in that subject. I doubt such a maths teacher would last long in a school.

It also results in many "teachers" such as the late Menuhin and several of those at the conservatoires being deemed "unqualified" to teach! Perhaps one day there will be a national review of all instrumental teaching leading to an assessment of performance and teaching ability.

Iona Sherwood Jones Abbeydale Park Rise Sheffield

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today