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

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