Song of praise by inspector

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
All children at Studley Green primary get the chance to learn a musical instrument, even if it is only the recorder.

All Year 4 pupils at the school in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, have lessons courtesy of the council's music service, singled out for praise by David Bell, the chief inspector.

Steve Wigley, headteacher, thinks it vital that all children are given the chance to learn music, whatever their background.

About 15 per cent of pupils in the county have the opportunity to learn an instrument other than the recorder. Valerie Hayward, head of music services, said: "In one school 70 per cent of pupils are learning an instrument. I hope eventually we can get all schools to that level."

Studley has a range of backgrounds: almost two in five pupils are eligible for free school meals and more than a quarter have special needs. Those whose parents cannot afford a recorder can borrow one.

Three pupils each from Years 5 and 6 are selected to learn the trumpet and trombone on the basis of "aptitude and attitude". Again there is no charge for tuition or instrument hire.

"I wish we could let all pupils learn the brass instruments but there is just not enough money," Mr Wigley said.

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