The musical life of British children is at risk, a major TES survey reveals. Dorothy Lepkowska reports
Today The TES launches a campaign to promote music in schools.
Our aims are simple, but ambitious. We believe that, during the primary-school years, every child should be entitled to two things:
* to learn about, and develop an appreciation of, music; * to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument.
As our survey implies, thousands of schools are considering cutting back on the time spent teaching music as a result of the Government's focus on the 3Rs.
Over the next 18 months, The TES will monitor this worrying trend and put the case for maintaining, and where possible increasing, the commitment to music in the primary curriculum.
We shall explore ways in which the best musical work in both primary and secondary schools can be emulated by others.
And we shall examine possible ways forward, including open days, twinning and other networking arrangements, designed to enable schools to share ideas and collaborate in music-making. Our campaign will culminate in a millennium celebration of music in schools. We will be working closely with Music for Youth and many other groups.
* About The TES survey: A total of 2,000 questionnaires were sent to a representative sample of primary schools throughout the UK in late March and early April. We received replies from 692 schools (35 per cent). These were made up of 500 English, 83 Scottish, 53 Welsh and 56 Northern Irish schools.