We need sound music training

18th November 2005 at 00:00
I did not suggest the "standard" of teacher training is shocking ("Struggle to hit the right note', TES, November 4 ). What I alluded to was the constraints by the Teacher Development Agency on what course tutors are able to provide, especially on a one-year primary PGCE course.

Those about to enter the profession as music teachers get a handful of taught lessons, and although they learn more during their placements, it simply is not enough. I certainly did not intend that hard-working and dedicated tutors should have their expertise called into question.

As part of my role as a music adviser, I deliver music training to all teachers, but especially to those in their first few years and I am constantly alarmed at the lack of attention paid to music education in their PGCE year.

There is no doubt that we do need trained teachers in the classroom. My point was in the context of professional musicians who have so much to offer to young people in school, but do not possess formal qualifications.

We must try to get them accredited, and even if accreditation cannot be gained, must not close the door to using them in the classroom.

Derek Kitt

County adviser for music Melta House, 1 Liskeard Road, Saltash Cornwall

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