Schoolchildren sing out for more music lessons, survey reveals | Music | Entertainment

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) poll, in support of the Daily Express Strike a Chord crusade, found 79 percent of British pupils aged six to 18 think more must be done to engage their generation with the joy of music played by an ensemble.

Among children from ethnic minorities, this proportion rose to 87 percent. A third of all youngsters surveyed said there should be more music lessons in schools. The research shows children are far more likely to be exposed to music on YouTube than in class.

It follows the Government’s announcement of a national plan for music, promising to deliver one hour a week of “high quality” education in the subject to all pupils. In recent years, it has emerged that free or subsidised music lessons have vanished from many state schools.

In the decade from 2010, the number of pupils sitting A-level music plummeted 43 percent.

In the RPO survey, 35 percent of students called for more school trips to orchestral concerts and 27 percent said there needed to be a greater focus on getting young people to play in groups and ensembles at school.

One in six wants to see professional musicians visiting their school more often.

In their lives outside school, a fifth of pupils said they are keen to hear more classical music on social media – while one in seven would be more interested if celebrities went to
classical concerts, or if people could use their phones during concerts.

Eighty-seven percent said they already engage with orchestral music in their free time, with film scores the main way they enjoyed it, followed by listening to YouTube videos.

But just under a quarter (23 percent) said they had heard or listened to orchestral music at school – and for teenagers aged 17 to 18, this share fell to just 14 percent.

Huw Davies, deputy managing director of the RPO, said: “Music is something people need.

“It has the power to enrich, it is a tool for expression and a lens in which to view and better understand the world – and this need starts from the moment we are born. Nurturing this interest and encouraging young people to explore boundaries and horizons is fundamental to any child’s development and will stay with them for life.

“However it seems in our obsession with Stem subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) – to the detriment of all other subjects – we have lost sight of this.

“Through our continued work with schools, community groups and at our concerts, we see first-hand the positive benefits that music brings to young people.

“The future of orchestral music depends on the next generation.

“The Daily Express’s Strike a Chord campaign to recognise the importance of music education is exactly on the mark. The RPO is proud to back it.”

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