Monetary Music

>>  Friday, July 02, 2010

In year 3 (aged 7) my daughter was part of a lunch time recorder group. It only lasted a term but she loved it from the beginning and played and played. But it only last a term

Daughter decided she would like to learn the flute. I have no idea why she picked the flute! I put her name on a form that came from school asking if any students wanted to learn any instruments. This request is sent to an independent Arts in Education system and lessons are paid for by the parents but the teachers are sent to the school.

She sat on a waiting list for a long time. I spoke to them, if I had put violin or Guitar she would have got lessons but not the flute....they didn't think it important to share that information you just have to guess what instrument they have enough teachers for.

I found a private flute teacher and initially rented then bought a second hand flute. The lessons are £12.50 a week for 30 mins and the flute was around £200. Each grading costs £60 plus the travelling expenses. So by now I have spent around £2000 on flute but she still loves it so to me it is worth it.

For a while she did guitar at school. About £100 a term, the teacher came in and she had 20mins a week (when it wasn't overrun by the likes of sports day, trips etc). She didn't enjoy this as much but managed 4 terms before deciding to leave it for a while.

I am lucky, I can pay but how do children without that parental privilege get lessons? How do so many young people manage to become players and how so many good orchestras continue amazes me.

The current primary state education system does little to support music with the main focus being on choir (I expect because voice is cheap). Choir is good, daughter performed at our nearest city's big theatre this week singing in a joint schools choir. There were about 100 children playing instruments too. Presumably their parents were also paying a lot of money for them to learn.
Learning instruments adds acres to some children's self esteem, enjoyment and general life skills. Sadly, I have already seen the notice that what little funding Arts in Education receives is being significantly reduced from 2011.

I wonder if it is like our football and tennis, with little early investment the chances of producing fantastic results is low. I hope not, I hope that where ever all our wonderful young musicians come from, they keep on coming.

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