Your focus on music education in AP226 was timely, coming as it did just days after Michael Gove announced his review of music education. I couldn’t help noticing the contradiction between the ICM poll (p1), which suggested that only 44% of parents believed it was important for their child to be involved in music and the ISM poll (referred to by Deborah Annetts on p6), which shows that 91% of parents believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.
Whether or not parents agree on the importance of music education, there is considerable evidence to show that involvement in music education brings wider benefits to young people. Here at Kent Music we recently conducted a poll of 7,000 parents accessing our services; 85% of respondents said that their child’s self-esteem had improved since learning to play a musical instrument and 94% agreed that involvement in music had a beneficial effect on the child’s whole education. This backs up the national research referred to in Deborah Annetts’ article.
There is no doubt that music education has a positive and lasting effect on the lives of young people and it is up to all of us working in music to make these points to the Secretary of State during the course of his review.