Clearing out boxes in the garage recently I came across my certificate for Grade V (Higher) in Music Theory. I had forgotten I took the exam, but then again it was back in the day – Elton John was a relative newcomer to the pop charts at the time.
As I (dimly) recall, music education at my alma mater was a patchy affair, but I’m willing to concede I was a far from diligent pupil in most subjects.
So I’m pleased to note that music education in England is to get an £18 million shot in the arm.
Last November Ofsted inspectors said music education lacked depth and rigour. The new cash will be allocated to music education, including to the national network of 123 music education hubs. There are two of these in Sussex – one in County Oak, Avenue, Brighton and one in Lewes.
David Laws, minister of state for schools, said: “We strongly believe that all children should benefit from a good music education and have given £171 million to music hubs since 2012. We have also announced that central government funding for music education programmes will increase by £18 million in 2015-16, and funding for music education hubs will rise to around £75 million in total. Local authorities will continue to have total discretion about whether to spend any of the ESG they receive on providing music services.”
That last bit is significant as it overturns previous government advice that local authorities should not continue to fund music education.
As for me, I have returned to the fray and I am studying music theory all over again, with a private tutor. It’s never to late to learn the difference between tranquillo and traurig.