Alison Balsom slams government cuts

Current levels of funding are threatening children's 'basic right' to school music lessons, says the star trumpeter.

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Trumpeter Alison Balsom has hit out at current levels of music funding, saying she would not have become a professional musician if she had been born a few years later. After picking up a trumpet at primary school, Balsom has forged a highly successful career, winning the coveted Gramophone Artist of the Year award in 2013 and three Classic Brit awards - despite not taking up specialist tuition until she was 14.

“These cutbacks make me so furious," she said, speaking to the Radio Times. "How short-sighted is it not to see how useful music is? We know the countless benefits of what music can do to your brain – you learn to listen, to take in information, to work with other people."

Gallery: 15 facts you never knew about Alison Balsom

She added: "I know that if, as a child, I’d been dependent on the Government funding that's around now, I simply wouldn’t exist as a professional player."

Balsom's remarks come just weeks after Education Secretary Michael Gove announced changes to the curriculum for selected arts subjects, including religious studies, design & technology, drama, dance, music and PE. The changes are set to remove qualifications which are not endorsed by businesses and employers, and create 'high-quality, rigorous, demanding qualifications across the academic and vocational curriculum'.

What do you think about Alison Balsom's comments? Did school music-making have an impact on your life? Post your thoughts below.

Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom Trumpeter Artist Alison Balsom

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