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13 May 2014, 11:36
Current levels of funding are threatening children's 'basic right' to school music lessons, says the star trumpeter.
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.