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22 July 2014, 15:59
Thousands of young people will benefit from an increase in funding for music education hubs, Education Minister Nick Gibb announced today, a move welcomed by violinist and ambassador for arts education, Nicola Benedetti.
The funding boost will go towards music education, including to the national network of 123 music education hubs, bringing the total amount of funding available this financial year to more than £75million. As well as subsidising instrument hire for those with low incomes, a key objective of the hubs is to give every child aged 5-18 the chance to learn to play an instrument as part of whole class tuition for at least a term.
Education Minister Nick Gibb said: "No education can be complete without the arts and music playing a central role. That is why we established music hubs to replace a patchy service and ensure every child is given the opportunity to learn an instrument.
"Music hubs have made a very encouraging start - and now we want to build on that. That is why we are increasing funding by £18 million. No children should miss out on the inspiration and excitement that music can bring to their lives."
Following this morning's announcement, Nicola Benedetti said she will continue to provide workshops for children of all standards, giving young instrumentalists the opportunity to play together and learn from one another.
"I am relieved and delighted to hear the news that the government has pledged an extra £18million to music hubs in 2015/16 as well as backing down on their recommendation to local authorities that they stop funding music services," she said. "Our challenge now is to support this money being channelled in the correct way.
She added: "Make no mistake, music education and greater creativity in schools is not solely for those headed for a career within the arts. These experiences are enriching and illuminating for each and every child. And further to this, they are community binding. This is a positive direction and great news for our entire society.'
As well as an increase in funding this year, the music curriculum is getting a shake up to make it more rigorous. From the age of seven, every child will be taught how to read music, with every 14-year-old in the country being able to read music by 2021.