Violinist Nicola Benedetti: “Music needs a more prominent place in the stringent education system”

4 September 2019, 17:40 | Updated: 4 September 2019, 17:46

By Kyle Macdonald

The Scottish virtuoso argues for music and the arts to be at the heart of schools, in an exclusive conversation with Classic FM fans to launch The Benedetti Foundation.

“Music is one of those very mystical, profound and encompassing creations of all human existence”, says violinist Nicola Benedetti. In fact, she believes so much in the power of music, she’s launching a new foundation to promote music teaching, education and understanding around the country.

And ever one to embrace the digital world as a way to speak directly to musicians, teachers and music-lovers, Nicola flipped the phone to selfie mode to launch her new initiative, live on Classic FM's Facebook page.

Nicola Benedetti on music education in the UK

In the interactive live session, Nicola was asked by followers about music education in the UK. She said “There are far too many that see the music and the arts as something that sits outside of what we should learn at school. We need to understand the bedrock of art, culture and music and to give that a far more prominent place in the quite stringent education system.”

She went on to tell viewers on Facebook that she hopes that her foundation can help deepen what music education actually is. It isn’t just about scraping away at a violin or blowing a trumpet, or practising scales, she says, it’s about the physical, emotional and civic embodiment of the art.

“I think the fundamental building blocks of music, the way you can experience creativity, understand polyphony, experience harmony, rhythm, the messing together of sounds and the collective experience. That’s something that the entire country can participate in and something that can be done so much better than it’s done now. Music has an impact on everything you do.”

We'd press the Facebook ‘like’ button on that.

What is The Benedetti Foundation?

The Benedetti Foundation is all about using music to provide enrichment, inspiration and variation to the UK’s education system and communities around the country, working with teachers and young musicians. The core of the foundation is a series of orchestra-based weekend workshops called The Benedetti Sessions.

These weekend sessions are designed to bring music-making alive to benefit both young musicians and of teachers.

The first Benedetti Sessions will take place in Glasgow from 3 – 6 January 2020, with more in London, Dundee, Northern Ireland, Manchester and Saffron Walden.

Nicola said she wanted to put musical experiences at the heart of her projects. “I have loved music and the violin since I was four years old. Nothing could stop me from wanting to play, but each time I encountered a mass-collective musical experience it deepened and strengthened my enjoyment and commitment to music.”

Nicola would love all young musicians and teachers to get in touch with her, and get involved. Find our more and sign up on The Benedetti Foundation's website.