UK government urged to do more to promote music to kids

A child playing a recorder
(Image credit: Orlando / Getty Images)

Record label association the BPI have called on the UK government to do more to close the gap between state and independent schools when it comes to teaching music.

The BPI conducted a survey of 2200 teachers across the country and discovered that state schools are falling behind the independent sector when it comes to music provision.

They found that state schools have seen a 21% decrease in music provision over the last five years compared to a net 7% rise in music education in independent schools over the same period.

As a result of their findings, the BPI along with BRIT Awards boss Geoff Taylor, are urging the government to provide more cash for music lessons in state schools and to increase music provision in the curriculum.

They want all pupils to have access to musical group activities and to recognise that music should be a core component of the education system.

Taylor says: “People may have different talents and aspirations, but the one thing that gives us all an equal opportunity to fulfil our potential, whatever our background, is education. 

“These BPI findings make us profoundly concerned that music education and tuition in state schools is beginning to lag far behind that in the independent sector. This inequality is not just deeply unfair to children in the state sector, it risks depriving our culture of future talents as diverse as Adele, Stormzy and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. 

“We believe that every child in this country should have the same opportunity to access tuition and to discover and develop their musical talent.”

Close to 30% of state schools have seen a decrease in curriculum time for music, while one in four state schools serving disadvantaged communities offer no lessons to students who want them.

On the flip side, almost all independent schools do.

Last month, Foo Fighters launched Rocksteady: Just Play workshops across the county which gave young people across the UK the chance to pick up an instrument and learn to play.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.