All children in Wales will receive free access to a musical instrument and tuition from September as part of the Welsh government’s National Music Service. Funding for music teaching will be trebled, with £13.5 million being invested over the next three years as part of the new music education plan.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, visited St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School in Swansea yesterday (17 May 2022) to watch children taking part in a music session and launch the National Music Service for Wales.
National Music Service will offer all children a free instrument
The Welsh government believe that every child should have the opportunity to benefit from music education. The National Music Service will offer all children aged three to 16 a free instrument to practise with at school and at home, which will allow children from low-income households, who might not be able to afford one, take part.
As part of the new plan a ‘First Experiences’ programme will offer primary school children a minimum of half a term of musical instrument taster sessions. A ‘Making Music with Others’ initiative will offer secondary school pupils opportunities to gain industry experience through working alongside musicians and creative industries. A new national instrument and equipment library will also be available as a resource bank to be shared across Wales.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said, “Learning an instrument was a formative part of my upbringing and a lack of money should not be a barrier to any young person who wants to learn to play music. We are fortunate in Wales to have a strong tradition of school, county and national ensembles, and we want to make sure that our children and young people are able to play a full part in these. This funding will support music services in schools and within the community to help nurture our young musical talent.”
“I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to access music tuition”
The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles added, “Our vision is for all children and young people across Wales, regardless of background, to have the chance to learn to play an instrument.
“I remember how important it was to me to be able to have music tuition when I was in school and to learn the baritone and to play in brass ensembles. I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to access music tuition – the chance to learn an instrument and develop musical skills is too often limited by cost and affordability nowadays, so we’re making this significant investment to deliver a range of activities for our children and young people, so that they can learn and experience the joy of music.
“The development of the National Music Service will ensure that we nurture our next generation and continue to produce new talent and showcase Wales to the world.”