Every child in Bristol will get the chance to learn to play a musical instrument, thanks to a £1million government fund.
The aim is to ensure that every child aged five to 18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, to progress to the next level, and play with other children as part of an ensemble or choir.
The move is part of Art Council plans to create a nationwide network of music hubs, and backs a growing movement to create a “holistic approach to education”.
A new music education hub in Bristol will bring together the council’s Arts and Music Service with the Colston Hall’s new music trust.
Cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Clare Campion-Smith said: ”This is truly excellent news and will definitely benefit the youth of Bristol and help them to engage in creative activities.
“I think people are realising there are enormous benefits to children learning how to play music. We went through a time when it was all about reading and writing but I think people realise now that education has to take a much more holistic
“Some young people find it very hard to communicate but do very well in music and find that this is a different way to communicate. For others it’s a way to relax and it can be useful for those struggling with more academic subjects.”
In the last year, 7,800 pupils in Bristol have taken part in whole class music lessons; 3,000 pupils have Arts and Music Service lessons and around 500 children and young people attend weekend and evening music centres every week.
The new funding will secure the service supplied by the Arts and Music Service that currently employs more than 100 music teachers.
The successful application to the Art Council follows the government’s Henley Review of Music Education that recommended that organisations should come together to create music hubs – partnerships that would promote excellent music education for children and young people in and out of school.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “All children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to play and sing with others.
“I welcome the Art Council’s announcement of the nationwide network of music hubs. They form an integral part of our national plan for music education. Over the coming years, these hubs will help countless children to discover and develop their musical talent.”