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Thursday, 23 December, 1999, 13:25 GMT
Schools given 50m for music

Drummers Music from ethnic minorities is to be given extra support


Music in schools is to be supported with an extra 50m from the government.

The funding, announced by the Schools Minister, Jacqui Smith, will contribute to buying instruments and recording equipment, supporting choirs and paying for specialist tuition.

Boys in particular will be encouraged to participate in learning instruments and joining school choirs.

The minister said the money would help "all young people to have access to music by reducing or waiving fees and to widen the range of music which they experience".

Learning music could be an important way of raising pupils' confidence and developing self-esteem, she said.

The funding provides 30m to "protect" current music provision and another 20m to increase support for music lessons, with the money to be distributed through local education authorities.

This will include money to be targeted at raising the profile of music from around the world, with money from the Music Standards Fund providing funds for local authorities to promote "ethnic diversity" in music lessons.

The Culture Secretary, Chris Smith, said that the government is "passionately committed to ensuring that children get access to music making".

"Every child should have the chance to play an instrument, sing and find their own musical voice. Music is an essential part of a balanced, rounded education," said Mr Smith.

And he said that extra funding would allow music to reach "those children who don't have the chances that others take for granted".
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See also:
15 Jul 99 |  Education
Creativity needed in the classroom
22 Oct 99 |  Education
Music makes you clever
04 Feb 99 |  Education
Music in schools fading away for the poor

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