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Council consulting on music strategy for kids

A consultation process is under way across the region to develop a new children and young people’s music strategy.

The council’s education and learning committee is calling on the public to take part in a survey to help develop the key themes.

It follows the region registering the lowest proportion of pupils taking instrumental music lessons in 2019/20 out of all of Scotland’s local authorities.

The council is now planning to revisit how they deliver music in the school curriculum in a bid to increase the 3.9 per cent participation rate.

And, in recognising that tuition exists beyond schools and services offered by education, the strategy is intended to include all music opportunities and provision.

Discussions have already taken place with representatives from the region’s music sector and various stakeholders.

The committee now wants the public to share their views on what would be important to them, what they think works well, and any ideas on how to make Dumfries and Galloway’s music sector better.

Education chairman Jeff Leaver said: “We recognise the benefits of music.

“We are always looking at ways in which we can improve this service for our young people.”

Currently, the instrumental music service is offered to all children from P5 to S6, separate from curriculum lessons in school.

Instruction is offered across a range of 21 instruments by instructors based at secondary schools and there is no charge to those in receipt of free school meals, clothing grants, or doing SQA music in S4 to S6.

Otherwise, there is an annual charge of £200 to parents of pupils wanting the tuition for 30 lessons across the year – equating to just over £6 per lesson.

The fee is capped at £400 per family.

The uptake has fallen from 1,317 young musicians in 2013 when there were 25 instructors, to 574 this school year, with only 11 instructors.

The consultation ends on October 8 and can be accessed at: https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/article/23155/Consultation-on-the-Children-andYoung-People-s-Music-Strategy.



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