Thursday (1/13) on the Guardian (London) music blog, Helienne Lindvall writes, “The first things to go when there are governmental budget cuts are ‘luxuries’ such as arts funding. Education secretary Michael Gove’s decision to declare music students ineligible for the new English baccalaureate certificate sends the message that music education is another luxury we can live without. As does cutting the £82.5m a year in funding specifically aimed at providing music education—not to mention the news that one in four councils have already issued redundancies for music teachers. What these decisions appear to ignore are the overall benefits music lessons provide to children and teenagers. Growing up in Sweden, I went to a music school that provided regular academic education with extra lessons in music and choral singing. … What’s interesting is that the school regularly came top for average grades of all subjects. … Singing together created a sense of community and connection between students, making school something students looked forward to instead of dreaded. … Music lessons shouldn’t be seen as an optional extra for students who desire a career in the field (just as sport in school isn’t just for children aiming to be professional athletes).”

Posted January 18, 2011