Funding cuts and rising costs threaten musical instrument tuition in Scottish schools

Making Music is dismayed at the news in the past week of local authorities in Scotland hiking up fees for instrumental tuition in schools and announcing plans to cut provision altogether.

We have been helping to make the case for free instrumental tuition in schools to the Scottish Parliament in the past five months and fed into the recently published Education and Skills Committee inquiry report, 
A note of concern: The future of instrumental music tuition in schools.

This is a very encouraging document and states that the Committee, “believes in principle that music tuition should be provided free of charge in every local authority.” However, before the report has a chance to be debated in the Parliament’s chamber, two councils, Moray and Midlothian have made decisions that entirely undermine this vision.

Making Music members consistently speak to us, as in our recent consultation, about how highly they value school instrumental music services that teach skills that start young people on a lifelong musical journey, feed leisure time music groups with new talent and employ many of the professionals that also work in our sector. Without local instrumental musical services, many young people, particularly those whose families are least able to pay for private tuition, would be denied access to leisure time music making and the connections, resilience and wealth of opportunities it brings to musicians and their communities. 

We will continue to connect with the Music Education Partnership Group and the Scottish Parliament to help find a path towards the vision of free music tuition in all Scottish schools. We will also support individual campaigns in local authority areas where the service is under threat. If you are a Making Music member and would like us to connect with a campaign in your area, please get in touch.

Read more about our music education campaign work across the UK and what you can do to help.