• Simon Rushby

Why every child should do Music

Updated: Mar 2, 2018

Those in music education - whether in schools or as private teachers - will be only too aware of the perception that fewer children seem to be studying music as they grow up. Instrumental and singing lessons in schools seem to be 'getting in the way' of maths, English and science lessons, according to some, and UK exam boards are experiencing falling numbers of candidates doing - for example, GCSE and A Level Music. It seems that whilst many begin on a musical journey at a young age, more than ever before find themselves under pressure to quit the journey and focus on other things.


Additionally, funding for creative subjects like music, dance and drama is becoming harder to come by and there is a danger that only young people who can afford private tuition will be able to access music lessons in the not-too-distant future. Of course, there are many heartwarming exceptions, and it is great to hear of schools, hubs and schemes that are promoting the creative arts and allowing many children to have the opportunity to engage with them.


There's no escaping, however, the mounting evidence that arts subjects could soon become marginalised, and in my time I've often heard it said that subjects like music are considered 'specialist' and that school children must focus on 'core' subjects that will - supposedly - stand them in greater stead for success in later life.


To that argument, perhaps I can counter with this. A few years ago I was attending a seminar on supporting students who are applying to university, and an admissions tutor from a very prestigious UK institution said:


"It is the considered view that a Music qualification is one of the most useful. Music students have people-management skills, sensitivity, multi-tasking abilities and are used to performing in public".


A student who has studied music can say to a prospective employer that they can perform in public, communicate passion and emotion to a large number of people, understand expression and contrast, interpret other people's ideas and create their own. They can listen, analyse, make critical judgements and write creatively. Not a bad skill-set!


© 2019 Simon Rushby