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School music lessons ‘should be free’ say MPs… or should they?

Music lessons for young children

A recent debate this year discussed whether music lessons at school should be provided free of charge

In order to allow more children the privilege of enjoying the magical world of music making and appreciation. The topic has been in such extensive discussion that it was brought to the Scottish parliament’s attention earlier this year. They claim that, in principle, music tuition should be provided for free in every local authority.

The issue with free music lessons is they should be assessed with due diligence and a proper follow through on the quality of the actual classes delivered, as very often these lessons can be extremely meagre in nature, covering little or nothing concrete at all during the short span of 20 minutes on average. With music teachers generally on a tight budget and music lessons not following a principled development with little supervision, there is a lot of grey learning area that would not inspire much confidence for parents. 

From our over-15-years’ experience as professional music tutors, unconstructed music classes such as some low-quality free lessons, even only as a short 20-minute session, create an unwelcome diversion of attention. Having an ill-planned music lesson followed by little or no home practice results in uninterested and unimaginative pupils, often tired and bored with little prospect to progress. 

Allowing music lessons payable as opposed to be free of charge puts parents in the driver’s seat and ensures lesson quality. Invested parents are in better control while children have a far better chance in following a guided approach and well-thought timeline and achieve a clear goal. Children’s weekly progress should also be followed up between the teacher and parents to ensure that parents know what has been taught and accomplished, including the challenges that are to be overcome. 

While the cost of private music tuition could strain a family’s budget, it is perhaps the only way to guarantee progress; the active passion, tailored approach, ongoing encouragement, attentive engagement and wonderful musical bonding with the teacher are also what only private tuition can achieve. For any learning development including music to succeed, we must ensure that the teachers have accountability towards pupils’ constant progress and joy in learning music.

We welcome parents from London and beyond to call us on 0800 005 2323 for a free consultation. We are here to offer thorough advice free of charge on any queries you have about your child’s musical education and what you can do to improve it. There’s always something new to learn, and a lot to lose if issues are left unattended. Good luck!

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