Children must learn music
12:05pm Friday 10th August 2012 in Letters
MY ASSERTION that musical standards are often judged at the same plebeian level as television 'talent' shows is kindly supported by Bill Fletcher in last week's letters; but is part of a bigger picture.
Through no fault of their own, many people have been failed by the schools' music education system: an ideology that would have provided a balanced appraisal of good music. The woefully inadequate teaching of classical music in our Primary and Secondary schools has been a cause of grave concern for decades and described by Ofsted as 'inconsistent' and 'inadequate.'
At all levels, it is vital that children are exposed and consequently encouraged to understand and absorb classical music in all its forms; a life-changing experience that can ignite a desire to learn an instrument and a key that will unlock the great musical treasures that have enriched our culture for centuries; and much more. The understanding of music from elementary roots is as important as the teaching of any academic subject and it is imperative that study courses for student teachers addresses this chasm as part of their degree and PGCE courses. A vital change that will subsequently stimulate their students and set a benchmark for a fairer assessment in judging quality in music.
The appreciation of classical music has been in gradual decline for many years and nothing short of a major ennoblement at grass roots level will save this great art form from extinction.
RICHARD LESTER Upper Churnside Cirencester