The recently announced National Plan for Music Education in Wales aims to make access to music education fairer and more consistent. It has a particular focus on children from low-income households and those requiring additional support for their learning.
Also known as the National Music Service, the program's funding will triple as it prepares to roll-out in the next few months, with £13.5 million being invested into the program across the next three years.
“Learning to play a musical instrument has been for those few whose parents and carers could afford the tuition costs,” began Jeremy Miles, the Welsh Minister for Education. “This inequality must end so that no child or young person should ever miss out through a lack of means. Our vision [is for all young people] across Wales, regardless of background, to have the chance to learn to play an instrument.”
Aimed at students aged between three and 16, the initiative will provide services such as sessions with music tutors; a “First Experiences” program enabling children to try out musical instruments with an expert for a month; collaborations between students and music industry professionals; and a national instrument and equipment library for resources which will be shared across Wales.
Every child should benefit from a musical education.
That’s why we’ve just launched a national music service and trebled funding to the tune of £13.5 million.
— Welsh Government 🏴🇺🇦 (@WelshGovernment) May 17, 2022
“The establishment of a National Music Service for Wales is an important commitment in our Programme for Government and I’m delighted that we are delivering on this pledge,” said First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford in the press release.
“We are fortunate in Wales to have a strong tradition of school, county and national ensembles, and we want to make sure that our children and young people are able to play a full part in these,” Drakeford continued. “This funding will support music services in schools and within the community to help nurture our young musical talent.”
“Playing an instrument and reading music is a very important skill for a child, and music brings enormous joy to children,” added Chris Llewelyn, CEO of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). “Local authorities believe that children across Wales will have better access to instruments, and this plan will develop many future talented musicians, and support pupils to develop their musical skills.”