I WAS so disappointed to read about the cuts in funding to music education - by 25 per cent over three years.
It would be very sad to lose access to children’s musical opportunities, such as those demonstrated recently at the West Sussex Music Service’s 50th Anniversary Concert at the K2.
Many children receive lessons and are involved in ensembles at the Music Centre, held at Millais School in Horsham, all provided by West Sussex Music Service. They get such a lot out of this provision and it becomes a very important part of their lives.
The Music Centre provides not just excellent musical training, but also the chance to make friends, have fun, and to learn to work as part of a team - much as you might in a sports team or in the Scouts or Guides.
I know that some might view learning a musical instrument as expensive, and hence exclusive: but the group lessons in school and Music Centre membership are really good value, and the Music Service can hire instruments to children.
This makes learning a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble, with all its many benefits, comparable to most other activities.
Without this kind of provision, it is unlikely that many children would even start learning an instrument, especially the larger or ‘endangered’ ones.
The children have access to some inspirational, talented and dedicated music teachers and can take part in many other activities outside of their lessons—there are intensive classes dedicated to their instrument and summer schools.
Ensembles can showcase their hard work and developing talents in a concert at the end of each term at prestigious venues such as the Hawth in Crawley.
The more senior bands enter competitions and perhaps go on tour abroad. All this is developing our talented musicians of the future!
I am well aware of the current financial position affecting so many walks of life and the consistent message to organisations that they must ‘do more with less’.
I do hope that the West Sussex Music Service can continue to operate their first-class provision. Their results speak for themselves.
Trundle Mead, Horsham