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Act Now to Save Midlothian’s Instrumental Music Service

Midlothian Council is consulting on proposals to cut funding for instrumental music tuition. Have your say by Wednesday 8 February.

Published: 03 February 2023 | 12:41 PM
Large white banner saying 'Don't stop the music'.
Once you’ve made your submission, it’s important to spread the word so that everyone who may be affected can take part too. Image credit: The MU ©

Midlothian Council plans to cut its Instrumental Music Service funding by 60%. As a result of these plans, students will either start learning an instrument from scratch as late as fourth year, or parents will have to pay for private tuition.

This flies in the face of Scottish Government commitments to free instrumental music lessons in schools, which was a flagship manifesto policy.

The plans could also set a dangerous precedent; the MU has received reports that other councils are considering similar cuts.

Have your say on the plans to cut funding 

Take part in the consultation before Wednesday 8 February

You can email your response or fill in Midlothian Council’s online form. Printed copies of the proposals will also be available at libraries and leisure centres.

Once you’ve made your submission, it’s important to spread the word so that everyone who may be affected can take part too. Share this page social media using the hashtag #SaveMidlothianMusicTuition.

Not sure what to say?

Here are some key points to raise:

  • The Council’s proposal to cut its Instrumental Music Service funding by 60% will mean that many hundreds of young people who currently access some form of instrumental music provision will lose that access
  • One of the flagship policies of the current Scottish Government was to abolish fees for music and arts education, including instrumental music tuition in schools. These proposals completely undermine this policy
  • The proposals are ill thought out and provide no vision for continuity of the instrumental music service following on from devastating levels of reductions in service
  • The Council’s proposals to cut its Instrumental Music Service funding by 60% will adversely and disproportionately affect pupils and families who can least afford it, making access to instrumental music lessons a reservation for wealthier families and widening the education attainment gap
  • The proposals take no account of the many well-documented positive effects of learning a musical instrument on other areas of academic learning, in addition to wellbeing and social development of our young people
  • This proposal will result in a raft of redundancies, impacting livelihoods during a cost-of-living crisis and diminishing the scope of what the service can deliver (choice of instruments, bands, ensembles, etc.)

If you are likely to be affected by the cuts, or would like to know more about the union’s work for musicians who teach, please contact your MU Regional Office.

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