Skip to main content

Music: Young People

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to encourage the learning of musical instruments by young people. (253140)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families to promote music for young people through the package of funding for music education, which was announced in November 2007. This totals £332 million over three years and includes investment in singing, new instruments and free music lessons.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides financial support for the arts through Arts Council England, which makes funding decisions independently of Government.

The Arts Council provides funding of £10 million per year to Youth Music so that it can continue its work of complementing music in the national curriculum by supporting activities outside of school hours. Youth Music works alongside formal and community-based sectors to support music-making and training. This includes helping young people with the fewest opportunities to learn musical instruments.

Take It Away is an Arts Council initiative designed to help more people get involved in learning and playing music. The scheme allows individuals to apply for an interest-free loan of up to £2,000 for the purchase of any kind of musical instrument. Children and young people are a particular priority for the scheme and over a quarter (26 per cent.) of all customers have purchased an instrument for a young person under 18 ears of age.