To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the value of schools teaching pupils to become proficient in playing one or more musical instruments; and what plans they have to increase the number of pupils achieving such proficiency. [HL6011]
The value of learning music is well documented, most recently summarised in the resource pack for Tune In—Year of Music, a national campaign to celebrate and develop participation in music over the 2009-10 academic year and which was launched by the Secretary of State in September.
Schools are already doing superb work in developing the essential music-making skills of performing, composing and listening. Whichever instrument is chosen, including the voice, there is an expectation of increasing proficiency, and teachers assess progress in national curriculum music against eight level descriptions of increasing difficulty. Children and young people who choose to take their instrumental playing further may also take graded exams which form part of the National Qualifications Framework and count as UCAS points.
Music is a national curriculum statutory subject to age 14. The teaching of particular instruments is not specified. Information about the requirements of national curriculum music can be found on the website of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency.