Music Service Cuts

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by RDTCBD, Nov 5, 2010.


    RDTCBD Member

    I saw last week about a Music Service had its funding cut to zero by a County council. I know that there is a lot of doom & gloom, scaremongering and rhetoric going around in line with public sector cuts, however I need to specifics,
    As part of some research I am doing. Has anyone got any stories of confirmed cuts or closure of borough/county music services that they could make me aware of.
    many thanks
  2. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Funding for Youth Music

    There has been a lot in the banding press recently about ways to improve/secure the future of banding. One of the key ways is the continued investment in youth music. Therefore the attached campaign to save the funding for youth music in Central Bedfordshire raised a few concerns in my own head. I was lucky enough to have grown up in Bedford and taken full advantage of the music service there, and whilst it is not exactly Brass Band heartland, I am concerned that if funding can be stripped out of the successful regime in Bedfordshire, it could happen to any of us, and worryingly this will have an impact on the future of Brass Bands nationally.

    I urge you all to take a look at the campaign, and if you feel you can support it (particularly any fellow tMPers who grew up in Bedfordshire or know Michael Rose) please do. Alternatively, have a look at the future for youth music in your own area, and start asking questions of the people who make decisions - is there a future? We need a strong youth music system to continue many musical traditions, not least that of the Brass Band.

  3. fartycat

    fartycat Member

  4. delboy822

    delboy822 Member

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010

    RDTCBD Member

    thanks guys, I knew about Bedfordshire, but not the others. Anybody else got any news of other cuts/closure
  6. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I had started a thread on this a couple of days ago. Although it appears your thread has had more success.

    Perhaps a mod could somehow merge the threads. This needs serious consideration from anyone involved in amateur music making as it will impact on us all in a few years time, when we continue to struggle to find players and more bands fold. (not that I'm all doom and gloom, but it could well have a major impact).
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for posting the link to your thread, I was looking for it, but as I couldn't remember what it was called or who started it I was having a job! Anyway, threads now merged.
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Part of the problem is that they know that brass bands and other community groups, to some extent, will pick up the slack including putting kids through exams. What they don't recognise is the benefit of music to discipline; self expression during the difficult teenage years and civic responsibility (taking part in civic events like remembrance Sunday).

    I am old enough to remember Mrs Thatcher asking why the government was paying to train buskers for London Underground. Mrs Thatch could not see the connection between music tuition in schools and all the operas and concert she enjoyed going to. Just as your average council tax payer does not recognise the connection between the music they listen to on the radio and instrumental instruction.

    We are running a serious risk of the joy of being able to play an instrument being restricted to the better off. Coincidentally Ian Rankin (near neighbour of mine and music fan) posted this to his twitter feed yesterday:

    "October 1990, less than 1% of UK acts in top 40 were privately educated. October 2010 the figure was around 60%. (The Word)"

    To add insult to injury I met a sheet music dealer this morning who said that their business is booming with trade from Edinburgh's private schools. I certainly see lots of kids carrying instruments on the bus wearing the uniforms of the merchants Company schools or the Edinburgh Academy. Rarely brass instruments though and never a euphonium or a tenor horn. That, of course, is an Edinburgh thing and why there has been no band in Edinburgh for nearly 30 years (excluding the recent University band).

    So where does this leave us? Fragmentary group tuition, often run by volunteers, with music performance being marginalised in society. At the same time as singing is apparently getting very popular (x-factor etc being part of the reason).
  9. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    This is an opportune time for the Federation of Brass Bands and the other think tank groups to get there act together. Instead of organising yet another youth band contest, these organisations should be helping and supporting the building up a youth band network throughout the regions and country. We as a movement need to take things in our own control and look at ways we can support and encourage those bands who invest in training youngsters. Give them opportunities for professional development, workshops etc.
    There has never been a more opportune moment than this.
  10. RDTCBD

    RDTCBD Member

    Thanks guys for the input. From the research I am doing it would appear that many music services will have to face cuts, along with most of the public sector in this current coalition government drive on expenditure. Although none so far have gone as far as Bedfordshire and ended funding.
    Unless anyone knows different?? Anyone know of any other music service cuts???
  11. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes indeed. I trust that you, as a member of the brass band 'movement', are giving the BFBB your own personal support and encouragement in the form of a subscription (or by some other practical support)?
  12. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    I spent many of my younger years playing with the local music service. The music service was a fantastic way of engaging me and others in social and musical experiences. Although, since cuts and the introduction of wider ops I, sadly, feel that the progress of kids is much slower and because of this kids give up sooner as it takes to long to see progress ( in the kids eyes )

    I played professionally for 9 years and taught and examined at the JRNCM and RNCM. I am now a school teacher so I now see wider ops weekly. So have seen both sides. IMHO wider ops is engaging, I take my hat off to the teachers who come in to teach 31 of my kids brass!.. But progress is obviously much slower than in smaller or one to one tuition, hence why the kids in my class are frustrated and would normally just give up if they didn't have to to do it at school.

    I know many brass peri teachers that are frustrated and are doing the work because thats how things are going rather than doing it because they want to. Many peri teachers came in to teach brass instruments.

    As for music been only for the rich. I have to disagree, the price to hire an instrument and have a lesson is not that high. Especially with all the extra groups and bands they can join from that. Think about how much money is spent on a computer game??? Thats two months worth of lessons with a local band/youth band or music service! That frustrates me.
    Some games are as much as £60.........what do they get from that. It's the parents people/Gov need to get in touch with.

    I urge the gov and local auth to give back the jobs to peri teachers that they trained for. Let peri teachers teach instruments, encourage them and open all the doors available from that.
    The peri's are good players and teachers and should be promoted!


    Jack of all trades and master of...........
  13. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Music lessons in my view are expensive, it was 15 or so years ago when I was at school and if it has been heavily subsidised since, apologies for my ignorance. My parents couldn't afford to pay for private or group lessons so I went to my local brass band who have taught me and other players for free. Don't know about orchestral playing or instruments, but I will say like I have preached many times on here. Don't moan on here about lack of brass players about, it is up to us as bands and the movement to teach the next generation instead of relieing on 3rd parties. The same goes for other musical groups.
  14. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    I think people can moan..... and what I mean by that is that there is only so much people can do.

    I know of at least 4 bands in my local area that put 16 hours and more a week in, trying to improve or sustain the players we have today. I'm sure just like them there are many other organisations doing the same around the country. Sadly the rest has to come from the top and be recognised as an important tool in life. Does music get the same amount of funding as sports or foreign languages? why?

    As for pricing of lessons and groups to play in, and I can only tell you from our band.
    For the hire of an instrument, tuition and a group to play in twice a week it is £6 p/w. Then there are the concerts, parties that are all included in that.
    Is that too much? I really don't think so. The people that are teaching them have also played with Dyke, YBS, Fairys and Brighouse to mention a few..

    There are always going to be people that can't afford something we have to remember that. You cannot please everybody.
  15. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    One thing that is getting cut almost by stealth is the subsidy for music lessons. Most schools I work in now no longer subsidise lessons so parents have to pay the full costs. There is however a budget for people who qualify for free school meals to get part of the costs paid although who knows if this budget will also be cut.

    I have a feeling that we will only start to see the implications of the CSR in April onwards and in schools from next September. A lot of schools are tied into contracts with music services until then. Whilst councils start to set budgets for the next financial year in February/March.
  16. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    They never subsidised lessons when I was at school many moons ago. Lessons were for ones who could afford it and what was more laughable was you had to play a musical instrument to do GCSE music and pay for lessons by so called music teachers who have never made it anywhere and you had to pay for them!!
  17. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    They did where I come from (Scotland) . Even recently there was a years free music tuition for Children in schools. I started playing in 1978 and it was a nominal sum that was paid by my parents to the school.
  18. sbandsman

    sbandsman Member

    Here in Lincolnshire SOME music is taught on the Peri basis (if you are in the right area and instrument.) My son started playing Drums in Y8 for around 2 terms then it was stopped. He is now Studying Music at Salford with Howard Evens(et al) and thoroughly enjoying it.
  19. Matt the Shed

    Matt the Shed Member

    When I was a secondary school around 15 years ago we were offered cheap peri lessons and free ones (I think) when I was doing GCSE music. Unfortunately, at the age of about 12 I was already a better reader than the teacher, so I didn't bother and continued to have private lessons with a very good teacher. I'm hoping the quality of schools peri teachers is more regulated these days...

    I seem to remember, and this is off topic, also being asked to bring my kit in for other drummers to do their board exams because the kit there was so dodgy!

    Having said that, when I reached college, the head of music somehow managed to wangle free lessons for me with a very good teacher just because I was in the college jazz band :clap:
  20. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    Some of the best teachers are people who 'never made it'.

    I know many full time orchestral players who say they would never teach as they don't feel comfortable enough to explain and motivate pupils to improve. You don't have to be a 'made it' player to teach.

    I still strongly disagree about the price of lessons. There are many ways to have tuition if people/parents are prepared to put in the effort to going somewhere and waiting and supporting the children. SOME parents don't seem to want to do anything extra and music when it is outside of school hours is somethinig they have to commit to. Again what I said about pricing and these stupid game consoles.... I would love to know how many hundreds of pounds are lying around in their house or bedroom....yet, pft music lessons are so expensive????:confused: Really?? Come on...What it is actually saying is that staying in there rooms not having the hassle of taking their children and deciding to spend hundreds on games is an easier option

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