A Moray school has called for music tuition to be protected to ensure youngsters can continue to expand their creative horizons.
Instrument classes for youngsters in the region came under threat during this year’s budget talks amid proposals to increase the fees by 85% – before the rise was later reduced to 10%.
Elsewhere, Midlothian Council considered axing the service completely as part of cost-cutting plans before they were saved.
Both authorities stressed that music classes were not a statutory service they were obliged to provide when publishing their savings plans amid constrained budgets.
Now Gordonstoun has joined the voices of campaigners across the country to urge leaders to protect the service during future financial talks.
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Principal Lisa Kerr said: “Education is about so much more than the core skills of numeracy and literacy and I passionately believe that music should be a core part of every child’s learning journey.
“When budgets are tight it is more important than ever to protect those parts of the curriculum which can be really transformative for young people.
“Music has a vital role to play in giving students a way to connect with other people and to build their creativity, as well as to build their confidence and improve well-being.”
Mrs Kerr spoke about the need to safeguard the lessons at a concert attended by Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney this week.
Last month, Creative Scotland published a study which found that 100,000 pupils across the country were being denied access to lessons due to high charges or a lack of tutors.
Participation rates of students between different local authorities were found to vary between 8% to 25%.
Moray Council’s head of instrumental tuition service, John Mustard, resigned after 30 years of service due to the 85% increase in fees being put forward as part of budget plans.
At the time, the respected cellist warned the damage of such an increase would continue to affect youngsters into their later life.
He said: “In a low wage economy such as Moray this will deprive many young people of a valuable skill and pleasure for life.”