Moray Council has cut music instruction fees by 30% for the new school year.
Council bosses have agreed to slash the cost of lessons after hearing that many young people had shelved their musical ambitions during the pandemic.
Currently Moray’s charges are the second highest in Scotland, and the highest of all the councils across the north of the country.
As it stands around 430 pupils across primary and secondary schools are learning how to play an instrument in school.
Coronavirus restrictions have forced the practice sessions to be carried out remotely.
The move was proposed by Conservative leader Tim Eagle after news of nearly 100 students abandoning their musical studies since the beginning of the pandemic.
It’s hoped this reduction in charges could see more pupils learn to play an instrument and increase their own wellbeing.
Featuring as part of the council’s recovery plan to bounce back from the pandemic, authority bosses have acknowledged higher fees would only cause more pupils to stop.
Shona Morrison, convener of Moray Council, said: “The excellent feedback from families who take part in instrumental instruction shows the quality of the lessons provided by our instructors. Even despite the challenges of the restrictions in place, our learners and staff have adapted and lessons have been delivered remotely.
“While pupils entitled to free school meals are exempt from fees, by reducing the financial barrier for other families it provides better value for money and should help more access the service.”
With this latest batch of cuts, families across the region would now pay per pupil – £204 for group instruction, £291 for individual instruction both on a yearly basis respectively and £4.90 per week for Moray Music Centre.