Councillors asked to promote Shropshire schools music service
Councillors will be asked to increase awareness of a Shropshire music service which helps children learn.
Shropshire Council’s people overview committee will be told next week to boost the profile of Shropshire Music Service, which turns over £1.2 million a year.
The council gets a £350,000 a year Arts Council England grant for the scheme, while the rest comes from charging parents and schools.
Alison Stevens, manager of Shropshire Music Service, will tell the committee: “Shropshire Music Service is a valuable cultural and educational asset to the council. It would benefit from your awareness and support.
“Committee members are asked to increase their awareness of the work of the Shropshire Music Service and to act as advocates for the service in schools, other settings and the wider Shropshire community.
“They are also recommended to support the Shropshire Music Service by publicising and even attending service events and opportunities.”
She added: “The service is at risk if the grant from Arts Council England is cut.
“It is at risk if there is a fall in families’ disposable income, or in school budgets. The service turns over around £1.2 million per year.
“Around £350,000 comes from the Arts Council England grant. The remaining income comes from charges to schools and parents.
“Countless studies have shown that music education is beneficial to young people. Not only does it promote wellbeing and self-esteem and nurture life skills such as concentration and teamwork, but it is now universally accepted that music education improves academic performance.
“To ensure the quality of delivery of such a crucial part of children’s education, it is important to have a team of highly skilled, experienced and dedicated professionals. Shropshire Music Service is that team.”
She said that currently the service teaches 21 instruments to over 5,000 children each week.
But she warned that the service could be under threat should it lose support.
“Musical instruments can be expensive to buy. The service offers its pupils instrument hire at very low cost, further ensuring that financial background is no barrier to musical progression,” she said.
“Music services are under threat across the country. Powys and Wrexham have no provision at all. Once a service folds, the evidence suggests that it is extremely difficult to reform.
“The service needs your support and advocacy to raise and maintain the profile of the service, thereby helping it to continue and expand.
“Members are invited to do whatever they can to raise and maintain the profile of Shropshire Music Service.”