The Herald on Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

PUPILS in Glas­gow don’t pay for mu­sic tu­ition af­ter the coun­cil scrapped fees nearly a decade ago and schools are reap­ing the re­wards.

The move comes at a cost, with £2.55 mil­lion spent on the in­stru­men­tal mu­sic ser­vice in 2017/18, but Glas­gow City Coun­cil sees tu­ition as a “core sub­ject”.

Typ­i­cal of the ap­proach taken is the Baby Strings pi­lot, where pupils take part in string lessons in four pri­mary schools in the east end of the city.

The ini­tia­tive aims to spark an in­ter­est in mu­sic but is also seen as a cru­cial way to raise wider at­tain­ment and achieve­ment.

Chris Cun­ning­ham, the coun­cil’s con­vener of ed­u­ca­tion, said: “The fact we don’t charge for mu­sic tu­ition is an in­di­ca­tion of the ex­tent to which we value it.

“It is recog­nised that mu­sic has wider benefits in terms of lit­er­acy, cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment and lan­guage de­vel­op­ment.

“These ad­di­tional benefits are at the core of why we re­gard it as im­por­tant in the cur­ricu­lum and why it has been so re­garded for years.”

Un­der the Baby Strings project, pupils in the first year of pri­mary pre­pare for us­ing in­stru­ments in pri­mary two through songs and games which help de­velop rhythm, pitch, rhyme and mo­tor skills.

In 2017/18 all pri­mary two pupils were given ei­ther vi­olins, vi­o­las or cel­los. Par­ents were en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate by help­ing to make card­board in­stru­ments to enable them to talk to their chil­dren about the in­stru­ments.

An eval­u­a­tion found al­most all chil­dren demon­strated im­proved achieve­ment and at­tain­ment in lit­er­acy, numer­acy and health and well­be­ing.

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