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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.