Despite the Scottish Parliament's Education & Skills Committee publishing a recent report that strongly recommended its support for free music tuition in local authorities, two councils have already unveiled plans that seemingly fly in the face of its conclusions.
Midlothian Council has announced that it will consider axing all instrument tuition, except for children studying for Higher or National Five exams in the subject, whilst Moray Council has stated that it plans to increase its charges to £699 per year — the highest in Scotland.
Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament's Education & Skills Committee report entitled; 'A note of concern: The future of instrumental music tuition in schools', concluded that music education can benefit young people, as well as enriching both local and national culture and the economy.
Although it recognised there were differing views regarding the status of music tuition, it believed "in principle" that music tuition should be provided free of charge in every local authority.
We are witnessing the withdrawal of a subject from the curriculum. This will just completely destroy music education and a lot of children will not be able to learn an instrument any other wayRalph Riddiough
The report in 'The Scotsman' newspaper quotes campaigner Ralph Riddiough, who petitioned the Scottish Government.
He said: "We are witnessing the withdrawal of a subject from the curriculum. This will just completely destroy music education and a lot of children will not be able to learn an instrument any other way."
A spokesperson for Midlothian Council stated that it was considering proposed savings that could mean the loss of 9 full time jobs to bridge an £11.52 million shortfall in the council's budget this year.
It is understood that a final decision will be made on 12th February.