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Hitting the Right Note: Inquiry into funding for and access to Music Education in Wales

From Joseph Parry’s ‘Aberystwyth’ to the protest songs of the 60s and 70s, Welsh music has long held a role that is paramount not only to the promotion of Welsh culture and heritage beyond our borders but also to the maintenance and revitalisation of such things as the Welsh language within. Through music Wales has fought oppression and cultural erosion and has become famous around the world as “the land of song”.

The importance of music to Wales is also evidenced by its role within the creative industries sector, a sector which generates nearly £1bn a year, a figure which has
increased by almost a fifth in the last five years. Therefore, when Owain Arwel Hughes, founder of the Welsh Proms, stated that cuts to school music services were causing a crisis in Welsh music education, it was a startling revelation. This concern was also borne out in the result of the Committee’s public poll on which policy area should be the next focus for us. Out of the eleven potential inquiries, ‘funding for and access to music education’ came top, with 20% off the vote.

Throughout the evidence, the two main themes to emerge were based around equality of provision and equality of access. The Committee heard many times how the different areas of Wales offered a vastly different picture to one another with regard to music services. This report specifically focuses on addressing the shortfalls and achieving consistency across Wales, in order to ensure that every child, regardless of their location or financial backing, has an equal opportunity to progress to excellence. 

‘The time has come to not simply paper over the cracks but to give sufficient resource and clear direction to the sector… Music Services must be protected, nurtured and accessible to all.’
– Bethan Sayed AM, Chair

 

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About the Provider

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee

The Committee was established on 28 June 2016 to examine legislation and hold the Welsh Government to account by scrutinising expenditure, administration and policy matters, encompassing (but not restricted to): culture; the arts; historic environment; Welsh language; communications; broadcasting and the media.

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