Say NO To The Proposed Budget Cut of Our Midlothian Schools Music Tuition Service!

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Midlothian Council has proposed the removal of subsidies for instrumental tuition in Midlothian meaning parents/carers will be expected to pay the FULL cost of school instrumental tuition totalling £411.56 per child per year.  This funding covers Midlothian’s instrumental music tuition service and all of the Midlothian Schools orchestras and ensembles. (Information regarding this budget cut can be found in the council's budget proposal, which is linked below).

 This proposed cut will mean that the hundreds of talented and gifted young musicians, ranging from ages of 7 to 18 across Midlothian who learn to play a variety of brass, percussion, woodwind and stringed instruments, and learn to sing through their schools could be forced to start paying the full cost of their weekly instrumental lessons. It could mean an end to the Midlothian Schools orchestras, ensembles and choirs which music students all over Midlothian passionately participate in, investing time and effort into attending rehearsals, and go on to play in the biggest concerts in Midlothian such as Midstock and the upcoming annual Midlothian Festival Of Music at The Usher Hall.

There are a vast amount of young musicians participating in these orchestras, ensembles and choirs, which include Midlothian Schools Big Band, Midlothian Schools Training Band, Midlothian Schools Concert Band, Midlothian Schools Symphony Orchestra, Midlothian Schools Percussion Ensemble and many more.

Many people who are currently benefiting from the music service and many more who have had positive experiences in the past due to the music service would strongly agree that their music tuition and participation of the various orchestras, ensembles and choirs have made a significant change to their lives. The mental health and neurological benefits that learning an instrument can have are further incentives to retaining a subsidised music service. Music can act as a way of coming together, a channel for communication and a healthy outlet for emotion in children who might otherwise find other, less desirable ways, to deal with the challenges that growing up can bring.

Fight against the potential loss of these amazing opportunities that the Midlothian music service offers to the young, versatile musicians across Midlothian who do definitely not want to lose the opportunity to learn and improve their musical skills.

 Of course, a few people will be able to afford paying for these services but these budget cuts may or may not result in the job cuts of music instructors who make a living from expanding the musicality of young people in Midlothian; the instructors who pour passion and enthusiasm into teaching these musicians.

 The Council has further acknowledged the risk of introducing such charging is that less pupils would take up music tuition in the first place or cancel their current tuition therefore full costs would still not be recovered.

 “The risk to full cost recovery could be that there is a significant drop in uptake and therefore the target £329, 248 may not be fully achievable.”

 Link to proposal: https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/591/yourcouncil/384/shapingourfuture

(see page 41 of the full document for more information on musical tuition subsidies)

 Please sign and share this petition so that we can ask Midlothian Council to firmly reject this proposal and to stop them suggesting ideas similar to this in future.



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