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Keep Instrumental Tuition Free in Shetland!!

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by appletreeorangetree, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Hi folks,
    I am a student teacher, and also part of a group of young Shetland musicians who have started a petition against the Shetland Islands Council's recent decision to start charging children for instrumental tuition. I know many councils are in the same position over issues like this - we believe that free instrumental tuition supports the Curriculum for Excellence's core values and charging for this promotes music as an elitist subject. If we can change one council's mind, who knows what else we could do.
    We could really use some support on this one - so have a wee read of our views and maybe pop a wee signature on if you'd like.
    Thanks for your time!

  2. I agree, well done for starting a petition and trying to get them to change their minds. I have signed!
  3. Well done - just signed it. I went to school during the last swinging cuts and it ruined my education. We can't allow this to happen again.
  4. isil

    isil New commenter

    OK - going to play devils advocate here!
    I was shocked to discover other authorities charged for music tuition when my daughter started school in mainland Scotland, but given the financial implications currently being mooted in Shetland schools, is this really the best thing to fight against? Having spoken to friends and family working and living in Shetland would it not be better to put up a fight with regard to the school closures being proposed instead of protesting against a (minimal in comparison to other authorities) charge for instrumental music tuition? Will the cost of music tuition not allow more children to access it, as more could then be spent on providing tutors and save SIC money allowing expenditure in other areas of education? And will there not be the chance for 'music scholarships' to support those who can not afford tuition, so that those children do not miss out.
  5. Don't agree isil - the current financial crisis has been caused bt a bunch of greedy parasites in the banks, who have been feeding at the trough for years. Now, because of their actions, our schools and kids have to suffer. I don't think so. There is money available but it is not being spent. As I said before, I was at school during the last crisis, and my education, and those of my friends at the time, sufferred greatly. This cannot be allowed to happen again. Another generation is looking at a life full of unemployment and spoiled life chances. Not again. No way.
    If they start trimming music, what's next? Schools and education are already at breaking point. Education should not be subject to this nonsense, yet councils feel it is fine to cut education straight away. That's why the big rally is being organised in Glasgow on March 6th. Music is the thin of the wedge.
  6. I didn't realise some councils weren't charging for music tuition - charges for music tuition were brought in when I was at school in Moray... and that wasn't yesterday... [​IMG]
  7. Mossop, I don't know about other councils, but in Aberdeenshire tuition is free for students doing SQA courses, however parents may have been paying for a number of years in order for their children to be of an appropriate standard in their chosen instrument so that they can elect to follow music.
    Is ALL music tuition free in Shetland?
  8. Why should someone's hobby be funded by other taxpayers? Sorry, but it is a ludicrous suggestion. If parents want their child to have musical tuition, they should pay for it. If you can't afford it, you can't have it. If that is a substantial problem for you, then don't breed in the first place. No one else should be paying for your child. Simples.
  9. I think it is fair enough if some people do not agree that tuition should be free, don't sign the petition then. However there are a lot of people who think it should be, judging by the number of signatures. I know some other authorities charge for tuition and changed this a while ago but that is no reason to carry on and change it in every authority! (When you make one mistake you should try and learn from it not repeat it.) Moreover I think it is a bit naive to think that the money saved will be spent on other areas of education. That is not happening anywhere else. I have worked in 3 authorities in the last year and I don't see the money being saving on not buying jotters, cutting on specialist time and cutting learning support being pumped back into the classroom at all. The schools that are being closed will be closed regardless and the savings will go towards whole council saving, not be put back into education.
    In terms of means tested scholarship, I am very aware that this is not always correct. For example I know that many parents would not be poor enough to qualify for free tuition, in the eyes of the council, however, they are not able to afford to pay for it either. (This happens in all walks of life, eg. means tested student loans at university. The amount of 'parental contribution' that SAAS decided my parents could give me was way above and beyond what they could actually afford.)
    I think it is good to have debate over these issues, but I know I am firmly on the side of saving free tuition in any and every council that we can!
  10. Ye Gads - Philistines at the gates...[​IMG]

  11. jubilada

    jubilada New commenter

    I too am surprised to hear this - I thought it was standard practice in all authorities. How much are they proposing to charge? Do all children who wish to, get to learn an instrument? It would be interesting to know what is charged across all the authorities in Scotland.
    Why should learning to play an instrument be regarded as a hobby rather than a part of education? They are the musicians of the future - our world would be a dull place with no music.
    I think all pupils should have access to learning an instrument and would like to see more use of specialists at primary level to allow all pupils to receive an ongoing music curriculum which includes instrumental work. Providing indivdual or small group lessons is costly and whilst it would be wonderful for it to be free, given the current financial climate, a charge may be the difference between keeping the service or having no service at all.
  12. I consider football and painting to be hobbies, therefore I vote that we cease to teacher PE and art. :cool:
  13. There is a definite proved link between the learning of a musical instrument and a significant rise in a child's abilities.
    &bull; focus attention for long periods of time
    &bull; decode a complex symbolic system (musical notation)
    &bull; translate the code into precise motor patterns
    &bull; recognize patterns of sound across time
    &bull; learn rules of pattern formation
    &bull; memorize long passages of music
    &bull; understand ratios and fractions (e.g., a quarter note is half as long as a half note)
    &bull; improvise within a set of musical rules


  14. Then we're agreed! Education should be about academic subjects, not practical ones. Let people pay for private tuition in art and music, and join Bannatyne's if they want a gym. No problem.
  15. All the more reason for parents to pay the fees, then. Agreed!
  16. isil

    isil New commenter

    Not all children get to learn an instrument - the specialists only have so much time in each school, most are peripatetic. Some schools have only 30 minutes.
  17. Eh - naw! Parents pay their council tax so their weans can gain a decent eduaction. Music not being included in schools is like buying a car without a gear lever.
  18. Maybe parents should have to pay for ALL tuition, shut all the schools, get rid of free education, I mean it is clearly ludicrous. (/sarcasm)
  19. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I don't think that's ludicrous at all. Shut all the schools? One day that will be a technological reality. Free education? Many who are offered this free service, revolt strongly against it and point blank refuse to take up the offer.
  20. Obviously I have quite different views to some others on this subject. I think that some kids are very talented in music, art or sport, and it is important that they are given equal opportunity to develop that talent. As it is equally important that our talented mathematicians, scientists and linguists are given opportunity to develop their talent.
    As for schools shutting due to technological advances, I think that is a completely different subject, so I shall not address it in this thread. There are those kids (and parents) who choose to 'revolt' against education (I work with many of them on a daily basis) but why should the others suffer because of this?

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