WELSH government funding for music education is to be trebled over the next three years.

As the National Plan for Music Education is published, the Minister for Education has confirmed funding will be trebled, with £13.5m being invested over the next three years.

The Welsh government have said that this means every child will have the opportunity to benefit from music education.

The plan will make access to music education more consistent across Wales, with a particular focus on learners from low-income households and those with additional learning needs.

The plan includes a number of key work programmes such as:

  • A review on music tutors’ terms and conditions, to ensure they are treated equitably
  • A First Experiences programme to offer children in primary schools a minimum of half a term of musical instrument taster sessions
  • A Making Music with Others initiative, including opportunities for children and young people in secondary schools to gain industry experience through working alongside musicians and creative industries
  • A new national instrument and equipment library to support access to a resource bank to be shared across Wales

These programmes will be rolled out from September 2022.

The National Music Service will operate as a ‘hub’, with the Welsh Local Government Association co-ordinating the Music Service’s programmes with a wide range of organisations. 

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford and the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, visited St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School in Swansea to see a cluster of primary school children taking part in a ‘Play Along’ session led by Swansea Music Service. 

Mr Drakeford said: “Learning an instrument was a formative part of my upbringing and a lack of money should not be a barrier to any young person who wants to learn to play music.

"We are fortunate in Wales to have a strong tradition of school, county and national ensembles, and we want to make sure that our children and young people are able to play a full part in these.

"This funding will support music services in schools and within the community to help nurture our young musical talent.”

Mr Miles said: “Our vision is for all children and young people across Wales, regardless of background, to have the chance to learn to play an instrument.

“I remember how important it was to me to be able to have music tuition when I was in school.

"The chance to learn an instrument and develop musical skills is too often limited by cost and affordability nowadays, so we’re making this significant investment to deliver a range of activities for our children and young people, so that they can learn and experience the joy of music.”