Star speaks out at Hay Festival
Sting has made a plea to halt the decline of classroom music lessons. ‘We should stop cutting music programmes in schools,’ said the rock star and classical music lover, speaking at this year’s Hay Festival. ‘It’s vitally important that our kids are exposed to music: [that we] give them the opportunity to play instruments.’
The singer, a former classroom music teacher, made his comments in answer to a question about how children should be helped to appreciate all kinds of sounds, says BBC News. Recalling his days as a classroom music teacher, Sting described his lessons as involving as many instruments as possible: ‘guitars, banjos… nose flutes! And let the kids mess around.’
After leaving teaching in the 1970s, Sting became famous singing with his group The Police and then as a solo artist. Three years ago he turned his attention to classical music, recording Songs from the Labyrinth, an album of 16th-century lute music by John Dowland.
Earlier this year an Ofsted report concluded that while around half of the UK's schools were providing their pupils with a good music education, too few were making the most of the potential benefits of music lessons. The report, published in February, found that pupils who studied music regularly tended to have fewer personal and social problems.