I was delighted to read – in yesterday’s Evening Standard – that a top pianist is offering free piano lessons in London’s St Pancreas Station.
Barbara De Biasi wants to help and inspire those who can’t afford private instrument lessons or music college fees.
She says she is very concerned that schools are putting all the emphasis on sciences or maths while arts subjects are being marginalised. I would definitely agree with this. (See my post from March 29 – Sign in Support of Music. Incidentally, this petition will now be debated in Parliament on July 4).
In the primary school where I teach piano, the pupils tell me they don’t have music lessons in class – apart from the occasional ‘bit of singing’. Apparently the school has been given some small keyboards – but these are lying in a cupboard somewhere – so far untouched.
I don’t blame the school for this at all. I read the recent Ofsted report and its only real concern was raising the standard of maths teaching and – in particular – pushing the more able maths pupils.
This bias towards maths and science starts in primary schools – and grows stronger in secondaries. Even our son – who is currently studying A level Music – says sciences are ‘more important’.
It’s clear to me that the schools are so obsessed with turning everyone into scientists that they’re failing to recognise the considerable importance of other subjects and passing this biased view onto the students. I’m always pleased to read that someone wants to fight back against this.
Lessons with Barbara De Biasi are 15 minutes long and take place from May 23 to May 27. They can be booked at blog.bidvine.com/piano-st-pancras