Can you play a musical instrument? Where did you
learn to play it? If you were a pupil in a British school, you would most
probably learn at school. Approximately 25% of British pupils learn an
instrument. What's more, of the 75% that don't, 40% would like to.
But what instruments do the pupils learn to play?
Traditionally, school children learnt classical instruments, such
as the piano or violin. This is still true today. Younger children
often learn the recorder. As they get older, they start to play the
violin or piano. In fact, nearly one out of five music students is learning the
violin. The piano, or keyboard, is more popular with older children at
However, things are changing. More pupils than ever before
are now learning the guitar. As many as 16% of pupils learning an
instrument are strumming its strings. Paul McManus, the Chief
Executive of the Music Industries Association told the Telegraph newspaper
that new British bands like Franz Ferdinand, the Arctic Monkeys and
Razorlight had made playing the guitar 'cool' again. This, perhaps, is
why more children are now learning the guitar.
British schools do not just offer lessons
for instruments. All pupils learn music together as a class. These classes have
been changing, too. In the past, the focus of classes was very much
Western classical music. But the classes now cover a far wider range of styles,
including folk music and world music. In a recent study by Keele
University, 64% of boys and 70% of girls said they enjoy music lessons as a
class. They like singing, playing instruments and find the lessons fun.
Many schools have orchestras and put on
concerts each term. It is also common for pupils themselves to form their
own bands, copying their rock and pop heroes.
In conclusion, music plays a big part in British schools.
Pupils can study an instrument, play music together as a class and even take
part in concerts and plays.