A poll commissioned by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has shown that the UK public overwhelmingly supports school music lessons. Ninety-one per cent of British adults think that children should be given the chance to learn an instrument at school, according to the new research.
The poll also found that seventy-seven per cent of respondents believe that the £82.5m it costs the government to fund music lessons in England - equivalent to 3p per person per week - is reasonable. This central government contribution is made through the Music Standards Fund, which is only guaranteed until 2011.

ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said that the poll's findings were evidence that music education should be safeguarded from government cost-cutting: 'In a time of political and economic uncertainty with the threat of cuts, we need to fight for the importance of music education. We now know that the public is unquestionably behind us.'