Severe cuts to Luton Music Service

editorial image

Luton Music Service, launched in 2012 to give every child the opportunity of learning a musical instrument, is facing swingeing cuts.

The Luton News understands that funding from Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Education is to be slashed by more than 75 per cent, meaning the end of one-to-one and paired tuition by the end of the academic year.

Luton Borough Council carried out an extensive consultation with parents to plan for the introduction of a new charging system, due to come into effect shortly.

A spokeswoman said: “We will phase in the new prices between April 2014 and September 2015, as respondents to the survey said increases were being brought in too quickly.

“We have also included a 10 per cent discount for siblings, which addresses another of the concerns raised in the survey.”

She added: “Children in care and the families of children entitled to free school meals will continue to receive tuiton free of charge under the new arrangement.

“It will bring Luton in line with the majority of music services in the region and will ensure we can continue to provide tuition for Luton children.”

Doog Moody of Greenbank Music Village in High Town feels strongly that one-to-one or shared lessons are an essential part of high quality musical education and should be available to all students.

He said: “We’ve been approached by several parents who are unhappy that individual lessons will be ceasing and we’d like to alert people to other options.

“There is a positive alternative at an affordable price – we could fill some of these needs.

“Greenbank has been working with several schools for a number of years.

“We have many different tutors covering all styles and instruments. They are highly trained experienced professionals who have also been subject to the appropriate legal checks.”
> For more information call Doog on 01582 457477.