Schools not in tune with music plea

Primary pupils in Conservatoire de Nantes CHAM classes come together in their orchestra

Schools were encouraged to give a musical welcome to pupils at the rentrée by Education Minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, to encourage music in education – but very few actually offer playing lessons.

There is no tradition of school orchestras (as in the UK) and the options to learn a musical instrument nearly all come from outside the classroom and include conservatoires, private music schools, private teachers and a few secondary schools with specialist classes, linked to conservatoires.

In teaching, there is a great emphasis on the need for separate music theory lessons, particularly in the conservatoires, and it is possible to do the UK Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams.

The 400 conservatoires have more than 800,000 pupils and their teaching and exams are recognised at national level.

They are public and state-aided, although they have had budget cuts in recent years.

They offer a wide range of instruments, with music theory, and also the chance to ...

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