It’s time to #changethetune on music tuition in Scottish schools


Kenny's Music

Below we have a guest post from Ralph Riddiough, a musician and solicitor who is spearheading a campaign to help support music in Scottish schools, a cause close to our heart.

Learning to play a musical instrument at school from specialist tutors has been a distinctive feature of state school education in Scotland for decades. This tuition, coupled with vibrant school bands and school orchestras, has enhanced the education of hundreds of thousands of children, been integral to the delivery of SQA music qualifications, and launched countless professional careers in music. Music as an industry is big business and central to the success of our economy. It is also a defining feature of our culture and our community life.

The benefits of specialist musical instrument tuition are well known; it improves brain development, it improves social skills, it improves focus, it improves mathematical understanding. There are a huge range of general benefits aside from the lifelong joy of being able to play a musical instrument.

Music is an especially powerful subject to be taught in schools, but it is also just an everyday part of an excellent education.

There has been a lot of coverage in the press and across social media over the last couple of years as cuts to instrumental music services have accelerated, and fees for these lessons have increased dramatically in some parts of the country, whilst remaining free in others. What this means is that - in many parts of Scotland - children from poorer families are unable to access music tuition as their parents cannot afford to cover the additional fees being charged by their schools. This means that many talented children will not get the support they need to develop into accomplished professional players.

The #changethetune campaign, run by amateur musicians and parents, and endorsed by many professional musicians, has raised £16,000 to pay for the initial steps in a potential legal challenge, arguing that it is against the law for local authorities to charge fees for any aspect of school education.

You can learn more about the campaign, and make a pledge here:

If you are a young person who has been priced out of these lessons, or you are the parents of children who have had to stop receiving these lessons because the fees in your area are unaffordable, you may wish to speak to the leader of the #changethetune campaign, Ralph Riddiough, for a confidential discussion about how the legal team he has assembled might be able to help you assert your right - or your child's right - to free school education. Not only does the law prohibit local authorities from charging for "school education", the law gives every child the right to free "school education" and so there may be help at hand. Ralph can be contacted by email at

At Kenny's Music we applaud the efforts that so many people are making to raise awareness of the importance of music education in our schools. We believe that the best educational opportunities in state schools should be available to all children, irrespective of their parents’ financial circumstances.
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Kenny's Music


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