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From the GBR blog

Welsh Government Announces £1m Fund to Encourage Children to Play Music

Forgive the pun, but in news that is simply music to our ears, the Welsh Government have announced a £1million endowment fund in order to encourage children to take up music and become musicians.

In a bid to support the musical ability of children across Wales, the Welsh Government have created The National Endowment for Music, releasing one million pounds to be given to the Arts Council of Wales. This is to try and combat and help the schools which music services which were sadly affected by recent budget cuts.

The fund would begin making payments to support young musicians by 2020 and Ministers hope that public and private sector bodies will contribute to it.

It is extremely positive news for the Welsh music scene, which has been sadly depleting in schools thanks to the decreasing budget for music departments in schools. Most Welsh councils have cut budgets for music services since 2008 having to let other front line areas take priority, so it’s incredibly encouraging to see that the Welsh Government is placing some importance on developing the musical talents of the youth of Wales once more.

The news comes as a welcome tonic to the music industry, after last year the National Youth Orchestra of Wales recorded its lowest ever number of applications from young musical talent in Wales. Rather topically, the news is also promising after Arwel Hughes’ warning about the future of music in Wales last month. Arwel, who is the leading conductor and founder of the Welsh Proms issued a stark warning to the Culture Committee of  the Welsh Assembly that unless the crisis in funding for school music lessons was tackled, Wales would no longer be a musical nation.

He proceeded to proclaim that the need for music lessons was not only simply for children to enjoy or progress their talents as a career, but they are also vital for children’s development, and should not depend on the financial status of a family being able to afford lessons and instruments for children to receive appropriate music lessons.

However, in the wake of Dydd Miwsig Cymru, a day dedicated to the Welsh language music scene which was celebrated all over the country, and thanks to the news about the 1 million pound Endowment Fund by the Welsh Government, the future of music looks to be very exciting for Wales. It appears that despite previous concerns thanks to budget cuts, that we can be confident and look ahead to the future of the music industry in Wales with only promising things to look forward to.