My letter published in TES Magazine, 31 October 2014
Violinist Nicola Benedetti makes an excellent case for knowledge of classical music being an integral part of education as a whole (“Children should absolutely listen to classical music”, 24 October). A step in the right direction would be to create a GCSE and/or A-level in the history of music, comparable to the history of art A-level. You do not have to be good with a paint brush or able to draw to appreciate art, and history of art fosters knowledge and love of art in people with different skills.
Present qualifications in music require performance skills, which must be learned through often expensive music lessons. It’s a form of discrimination: without private lessons, the majority of students are simply excluded.
A coherent and comprehensive history of music course would enrich the lives of many young people, whatever their financial background, and create better informed and appreciative audiences for classical music for years to come.