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Mayor welcomes National Plan for Music Education

Mayor reaffirms commitment to musical learning for all in the capital

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has welcomed the publication of the Government's National Plan for Music Education, which he believes will enhance his drive to make London a world leader in music education. Since coming to office, the Mayor has already introduced a range of initiatives aimed at increasing participation and widening access to music tuition for young Londoners across the capital.

Boris Johnson said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that learning music has profound benefits for young people as well as our society. The Government's new national music plan will help us towards our goal of ensuring every young Londoner has the chance to learn a musical instrument in school, regardless of their family's ability to pay. London is already the best city in the world for music but to keep this status we must continue to invest in the talent of the next generation.'

The Mayor published his Music Education Strategy in March 2010 and in a tough economic climate believes there is an even greater need to work together in partnership to identify new sources of funding and philanthropic giving, particularly to reach the most deprived areas. This year saw the launch of the Mayor's Fund for Young Musicians which is successfully attracting philanthropic funding and will shortly announce details of its plans to provide lessons for disadvantaged young musicians all over the capital from January 2012.

The Mayor has been working with music education providers across the capital to help tackle patchiness in provision and is keen to see more cross-borough partnerships develop, a recommendation also made in Darren Henley's review of Music Education in England (2011).

Today's announcement means that from September 2012, borough Music  Services, arts organisations and other providers of music education will be required to work together in 'hubs', partnerships responsible for meeting the musical needs of every state school student in their area. Funded through Arts Council England, this should ensure better coordination and cost-savings and provide opportunities to attract funding from new sources including charitable trusts, local businesses and the National Lottery as well as philanthropic giving.

The Mayor hopes the plans announced today will build on the progress he has made through a range of initiatives developed over the last three years, for example, a programme that gives over 5,000 youngsters the chance to work with London's top professional musicians. Talented young musicians have also had the opportunity to play and perform through the Mayor's Rhythm of London scheme – this includes the annual Busking Underground competition which will have a significant role as part of the London 2012 Festival.