I signed James Rhodes’ petition because…

It only launched on Monday, but already more than 40,000 people have signed James Rhodes’ petition calling on the government to deliver on its promise to give all primary school children in England the chance to learn a musical instrument.

Many of those who signed have also left their own personal message to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, explaining why they’re backing James’s campaign.

We’ve picked out just a few...

...I wish we’d had the chance

"My parents could not afford to pay for lessons. I have always envied those who can play." Amanda, Reading

"It's obvious from birth what a huge affect music has. Children respond to music in so many amazing ways, as do adults. I so wish I had been given the opportunity to learn to read music and play an instrument as a child." Sue, Swansea

...learning music gives you so many skills

"As a peripatetic and school music teacher for over 30 years, I can testify to the merits of musical education, which improves concentration, fosters perseverance, boosts self-esteem, and opens up a wonderful world to share with other musicians. Playing in a band or orchestra promotes teamwork and is FUN!" Hilary, Oxted

"Study after study has shown that learning to read music and play an instrument enables the brain to make the links needed to understand relationships between numbers, teaches eye/brain coordination for reading more quickly and therefore more effectively, and aids in the general acquisition of bodily coordination." Christine, Stone

...I'm a teacher

"I am a governor at a local High School where we still manage to give free music tuition though that is getting more and more difficult. The music hubs are great for those that can access them, but much more needs to be ring-fenced for LOCAL provision." Pam, Crewe

...not everyone is academic

"We are cheating our children of their childhood by sending them to school aged four, laying on academic rigour and demanding results. Children need to know that their self-worth is not based on achievement and that there is room, nay necessity, for them to do things they enjoy and make them feel good. Don't stop the music!" Elizabeth, Shoreham-by-Sea

"I loved learning music in school, not being sporty, and it bought me friends, happiness, a sense of teamwork, a drive to achieve and to compete, and multiple further exciting opportunities in later life. Every child should have that opportunity if they want it." Anna, Thame

...I love music!

"Music is one of the greatest joys of human life: look at the vast numbers of young people whose waking lives are spent with headphones on, wired to music; look at the vast crowds who swarm to popular music gigs, or the classical proms… we need music" Alison, London

"I learnt the recorder at primary school, got to Grade 3 on the piano and went on to learn the flute. I am now a pensioner. I still play and value immensely the music opportunities I was given when young. I saw James Rhodes TV programme last night wish him well in his campaign." Margaret, Bristol

...music is good for your health

"Listening to music was beneficial in helping me conquer my cancer. Music sustained me. Life without it is unthinkable for me." Margaret, Stockport

"My son is autistic and my son has done music therapy. Music for him is a godsend. I believe all children should have a chance to play an instrument." Jill, Thornbury

...I wouldn’t have become a musician otherwise

"I am a musician and songwriter. I didn't learn much music at school but even recorder lessons gave me a start! I think every child should get a chance to venture into the exciting world opened up by music." Chris, Nottingham

"One of my children is a professional cellist in the BBC Welsh Orchestra. This wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been lent an instrument and given free lessons at both her primary school and her comprehensive where there was a strong music department." Vicki, Lanark

...I'm a parent under pressure

"Like most parents I can't afford private music lessons for my children - their only chance will be to learn at school, but music education needs to be taken seriously, and that means increasing the funding available." Peter, Manchester

"I teach one to one music lessons and one of the schools I teach has scrapped and will no longer subsidise these music lessons for those who can't afford them, i.e. If the kids want to learn the parents have to pay for them which is a shame." Ben, Guildford

...music brings harmony

"Music is the one universal language and the greatest hope we have for universal understanding, respect and, ultimately, peace. It gives a home to the 'different' and allows everyone to be accepted as equals. We need every child, rich or poor, to have access to this amazing world." Tracey, London

"We all believe that music is the universal language. It can and does bring people together and heals many wounds. It is one of the most potent and positive creative force. We must and should do all to promote the knowledge and skill of music at a very young age in all children." Augustine, Marlow


I signed James Rhodes’ petition because…
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