With the money allocated to arts education on the downfall all across the world in favor of academic subjects, like math and science, the quality and quantity of arts education is shrinking.
A recent article published in Newsweek, entitled "The Creativity Crisis," detailed the new problems that American youth are facing: though the Flynn effect, which causes an increase in ten IQ points for each generation above the next thanks to better academic education, has held strong, the scores for creativity have been falling since the 1950s.
Britain is doing something to prevent these findings from continuing. In addition to curricular arts education, more than one hundred schools across Derbyshire, including St. Andrew's of E in Hadfield, Dinting and Tintwistle, have implemented additional music education.
Under this program, instituted by the Derbyshire County Council, the educational authority of Glossop, each school will be visited by music tutors who teach the students how to play numerous instruments, including the flute and the clarinet. The program also seeks to encourage the children in the music classes to develop not only their work in one instrument, but their understanding of music as a whole. These students have already debuted their burgeoning talent for their parents at Christmas festivals and school concerts.
One of the Derbyshire County Council members, council leader Andrew Lewer, has stated his pride in the program and the benefits for the community. He stated, "We're delighted Derbyshire students are getting the chance to learn to play a musical instrument... Pupils are learning a skill they can get great pleasure from and also reaping other benefits such as improved concentration levels, motivation and team working skills."
The Derbyshire City and County Music Partnership has been in the planning stages for the last two years, and was finally instituted in 2010 as a consequence of a grant funding the program with over 300,000 pounds, more than $500,000 in America.
The headmaster, Andrew Cartledge, at St. Andrews, one of the schools benefiting from this new policy, stated, "It's a very good scheme and it's the second year running we've been involved... The school provides some funding for the lesson and the instruments are provided free for the children. The local education authority provides a teacher of that particular instrument and as funding also comes through the government, there is no cost to the parents."
Andrew Cartledge goes on to explain the technical aspects of the program, stating, "Teachers come in once a week in the afternoon and lessons last 45 minutes. They started in September and run all year. We've held two concerts so parents can see the progress their children are making on learning their instruments."
The Derbyshire County Council hopes to be able to extend the Derbyshire City and County Music Partnership to every school in Derbyshire with junior-age children by July of 2011. Currently, the Derbyshire Music Partnership has employed more than two-hundred teachers, both full and part-time that teach across the schools, mentoring to near 10,000 instrumentalist students and 5,000 students in other music projects.