By Kane Mumford
£100,000 of top class music tuition is to be donated by the Edinburgh School of Music to local pupils by the end of December.
The lessons in guitar, drums, saxophone and piano will be gifted to schools in Edinburgh as part of a “giving something back” gesture, said David Jeans, general manager of the school.
Schools to have already benefited from what has been described as “top quality teaching” include South Morningside and Pentland primaries, both benefiting from a programme of lessons worth a total of £20,000.
Local charities were also awarded a portion of the package, being gifted £5,000 worth of lessons to auction for worthy causes.
Speaking to Edinburgh Napier News, David Jeans said that the decision to donate to the school in affluent Morningside was “mostly about geography” rather than being based on an assessment of who stood to benefit most from the aid.
“It sounds cheesy but we really just wanted to give something to the local community, especially, as when cuts are made in education, the thing that goes first is always the arts and culture programmes. We had a really good couple of years and just decided that now was the best time to give something back.”
When asked about the areas that were earmarked to benefit from the aid, Jeans said:
“All kids should get a chance to pick up an instrument, I had the opportunities as a child and the skills I learned took me around the world, playing with some great bands. We do things quite slowly here and haven’t made any decisions yet, hopefully we will by the end of the week.”
With £75,000 of lessons still to be allocated, many local schools could stand to benefit. Neil Sommerville, a music teacher at Leith Academy said that the lessons would be welcomed:
“Some music students in our school go on to get places at universities such as Napier and that’s great but we would definitely benefit from anything like what the Edinburgh School of Music is offering”.