More Cuts Proposed To Music Education: Are We In Danger of Losing Everything?

Gary Cunningham
3 min readMay 7, 2021


To my absolute horror, I discovered that the Government proposed yet more cuts to Music Education, this time targeting Higher Education. The Musicians Union have dubbed these proposed cuts as “catastrophic” and I am inclined to agree.

Music is not a subject considered one of “strategic priority” by the government. What a strange phrase to use! That being said, it could be argued that educators of the arts and the government are at war!

To me it really feels like the government are doing everything in their power to remove all opportunity for musical discovery and enjoyment at all levels of education, failing to see the social, emotional and educational benefits of having a strong music provision within schools and being more focused on the fact that being a musician doesn’t give you the skills to build a rocket or the latest WMD.

As a music teacher who learnt so much of my craft as a musician and educator on my Music Education degree at university, it makes me sick to the stomach that the future generations may not be afforded the same opportunities that I was as an undergraduate student.

The government continually talk about the economy and how it needs to be bolstered and fixed due to the recent coronavirus pandemic but conveniently forget that the music industry was worth £5.8 billion in 2019! It beggars belief and feels like those at the top are determined to ensure arts educators and gifted arts pupils lose all chance at developing their passion and potentially turning it into a career.

The uptake for GCSE and A level music is continuously dropping with the entries for last summer dropping by a quarter for GCSE and half for A level. Now with the possibility of pursuing a music or others arts based degree becoming impossible, it wouldn’t shock me if those numbers for KS4/5 plummet even further into the abyss to the point of no return.

Of course there is a slight chance that these cuts won’t happen and that’s all we can cling on to. The last thing I want for the future generations is a total lack of resources and opportunities for growth within a subject they may grow to love as much as we do. Not to mention the fact that I really do not want to be spending my teaching career with empty classrooms.

To those in education, I implore you to make as much noise about this as possible. Sign petitions, write to your MP’s, do everything you can to fight for the arts. To those in government, I beg you to reconsider this proposal, we NEED the arts in schools and in the wider world, we need to develop future generations of musicians, artists, actors and film-makers — without access to arts subjects at Higher Education level, we are going to lose so much more than we could ever gain financially from these cuts!

Readers, please sign the petition below and share fare and wide with your friends and family on all channels.




Gary Cunningham

Musician | Music Educator | Brand Founder | Music Education Advocate