Music tuition should be considered an integral part of education under our Plan for Living with Covid-19, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Ciarán Cannon, Fine Gael’s Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and Media, raised the issue of music tuition with Minister Catherine Martin at a meeting of the Oireachtas committee this week. Deputy Cannon believes classes should resume in accordance with the necessary health and safety protocols.
Deputy Cannon said, “It is acknowledged that education should continue at all levels of our Plan for Living with Covid-19 and rightly so, but we need to ensure that music tuition can recommence as quickly as possible, and at the very least from Level 4 onwards.
“I believe that music tuition is an integral part of our children’s education, both within the classroom setting and in local music schools. Indeed many students preparing for both Junior and Leaving Cert music exams are now being seriously disadvantaged by losing access to such tuition.
“We also readily acknowledge that protecting our children’s mental wellbeing during lockdown is crucially important, and consequently, even at Level 5, we have allowed children to continue participating in sporting activity, in groups of up to 15.
“For thousands of Irish children, their mental wellbeing is hinged on music, not sport, and their weekly music lesson is something that gives them a valuable psychological lift. There is little or no risk involved in allowing one to one music tuition to continue, even at Level 5.
“Finally, we have thousands of musicians throughout the country whose income has been decimated because they are not allowed to perform, indeed they are most likely not returning to work for a very long time. For many of them, their work as music tutors is a vital financial lifeline that they have also lost thus making it almost impossible to survive financially.
“Again I stress the need to reinstate music tuition from Levels 1 to 4 and I’m asking Ministers Catherine Martin, Norma Foley and Stephen Donnelly to liaise with one another to make this happen,” Deputy Cannon concluded.