The standard of musicianship amongst young people has definitely improved over the past ten or fifteen years and this can be attributed to the high standards of music teaching now taking place in schools,colleges and private tuition throughout the UK.
Many of our party bands are run by people who also teach music in schools or private sessions and it is fair to say that music tuition has become quite an industry in the past fifteen years. With schools opening up to teaching rock and pop music as well as classical and jazz this field has become music more attractive to young people.
One of my best friends began piano teaching way back in the late 80s when classical was the norm and jazz was considered outre. I was talking to him this weekend about a course he runs in secondary schools based around modern composition where he is just as likly to find people sampling and programming as playing standard instruments.
Re instruments there is now the opportunity for young players to take up bass guitar,eletcric guitar and drums in a way that just wasnt open to the musicians of a generation ago. Brilliant workshop groups like Nottinghamshires Eleventh Session (which one of my daughters attends) offer the chance to “jam” via different genre workshops so you might get a drummer playing with a rock band,a swing band and an orchestra all in one morning.
I know from conversations with many of our musicians that they value the teaching work that they carry out and many of the younger ones have gained their own skills through the new schools music system. As a booker of live bands this has led to a professionalism and higher standard of musician than ever before and as a parent I can see the confidence and character building that playing music has given my kids.For these reasons….music teachers…we salute you!