Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 16:50
Dutch commit €25 million for school music lessons
The government is planning to invest 25 million euros in training teachers in giving music lessons at schools. The money is coming from the Ministry of Education over the period of the following five years, reports AD. With mathematics and languages being priorities in education, schools have paid less attention to subjects like music. Music is often viewed as a luxury, but research shows it is necessary for development of children, Amsterdam professor of music cognition Henkjan Honing argues. "We use music to be happy or seek comfort. If you play an instrument, you improve your motor skills," he said. "You make music together, so you learn to work together. And you have to learn how to listen." However, there is also critique of the initiative of the Education Ministry. "I think that all children should be able to sing. But I cannot relate to such a subsidy," says PVV MP and a former teacher Harm Beertema. "Ensure [rather] that all teachers have some training in teaching music during their studies." "In all the important moments of our lives, music plays a role. But in elementary school, there is hardly any attention to it," said Johan Sterken, chairman of the music teachers' network Pabo. "When I ask which of my students has nothing to do with music, nobody raises a hand," Sterken stated.