Nine in ten kids want to learn a musical instrument, survey finds
November 1, 2018, 11:22
Research on children’s interest in learning a musical instrument reveals that young children are more enthusiastic than ever, but the interest of older children is waning.
A new study from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) reveals that nine out of ten children want to learn a musical instrument.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for RPO, asked children aged six to 16 across the UK about their interest in learning an instrument.
Musical instruments such as guitar (45 percent), piano (36 percent), and drums / percussion (35 percent) were found to be the most popular. During that time, 75 percent of the children opted for an orchestral instrument, such as the violin (10 percent), flute (8 percent), and saxophone (8 percent).
At the other end of the scale, children were less interested in learning the French horn and double bass.
Among those surveyed, girls (95%) were slightly more likely to learn an instrument than boys (90%). The most popular instruments with girls were flute (13%), recorder (13%), violin (14%) and viola (14%).
Boys, on the other hand, were much more likely to want to learn guitar (50%), drums (45%), and bass guitar (28%).
The news follows a study revealing the gender imbalance in orchestral instrument sections, which found that there were no female trombone or tuba players in the top 20 orchestras in the world. He also revealed that the majority of double bass players (95 percent) and timpani players (96 percent) were men.
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The RPO survey also indicates that the older a child grows, the less interested they are in learning a musical instrument.
James Williams, CEO of RPO, suggests that more needs to be done to nurture children’s interest in music, stating: “The relative speed with which children’s interest in learning a musical instrument drop from 96% to 84% in just four years underscores the work that needs to be done to accompany young musicians and at a crucial age.
Between the ages of 10 and 14, the proportion of children declaring that they are no longer interested in learning a musical instrument quadrupled, from 4 to 16%. This age group was also more likely to say that their school did not encourage them to develop an interest in music (rising from 28 percent among 6-10 year olds to 41 percent among those over 14).
This follows a study from the University of Sussex, which found that the number of schools offering A-level music has fallen by more than 15% in the past two years.
âMusic should stay in the school curriculum whenever possible, but more fundamentally than that, teens need to be reassured that music matters,â says Williams.
âSince the UK has some of the most respected orchestras in the world, we need to invest in the talent of tomorrow. “