During the current economic mess, there is a real danger that music lessons will be seen by education authorities as a soft option to be cut as they try to balance their books. Music can provide kids with an interest for life; it can give them confidence and it is an activity that requires commitment and hard work, but has its own rewards too. It can therefore be character building and go beyond just being a hobby.
While some musical instruments are cheaper than they used to be, they can still be beyond the reach of many families, as can paying for private lessons. Musical tuition in schools will open doors for kids that may otherwise remain firmly closed. In addition, if music education is cut, it would take years to build it back up; music teachers would presumably not be waiting around for things to pick up again, and a generation of children will have missed out, with fewer studying music at university, thus creating a downward spiral.
There is a petition to Number 10 calling for free music lessons in schools; if you agree, please sign it here ~ the deadline to sign is 5 March 2010. For anyone on Facebook, there is a group opposed to cutting music tuition in schools, and you can reach it here.