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Music lessons 'fall by wayside'

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 7 January 2004


A conference in Hobart has heard that almost 80 per cent of Australia's government school students are missing out on music lessons at school.

The Biennial Music Teachers Conference is being held at the University of Tasmania's Sandy Bay campus this week.

Paul Myatt, who runs a tutoring organisation for almost 4,000 young Australians, says 90 per cent of the country's private schools have music lessons, compared to only 23 per cent of public schools.

Mr Myatt says not having music is a big disadvantage in a child's education.

"Music has been proven to actually enhance a child's learning, certainly socially, self-esteem," he said.

"If you remember as a child those kids that were good at music also were good at maths and science, and music helps wire up the brain for learning those activities, and this has now been proven in international research."

Mr Myatt says Tasmania is an exception to the Australian trend, with almost 90 per cent of its government schools offering music classes.


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