Music On Wheels: A musical bus gives children in London access to instruments

In the United Kingdom, a music school offers to help children taste the fourth art thanks to a specially equipped bus. Image: Photograph courtesy of MusicOnWheels

IIf you walk the streets of London, you might come across a particular type of red double-decker bus. This is the Music on Wheels Bus, a vehicle designed to promote the playing of musical instruments among young people.Also Read: Climate Change Is a Major Issue for Music Fans, Research Shows
The Lycaeum School of Music acquired the bus in April 2019 through a crowdfunding campaign and the support of several sponsors. It has been completely renovated and transformed into a real music school on wheels. It now houses a multitude of instruments, including violins, pianos, guitars, percussion instruments and saxophones. Music teachers affiliated with Lycaeum Music are present on the bus to guide young budding musicians in their musical awakening. They introduce them to their favorite instrument before teaching them how to play it. It’s an initiative that aims to bring music education to a wider audience, according to Petru Cotarcea, one of the organizers of the Music on Wheel Bus. “What we’re trying to achieve is to make music education in the UK a little more affordable for everyone,” he told Classic FM.

Is teaching music an elitist activity?

Indeed, music education is often reputed to be expensive and reserved for a wealthy elite. Consequently, less advantaged families often believe that their children are not eligible. The UK Department for Education hopes to counter this perception with a new version of its national plan for music education. The document, released on June 25, states that schools will be required to provide at least one hour of compulsory music instruction per week for children aged 4 to 14.Also read: What to study in college? How about Harry Styles, Taylor Swift or the Beatles?
With its bus, Lycaeum Music hopes to democratize and promote the learning of music by addressing directly those who do not yet benefit from it in schools. With this in mind, the Music on Wheels Bus is currently touring various areas of London including Ravenscourt Park, Notting Hill and Fulham. It welcomes budding musicians from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. By Caroline Drzewinsky

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