Royston school to feature on Channel Four documentary Don’t Stop the Music with pianist James Rhodes

Students from the Royston school featured on Channel Four's documentary Don't Stop the Music

Students from the Royston school featured on Channel Four's documentary Don't Stop the Music - Credit: Photograph: Channel 4

Pupils from a Royston school due to appear on national television this week in a documentary highlighting the “elitist” provision of music in schools.

The children from Roysia Middle School took part in a Channel Four documentary entitled Don’t Stop the Music, hosted by renowned concert pianist James Rhodes.

Amanda Mitchell, leader of music at Roysia School, explained: “I felt very apprehensive about going on national television however the reality is that music is becoming increasingly elitist.

“Only a minority of parents can afford instrument lessons and it is just heart breaking to have so many children with the talent and desire to learn but no financial means to do it.

“When I was at school any child that wanted to learn an instrument could do so. Today, parents would have to pay close to £600 a year for a weekly lesson and that is just not realistic.”

Since filming for the programme last year, Roysia has received some funding from Hertfordshire Music Service for Year 6 children to receive whole class instrumental lessons. However, the funding stops after one year.

Mrs Mitchell said: “We took up the offer from Hertfordshire Music Service because offering whole class lessons seemed better than nothing but at the end of the day, learning with 25 children at a time is less than ideal. Added to which, after a year, you are back to the same problem and parents then cannot afford to continue the lessons.”

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Mr Rhodes added that he found provision across the country to be a “total lottery”.

He said: “In some areas, it’s great. In others, there’s absolutely nothing. It’s the injustice of that that gets me. You have to ask, how many Simon Rattles and Adeles are simply not aware that they have that talent?”

*Don’t Stop the Music airs tonight at 9pm on Channel Four.