Reasons for rise of the public school rockers

From: Jessica Crossley, Headmistress, Moorfield School for Girls, Ilkley.

THE success of public school rock stars, such as James Blunt, Florence and the Machine, Lily Allen, Keane and Radiohead, is a reflection of the high quality of contemporary music teaching in independent schools.

The current debate about snobbishness in the music industry, stimulated by producer Pete Waterman’s attack on the rise of privately-educated rock musicians, misses the point.

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So, too, does James Blunt’s mother, when she e-mailed the BBC to complain about the inverted snobs who criticise her son for his privileged background.

The point is that it is no coincidence that some of the today’s leading pop and rock musicians have been educated in the private sector, because the standard of musical tuition there is exceptionally high.

At my school Moorfield, we have actively encouraged our children’s interest in contemporary music by asking the excellent Bradford-based Learn to Rock, a music education company, to provide workshops, holiday clubs and weekly lessons.

Learn to Rock helps schools set up their own music classes and form bands with tuition in bass and electric guitar, drums, keyboard and pop vocals. They are absolutely superb and have proved enormously popular with our girls.

Music has a positive effect on the interpersonal skills of an individual. Failures that we face in life are often the result of lack of confidence and lack of desire to learn.

Music lessons during school can also help the students fight their mental block. Music proves helpful in encouraging young children to venture into new fields.

It helps them develop the confidence needed to achieve success in life.