The Strad News – London’s double-decker bus becomes a traveling music classroom

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The Lycaeum MusicOnWheels bus, a mobile music classroom, embarks on a two-week tour of London from August 22, offering children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. The project, funded by Arts Council England, aims to make music education more accessible and affordable for children in the capital.

Since 2019, MusicOnWheels has offered introductory workshops on the instrument to over 4,000 children across London, providing 24,000 one-to-one lessons to over 1,500 students, as well as free music lessons to over 580 children across areas where music is lacking.

MusicOnWheels is part of the larger music service, Lycaeum. Launched by music students from the Royal Academy of Music and other conservatories five years ago, Lycaeum focuses on providing music lessons to those who cannot access them through traditional means.

“The point of this project is to democratize music education,” said owner Petru Cotarcea. “We are trying to make music education in the UK more affordable for everyone.”

Music education has seen a steady decline in recent years, with music service centers seeing a 17% reduction since 2011. The MusicOnWheels tour comes at a time when the decline of the arts in education is widely criticized . The Musicians’ Union and policy think tank Fabian Society have called on the government to provide access to high-quality music lessons for all children, through a national music service.

Their report comes in response to the government’s national plan for music education which would see schools provide one hour of music education a week and £25million invested in helping children gain access to musical instruments.

Along with support from Arts Council England, MusicOnWheels has also received financial support from Brent, Westminster and Southwark councils. The tour will run from August 22 to September 4 and will pass through the whole of London, including Queen’s Park, Cutty Sark, Fulham and Richmond Park. Children aged four to twelve will have the opportunity to try out a wide range of instruments with professional music teachers.

The tour guardians will also offer a series of mini-concerts before each event to raise funds for drug procurement activities in Ukraine. By the time the war broke out, Lycaeum had 43 Ukrainian entrepreneurs plus their families in the country. Lycaeum has since been heavily involved in sending aid to Ukraine and delivered £150,000 worth of medical supplies to eastern and southern parts of the country.

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