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Petition Comments

To Retain Bedfordshire Music as a County-Wide Music Service

The following comments have been left so far.

To sign the petition yourself, please go to the Befordshire Music Petition page.

Although not a musician myself during the 1970s I regularly attended the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra which launched a number of classical musician careers. It would be a major regressive step for current Bedfordshire children if it were now to be disbanded.

The Bedfordshire Youth Music Service has been a leader in its field for 40 years and has achieved international acclaim with many of its students inspired to develop a career in music. It will be a tragedy of unparalled proportrions if this tradition is lost.

Our granddaughter has just joined the 3rd Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra and really enjoyed the first course recently. It is very disappointing for her that the summer course has been cancelled. Please reconsider.

I was so shocked to hear about the proposed cuts. It would be a huge loss to take such a fantastic and unique opportunity away from future generations.

I feel very strongly that Bedfordshire Music should be retained as a County wide music service. I also feel that it is essential to retain the county wide music ensembles. I was a member of the County Bands in the period 1991-1996 which was a fantastic experience. Learning any orchestral or band instrument is rather meaningless without the opportunity to play in a large group. I learnt far more on a one week course than in one on one music lessons. And it is a great team-building exercise for children. At all costs, the ensembles must be saved.

Many great times had with county music. Don't let others miss out!

As a student I benefited from the county music system, the school lessons gave a great basis for enjoying music. The county courses were excellent and I know that I personally gained a lot from the 5 years I spent in 2nd and 1st county concert bands. Now as a teacher I believe that students should be given the opportunity to develop and grow in all different ways which includes sports and music, not just ending their school life with as many GCSEs as they can but without the all round education that can be got from things like the county music courses.

I grew up in Bedfordshire and was a member of second then first concert band and a student at Saturday Morning Music School at Pilgrim. The music service was an amazing part of growing up and my development, it would be a disservice to Bedfordshire if the music service did not exist.

I grew up through the ranks of Beds Music and without it I would simply not have had the chance to learn an instrument and be part of so many fantastic music groups and organisations. The youth orchestras and bands could rival any in the country and I think it is disgusting the council is even considering stopping the funding.

What do cultured Tories make of this?

And bring back Bedfordshire youth opera

I have spent more than half my life playing in the county concert bands and singing in the youth opera and there is no doubt in my mind at all that I would not be a professional singer without the experiences I had with these groups. What is happening is a complete disgrace.

Unless you want two eight year old boys to grow up on YOUR streets causing trouble I suggest that any cuts to the county wide music service be shelved at least until 2020

I am shocked and appalled that Central Bedfordshire are not investing in their young people - learning an instrument gives many lifelong lessons that society as a whole would benefit from in time. This decision makes music a privilege for the elite and deprives those learning an orchestral instrument from playing in an orchestra. Saturday morning music school has benefitted my daughter hugely. It is surely better than her hanging around the town at the weekend with her friends.

I wouldn't be playing and teaching today if it wasn't for Bedfordshire Youth Music. This is madness.

I have emailed all the councillors in protest and will do whatever I can to change their minds but they just don't seem to care.

Bedfordshire Music inspired my daughter to love Music - for the sake of our future please think again

I am currently studying music at university and I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for Beds music service. Music at school was poor and I very nearly gave it up altogether when it came to choosing GCSEs. However, playing music outside of school, thanks to Beds music service, made music enjoyable again. It helped me build self-esteem and make long lasting friendships. I strongly believe all children should have the opportunities that I had whatever their background. By cutting funding children from poorer backgrounds will not be able to create music which is unfair. If the cuts had happened a couple of years ago the majority of my friends would not have attended. Music is so important for expression, escapism, self-esteem, making friends, team work, listening skills, improving behaviour...the list goes on... cutting funding is a BIG mistake.

THe availability of affordable music lessons in the county has meant that children of all levels or academic abilities have been able to excel in their own field. Not all pupils can be academics or sporting heroes ! I for one have enjoyed the concerts I have attended over the years, from the junior music at saturday music centres, to the Albert Hall

The dismantlement of this service is an absolute disgrace!

My daughter would not be a professional singer now without the early start she was given from Burgoyne Middle School, Potton, and the County Youth bands and County Youth Opera. Cuts will stifle the musical potential within every child if schools are unable to nurture it. Music sparks the soul, and gives an outlet which no other cultural experience can match. DON'T CUT THE COUNTY MUSIC SERVICE.

To destroy such a brillaint service seems criminal

I would just like to say that I think that it is absolutely disgusting what the council are proposing and because of the council's actions many children in Beds will be deprived of learning an instrument as their parents will simply not be able to afford such high fees.Not only this but it will have a knock on effect of stopping young people from progressing into professional music careers.

It's such a shame to hear this news. Bedfordshire Music service helped me on my way to a good career as a musician and it's awfully sad to hear that the music service is valued so little. Perhaps if those making the cuts knew what the service really provided for children they would rethink this dreadful strategy.

they want to cut Bedfordshire music? OMG. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM?!?!?!?! I'm 12 and music is a big part of my life, and if it wasn't for music school, I would probely be a loner. Music is my strength and passion. If they cut music school, I will be seriously depressed. I have best friends that I would do ANYTHING for, and I love them to bits. So many schools go to my music school (Ampthill) and we don't hate each other, we get on REALLY well, and my school orchestra is not up to my standard (sorry sir) and if I quit, I'll lose my lessons. Not fair, right? I have a good musical education because of music school. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let them cut music school or youth ochestra's, cos as I said, I wouldn't be doing my grade 4 soon (yay) if it wasn't for Ampthill music center. THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!

I am appalled at the increase in music fees set by Central Bedfordshire. The increase is wholly unjustifiable when compared to Bedford Borough who are raising fees by 3% or so. This raise will force many pupils to give up learning their instruments, permanently destroying their chance for a musical education. The distress caused by this action is both huge and tangible, affecting pupils in their other studies and their home and family lives as a consequence. This county has such a great reputation for musical education and I think this is a short sighted and ill thought out decision that will affect pupils for many years to come.

I grew up in Bedfordshire with its (then) excellent music service. Now living in inner London & aware more than ever, of the difference that good music provision can make to children's lives, I'm truly shocked to hear of the cuts to Bedfordshire's music service.

It is very difficult to understand why this is being done, considering the difference in increases across Beds. This a fantastic service providing an opportunity for children to get involved in music.

I will always be grateful to Beds Youth Music for my cello lessons and for supporting me at Trinity College of Music. This helped develop a life-long love of music and, as a shy child, grew my confidence enormously. I still play and it has given me much pleasure throughout my life.

I would strongly urge the council to keep up this briliant service which provides great educational benefit for our children as well as being very enjoyable. it is very well loved and appreciated

I pay £13 for a 30 min private piano lesson. You suddenly expect a school based 30 minute cello lesson to cost in region of £26?? For beginners?? How can you justify this - it's way above market rates. I can only assume it's a deliberate attempt to vandalise the service.

It is a shocking disgrace to our children to cause them such angst so near to their exams. I am horrified.

I am shocked and dismayed by the decision of the council who are acting in a way of punishing children whilst they themselves claim large salaries. They will be of course voted out at the next election as they are hurting the very people who put them there in the first place. So short sighted actualy disgusted.

A 70% increase is simply ridiculous. I agree with others who have said music lessons now become a luxury that only the privileged children will have. I attended the windband concert at Redbourne last night and it was wonderful to see so many children enjoying playing an instrument. I urge the Council to rethink this decision and mainain Beds music as a County-wide service.

You must keep Bedfordshire Youth Music, it was a huge part of my life whilst growing up in Bedfordshire and something that has served me well, I still play now in bands and worships groups. I was a part of Saturday music schools and county youth music for years. You must not let this great asset die!!

My grandchildren are benefitting greatly from Beds Music. I'd like to think that many more will do the same.

Whilst some people may consider music lessons and activities a 'luxury', I believe they are an important academic, social and cultural necessity. These cuts will deny that access to many children whose parents simply do not have the resources to cover the price increases. I think that the cuts are very shortsighted and could have a long-term effect on the quality of music provision in Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire music has provided an excellent service for both our children in recent year and has been a huge benefit. Learning an instrument has huge badvantages for children both educationally and for general developement it would be tragic to see that service lost or only able to be used by those who can afford the now very expensive music lessons.

This move is making music the preserve of the priviliged. Both my boys thoroughly enjoy their music. It has broadened their interests. The new fees for lessons means they will no longer be taking lessons through the school

The Bedfordshire County Music Service provided myself and many other students with tremendous experiences and opportunities that otherwise would have been absent from our education. The high calibre of the staff and of the organisation meant that young musicians could learn important skills of orchestral playing whilst enjoyng the social advancement of meeting new people of various ages and backgrounds. It would be a great shame for this valuable resource for young people to be lost due to short sighted cuts.

The increase in fees are to a ridiculously high level. Way above those recommended by the Musicians Union. My children have benefitted enormously from the service and it is a great shame that inept politicians and officials can destroy it in direct opposition to the recommendations of the Henley Review

Such a good service - such a shame to see it destroyed.

A short-sighted and irresponsible decision when the Government are looking for their 'Big Society' and assuring us that our children's education will not suffer. When other councils are looking to share services to save costs, how can disaggregation make sense? Both our children currently learn through Bedfordhire Music and attend a Saturday Music Centre. We will need to find almost £580 a year extra for them to continue doing this from April 2011, and that does not include the County Orchestra courses! An increase of 70%! Music teaches confidence, communication skills, self-esteem and many other life skills that are disappearing in young people as technology and computer games take over. Every Child Matters - but clearly the musical children of 'Middle England' don't matter any more to the decision makers at Central Befordshire Council.

Cutting such a well established and excellent service that benefits so many children from all walks of life seems so short sighted and almost petty for the relatively small financial savings that will be achieved.

Bedfordshire Youth Music cannot be allowed to be abolished, it had a huge impact in my youth. It must be continued to allow children to have the opportunities I did. There's no doubt that Bedfordshire is one of the best counties in the country for music and this cannot be allowed to stop.

Bedfordshire Music Service in my belief is one of the best in the country; talented music teachers and peripatetic staff; numerous high standard youth groups. Suspension and/or disgregation of the service would be a travesty - an insult to the arts...

open letter, to Richard Hart, in response to the announced charges: Hi Richard, I am writing in response to the new music fees, details of which I understand are being sent out to parents tomorrow morning. I just wanted you to know that I feel impelled to respond to this quite vocally as a parent, and also as a co-ordinator of music in a local middle school. The withdrawing of financial support by Beds County is obviously a county council decision, and not a music authority decision, however the idea that these charges/prices should even be presented to parents I believe is quite absurd. An increase of 59% to the rate of £49 per hour is quite incredible and in comparison, makes the musician union rate of c. £28 rather small. As a parent I have today regrettably had to cancel my son's violin lessons - so that he will now stop at the end of this term. As a co-ordinator of music I feel that I will have to respond to this formally as I believe that I will be faced with many angry and upset parents in the coming days. It is a shame that it has come to this. I realise that this has been imposed on the music service, but the figures are quite preposterous and parents do need to understand this. I feel a lot of sympathy for all working in the music service at the moment and wish you well for the future. Please do pass on, and accept my thanks for all of the excellent work that the music service has done through the years. Warm regards Leigh James

The retention of a county-wide music service with county wide youth music ensembles is the only decision the council should make delivering both lower costs with increased value. Disintegration should not be an option in the current climate.

Must be one of the best county music services in the country - it must be protected.

My children really enjoy the county ensembles, it is a great opportunity for them to make music in a large group of musicians of a similar standard

i have 3 children who participate in bedfordshire music through lessons and all enjoy the other groups they participate in and at which they gain greatly from, very disappointed that beds music should be the dept that recieves cuts.

So much fine service over many years, especially to those who can least afford private lessons (I can,so I'm not axe-grinding). Long list of fine teachers and musicians as products of the system. Extremely short-sighted view being taken by know-nothing bureaucrats and a shameful waste: once it's gone, it won't come back. Keep it!

Please DO NOT cut this very important service.

It does not make any sense to split this existing music service into two to save money. Also, it certainly does not make any sense to take this wonderful service away from the children in Bedfordshire who are gifted with music.

We always knew that destroying the County Council in favour of unitary authorities would damage the excellence of a number of county wide services because one of the unitary authorities would not pay its share. Let Bedfordshire continue to maintain its outstanding opportunities for the enhancement of young lives through fully funded education in music across this small county.

Bedfordshire have a high reputation for music. Many leading musicians in the great professional orchestras and opera houses started their careers with Bedfordshire Music. It would be complete madness to destroy this tradition.

The proposed reorganization makes absolutely no sense, both from the practical as well as the financial aspects. It will immeasurably harm the musical education of a generation of children and lead to an elitist situation as it will disadvantage those who cannot afford private tuition. It is totally in opposition to this government's statement that all children have a right to musical education.

if services such as this 1 continue to close down then the children of this generation will have nothing left. Music is important to many people, and should be encouraged not taken away form comuneties.

When the purpose of making these changes is to save money it makes no sense to duplicate services between Central Beds and Bedford Borough,quite apart from the decline in quality to which this is likely to lead.

Although I come under Luton Music Service and not Beds, I have friends who will be affected by this proposal, and I deplore it as a potential great loss to the children of Beds.

Of all the things the council could cut to TRY and save money - they find one that is actually working and one of the few things the county has got to be proud of! Being a product of the music service myself I was so delighted to know my kids had the best possible start to their musical tuition. I am gutted to think that this could be taken away in a bid to save money. Thought music made children happier, more willing to learn and generally higher achievers at school.... my mistake CBC.

My children are not in the underprivileged category, however, both I and my husband work to be able to afford the classes that they attend. Should the costs go up, both of my children will not be able to continue with their piano and guitar lessons at school and they would not be able to continue with the music school on a Saturday. Is it again only going to be the "privileged" children that can continue with music in their life. Music should be for EVERYONE.

As a beneficiary of all the wonderful opportunities provided by Bedfordshire Music, I believe it would be a disaster if future generations were forced to miss out on experiences that could define their future careers and personal development. I am about to start my post graduate vocal training at the Royal Northern College of Music and I am certain that this would not be the case were it not for the training I received as a member of Bedfordshire Youth Opera.

I really cannot understand why the future of Bedfordshire Music is being in any way compromised, it is a service that our county should be proud of.

I was a member of the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestras for several years as a teenager and it gave me the opportunity to develop my confidence and repertoire with a group of like minded people, many of whom went on te become professional musicians. Mt nieces and nephews now are part of this wonderful group of musicians - please continue to give children a chance to express themselves musically and develop the skills needed to progress in this field.

Bedfordshire Youth Music has been a flag bearer for all that is good about our county, how can you comprehend total closure of a wonderful asset?

Two of my children benefited immensely from brass lessons throughout their school days. They also attended the county music courses. My son now plays in two brass bands, a local big band and also conducts a junior brass band. I strongly feel that without the opportunity to learn an instrument at school, he could very well have ended up in a gang and getting into touble through boredom. Without the opportunity to have instrumental lessons, where will our professional musicians come from as not all parents will be able to afford private lessons, especially if they have more than one child. There would also be less people going to university to study music.

I consider it appalling that this authority is even considering cutting funding for Bedfordshire Music Service. This is such a valuable service and Bedfordshire Music is second to none. My son worked his way from the Junior Strings right through to leading his section in the County Youth Orchestra. He then went on to study music and is now a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra and tours the world. This would not have been possible without the expert tuition, coaching and encouragement he received in this county. It saddens me when those making these decisions fail to realise the contribution music plays in the overall educational and social development of a child. Music is essential and abolishing the music service is a false economy. Bedfordshire Music Service must be retained. If Venezuela can do it with El Systema - then so can we!

We need a county wide service for the staff & pupils to excell!

My brother would not have become the professional musician he is today if he hadn't had the support of BYM. It is vital in the support and nurturing of young talent in the region.

Music and education is part of what defines a civilised society.

It is essential support continues to further the musical knowledge and experience of young people, thus contributing to the County's standing in the country as well as providing a whole raft of each generation with another dimension that has been proved to help them academically, socially and as a benefit to the wider community - in short, maintenance of The Bigger Society!

We,and our daughters, have benefited from the long-standing quality of service provided by FBYM. It is outrageous that it should be at risk of being anything other than a county-wide provision. The quality of Bedfordshire Youth Music has been outstanding for many decades, and we fully support your efforts to maintain the status quo.

As a secondary school teacher, I see many students that have access to music that otherwise would not. Invaluable esp to students with special needs who really excel at playing music.

Until I became too ill to play my horn, I had a fantastic teacher who did more for me than just teach me how to play. These teachers and everything that they do in and out of school should not be stopped. They are too important to us. I am 12 by the way.

Music is an essential element of life. Rewarding and very enjoyable.To cut music because it is seen as a luxury service is very short sighted and has been tried before and abandoned. Iwas slow at school and had to do O an A levels at evening classes. Music taught me team work, thinking ahead and provided a very good living after college. This proposal is ill thought out, a knee jerk reaction and if it goes through it will take many years to revert, if at all.

The breadth & depth of the music education Bedfordshire Music has provided over the years has been invaluable to both our children. Our daughter played in the National Youth Orchestra which would never have been possible without the Bedfordshire Youth Music experience. Both are now at university , both continue to play in orchestras and ensembles and both see this involvement in music playing being life-long. The youth of today and into the future must not be deprived of these opportunities to make music part of their lives, too.

I hope my children can carry on with lessons and music school in Ampthill

As a child I was given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and want this for my children. If this service no longer exists then my children will miss the opportunity to experience this aspect of creative learning, and the potential to discover a new talent.

Music is not just learning an instrument. It is teamwork, discipline, self-discipline,confidence-building,awareness of others, therapy.....It improves skills such as maths, communication,dexterity and co-ordination. There is a feeling of belonging and value of contribution and an outlet for emotion. The list is endless. My dyslexic daughter fully recognizes that playing her bouble bass in various orchestras and groups in Bedfordshire was both the saving and making of her. Major cuts now will undo many years of dedicated service to building and maintaining such fabulous musical opportunity for Bedfordshire's Youth and our society will be the poorer for it for years to come. Ridiculous and shortsighted.

I can't believe that these cuts to the music service are being considered. It is well known that music helps in all areas of our childrens' education and that Bedfordshire provides one of the best music services in the country. I think that any cuts are going to be damaging to the reputation of the county as a whole and would be doing a great dis-service to our children and young people.

My sons have gained a real love of music and performance through their lessons with Bedfordshire Music service - it would be such a shame to lose it.

I benefitted from Bedfordshire Youth Music when I was younger & it would be a real shame if our children & future children were not given the opportunity to experience the samel.

Both my children have and do benefit from the Bedford Music Service. It's a fantastic opportunity and one which should most certainly be retained. Within school you can see some children simply 'come alive' when involved in classroom music lessons - where do they go from there to extend these talents?

Both my boys have music lessons at school and all three of my children attend music centre at Redborne on Sat morns. They love being involved with all that is offered there and I love going to watch them play. The fiddle fiesta was so amazing last year I had goosebumps all the way through. We would all be devastated if my children lost these wonderful opportunities.

Essential that the status quo prevails

My daughter is an "endangered species" player, having started on the double Bass, and having benefitted from instument loan - couldn't have been done without Bedfordshire Music.

My daughter benefited from violin lessons and attending the fiddle fiestas in Sandy , music was not for her but it was a fantastic experience for her and many others.

I have been a member of the county youth ensembles as a student and my son currently learns with Beds Music and plays in county enembles. These enesmbles provide a valuable social and musical activity that develops our young musicians musicality and confidence, and would leave a massive gap in their musical lives. I am a music leader at a middle school and without the support and dedication of Beds Music instrumental teachers much of our extra curricular music would not exist, leaving again a huge void in the pupils lives and the school community. So much in the media focuses negatively on young people today. How can removing a service that allows many children (who otherwise would not get this opportunity) to develop a life long skill that will develop confidence, social skills and a disciplined approach to learning improve the motivation of young people?

I and many friends benefited from the County Music Service through peripatetic teaching, the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra during the 1970s. Its county-wide basis drew together students from all over Bedfordshire and maintained a high quality level. These proposals are a shorts-sighted and staggering act of artistic and educational vandalism.

The value of Music is not only educational. Young people gain social skills, responsibilities in work,the people and the world around them by sharing and experiencing the discipline and demands of the various musical activities. Bedford Music Department has overthe years provided many young people with many of these valuable life experiences and these are the many reasons why the Liceo Musicale Petrarca in Arezzo Italy is ever keen and willing to keep the musical exchanges going. NB THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT SIZE MUST REMAIN AS WE KNOW IT TO ALLOW FOR ORCHESTRAS TO BE SET UP EFFECTIVELY FOR CHILDREN TO PLAY IN REALISTIC SET UP. COSTSAND MANAGEMENT WILL BE CHEAPER IF SHARED BY THE TWO AUTHORITIES. WE SINCERELY HOPE THA THE aUTHPRITIES RESPONSIBLE WILL PUT THE YOUNG MUSICIANS AND THE SAVING FIRST WHEN TAKING THEIR FINAL DECISION. F and F GARRICK

i have had 2 children through the music service both of them left when they became 21. Seeing that my husband and i are not musical without this they wouldn,t have had such a good grounding both of them gaining grade 8, and go abroad to play for the county. My daughter now helps without pay on a saturday morning school which both my grandchildren attend this gives them a lot of pleasure and to see the 6 year old go on stage to take part if only for a few minutes is a joy. You are forgetting some parents do not have a lot of money but they will go without to give their children the best oppertunities. MUsic helps children who are not good at team sports etc to be part of a group and gives them a sense of purpose in life even thou a lot of children will never take music up has a careeer.

I support Bedfordshire Music being retained as a county wide music service.

Both my children had the opportunity to benefit from Beds Youth Music , especialy my daughter who attended vittually all holiday courses from Junior Strings to 2nd Orchestra. I would be a great pity for future generations not to have that opportunity.

My son Dean has Violin Lessons at school and also attends every saturday at Redbourne Upper it has given him alot more confidence and brought him on in leaps and bounds. Please for everyones sake keep it going.

Our children and their contemporaries gained great benefit from the truly high quality Bedfordshire Music Service. It's stable future must be assured for the benefit of the current and future generations.

My children and their contemporaries gained great benefit from the truly high quality Bedfordshire Music Service. It is unthinkable that it should be broken up or,worse, that it could disappear now.

Music has been an important part of Bedfordshire education for more than 40 years. It should be sustained, not cut.

Being dyslexic my daughter found school a challenge but music gave her a sense of self worth becuase she was good at it. There were no bands or orchestras at her school so Ampthill music school and the county band set up was vital to her development . She currently studies music at the University of Leeds and would`nt have got their without the Bedfordshire Music service. Change happens and I`m sure some efficiencies should be sort at this time but the structure of muisc schools and bands/orchestras should be kept so that other children can benefit from the same excellent support my daughter has received.

I have already emailed local councillors regarding this ridiculous situation that goes against all logic and good sense. Music must be available to all children and is so vital to their development academically, mentally and socially.

I am incensed with CBC's continuing inability to manage what were county wide services. My family moved to Bedfordshire in 1989 and my children were very fortunate to gain a keen interest in music and learn several instruments my daughter was in the County Band. Such oppourtunities are not just about learning an intstrument but give confidence and a breadth of education that continues into adult hood. I trust a sensible solution will be found.

To deny a musical education and opportunities to schoolchildren would be a crime. It might result in antisocial behaviour of frustrated pupils unable to develop their potential

The development of separate music services is quite simply ridiculous. Surely a satisfactory solution should be aimed for that includes both authorities continuing to provide a music service together. I wish my children to experience the fun, friendship & learning opportunities that playing a musical instrument can provide, where valuable skills are learnt that reach across all their education. The service provided in Bedfordshire currently is second to none, and to lose it would be a disaster!

Bedfrorshire music is great and they give me great opportunities.

The music service as it stands is ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT. why break ti a part? I can think of NOT ONE good reason.

Our children enjoy and benefit from the music service and we are shocked that such a successful and needed service is facing this. Does the council want the children of Bedfordshire to have no aspirations, to have no hobbies and fall into the wrong crowds, cause trouble and ultimtely cost the council more money in the long run. Why is that people who make these decisipons do not look at the long term impact but only short term financial benefits to them, it is completey outrageoys.

Music is an important part of a full and inclusive education, to deny pupils the opportunity learn and play music is very shortsighted and will have an impact; not every child is academically gifted!

I grew up in Bedfordshire and was fortunate to have the opportunity to play in several county bands for many years. The incredible enjoyment and life experiences gained through making new friends, performing in the UK and around Europe and learning from enthusiastic, dedicated and talented teachers were invaluable and a major part of my personal development. To destroy this for future generations is not only unthinkable, it is a huge blow to and betrayal of young people in the county. These are your children. Music is an integral part of life and society. Killing Bedfordshire Music will serve no good purpose particularly as Bedfordshire has always been regarded highly in this area. Perceived cost savings are small compared to the individual benefits gained by each and every musician, and the broader benefits it brings to Bedfordshire and society. Please do not betray the county and its future.

I grew up in bedfordshire and attended the youth choir,youth opera, brass band and had lessons in school. These were the best events that I was involved in whilst at school and I am shocked at these proposals.

This is such a valuable service. Michael Goave has promised enrichment as well as national curriculum, so he needs to support this. My son loves his music and it would be terrible if was unable to continue.

It would be a very unfortunate step to lose Bedfordshire Music, which gives Bedfordshire youth an opportunity not widely available. Further options should be investigated to make it more cost effective, rather than abolish it.

My daughters got so much out of Bedfordshire Music - I cannot believe that the council wants to mess about (again!) with one of its flagship educational services. This is short term thinking at its worst.

I strongly believe that I would not be a music teacher now if it was not for Bedfordshire Music. The progression through the orchestras from back desk of the 2nd Violins in 4th Orchestra all the way to the violas in the Youth Orchestra was such a wonderful experience. The opportunity to tour Edinburgh, Compiegne, Cyprus and Italy are times I will never forget. The skills I learnt have stood me in great stead throughout my life. I am so greatful to the staff of the music service for giving me all the opportunities and hope that many, many more young people can experience all that I did.

I hope that Bedfordshire Music can get back up to strength.

Music making is so important as a group activity and it would be terrible if it was to cease. There is such a tradition of music making in Bedfordshire, please let it continue!

The Bedfordshire Music Service must be kept alive. It has provided so much for our children over the years in their musical, and ultimately their life's, education. Take away music and art from a nation and it will eventually self destruct. Central Bedfordshire Council - do think again - do not become Philistines and destroy our youth and its music - you have no right or mandate to do this. Cut back across all services equally if it is really necessary, but don't cut out and destroy our next and future generations of gifted and talented musicians and a County Music Service that is second to none. Once we have lost this it can never be replaced, so please keep our musical heritage and Bedfordshire County Music Service intact.

I grew up in bedfordshire and attended the youth choir, youth orchestra and had lessons in school. I am now Head of Music at a school in bedfordshire and am shocked and appalled at these proposals which will not allow all pupils equality in music.

I have always been impressed by the high standard of all the productions (many and varied) from "Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra" that I have so much enjoyed over many years. It would be criminal to dilute this potential for young people of all Bedfordshire.

Unable to attend meeting as I now live in Cornwall! The music service was extremely important to me as a child and I can't imagine (at 47 years old) how things would be if I didn't play an instrument. I am also able to encourage my two children, one of whom is at grade 7 by the age of 13. A big thankyou to the Hext family too!

My four children benefited enormously from the county music service. I want present and future children to have the same opportunity.

Bedfordshire Youth Music is to valuable to lose.

It will be a great loss for the future generation.

There are other less important things to cut before you attack our music

All of my children have benefited so much from school music and all play in orchestras now. The future of music depends getting an early start. What kind of society are we creating?

Not a good idea to split the music service. Why, if what we have here is already so good! And the wasting of money - yet again?

Our children enjoyed many years of music making with Bedfordshire Youth Music and we would like to think that this facility will be available for years to come.

I am horrified by the decidsion of Central Bedfordshire Council to reorganise the Music Service meaning that Bedfordshire Music Service will cease to exist in August 2011. It is inevitable thatthis split in provision will have a devastating effect on an outstanding unitary music service than has been developed over 20+years.

Keep me posted: we'll do everything we can to help retain good music service in Bedfordshire.

My son is at a specialist Music School and a member of the National Youth Orchestra of GB, neither would have been possible without the Bedfordshire Music Service. Every person listens to music in whatever form, who will be making music in the future if there is no Music Service? In Bedffordshire we are one of the best and the envy of many throughout the country.

Loss of orchestras & bands will leave a huge hole for Bedfordshire Young people

This present proposal seems to be intent on undoing the astonishing good work and outstanding success of the musicians young and old in Bedford and area. It would be good to see such excellence nurtured and not wantonly destroyed.

I am very much surprised to learn of the proposal to divide the responsibility for the County's music service. The unnecessary duplication of administrative functions can only add to the financial burden at a time when we are all having to tighten our belts. In addition, a larger catchment area for a youth orchestras gives the opportunity to attract a greater number of talented intrumentalists. I cannot emphasise strongly enough my objection to this proposal. As a member of Bedford Choral Society I am looking forward to performing with the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra for many years to come. I was a member of various youth orchestras a few decades ago, so I know what an indescribable joy it is to make music. Even for those who never progress to music-making as a profession, membership of any youth music group provides a civilizing influence which stays with one for life. Music is part of the cultural context which unites us all, and I fervently hope that any decision made about the future of music-making in the County is driven principally by that realisation.

Having a son who has risen high in the music industry and who received most of his music education and his initial practice in playing with and leading all of the youth orchestras in Bedford, it would be a very negative move and a great loss to the area if the youth music service was lost.

Such a travesty to think that such a quality and important organisation will be restricted in any way.

I am unable to attend the meeting but will be represented.I fully support all the points contained in the campaign letter. Our two daughters benefite hugely from the music service and now work within it.Through their activities I was educated musically and inspired to take up a musical instrument in retirement. Truly lifelong learning. I was also helped by the service during my career as a lower school teacher.

Losing Bedfordshire Music would be a quick-term fiancial solution but would lead to considerable medium- and long-term loss to Bedfordshire's young people - it's not just about being a musician (good enough reason) but about so many wider skills and attributes that help young people develop.

Youth music in Bedfordshire is, and always has been, the envy of other counties and something to take enormous pride in. I don't understand how running 2 separate music services can hope to save money and/or make efficiencies.

Bedford music is one of the best youth music societies in the country. A huge amount of musicians from all walks of life are part of it. It gives a lot of young people the chance to play big pieces that they wouldnt usually be in a possition to. They have played for Bedford Choral society in an extremly compitant manner. It is an essential part of growing tomorrows top musicians and keeping a love for music alive in this country.

As a teacher and parent I support the idea that the music service should continue to cover both authorities. It makes no sense to lose something that is working well just because of politics!!

Bedfordshire Youth Opera had a profound effect on my self esteem and self confidence growing up and I still retain friends at the age of 42. Please keep supporting music across the county.

Some of the best days of my life spent in the Beds Youth Orchestra and Youth Opera and a special and amazing service for young people in the county

We are horrified at the proposals, having watched since 1972 as Bedfordshire's music groups have shone as one of the few beacons of excellence in our education system. This has been largely due to the work of Michael Rose, Ian Smith and some very dedicated musicians. We must not allow this to happen.

Sorry I shall be away and unable to attend the meeting. I wrote to my MP, Alistair Burt in November but had a rather non-committal answer

I am signing this petition since the availability of county wide groups when I young was indispensable to my career, which has included seeing this success replicated for others when I was teaching for the Bedfordshire Music Service in schools and on courses.

It would be totally ridiculous to double up on administration and staffing costs at the very time when budgets are decimated. If parents are able to pay increased fees to support any continuing service including music ensembles they need to be paying for a streamlined and low cost organisation.

Have two grandchildren who, at present, benefit from Bedfordshire music.

If Bedfordshire Music goes it will be an enormous loss to the children and parents of Bedfordshire

Music should be taught to all pupils in schools up to the age of 14years - and all should have the experience of playing in larger groups of similar standard hence the County wide orchestras and bands are a MUST.

The proposed plan is seriously flawed. It is devisive and cannot be cost-effective with so much duplication of resources and personnel.

Our son is 6 and started with music at the Ampthill Music Centre in September 2010. It has exposed him to a world of music which he would otherwise not have had. He loves going there and it has given him so much self-confidence. It is such a same that so much money is spent to get youngsters off the street and give them a place to go and enjoy themselves. However, it seems that the existing opportunities that are offered for young children are taken away from them. Music has proven time and time again to be such an important influence in children's lives. It will be sameful if the Bedfordshire Music as a county wide music service is not retained.

My four children have all used the Bedfordshire Music from Lower School to County Orchestra standard and have benefitted from the wide range of experience of the music staff. One of my daughters has just graduated from Goldsmiths College with a 2:1 BMus Hons Popular Music. She has played on live radio sessions and the semi -final of this years X Factor. None of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement of the Bedfordshire County- Wide Music Service.

As teacher and Head Teacher in Bedfordshire since 1993 I have seen many pupils benefit from the excellent provision ( both individual and class teaching and events) and would not want to see a reduction in quality or opportunities available to our children.

I know how much it means for talented children to study music, and often they simply cannot do so adequately without the support of Bedfordshire Music. It will be a tradedy if this service is broken up. Why must the already disadvantaged be penalized in this way?

Fully support the motion.

Music is an invaluable life skil which broadens a child's view and understanding. It also offers them the opportunity to access learning from a different perspective, not simply the standard auditory and visual methods used in schools. Music helps to advance learning in mathematics.

My son was in the Youth Orchestra for many years and it is such a wonderful facility that it must remain.

Participating in the Beds Youth Orchestras was one of the most important parts of my life growing up and taught me all sorts of useful skills and introduced me to many lifelong friends even though I no longer play. I fully support your campaign and petition

As a musician who has had the privelege of appearing as a soloist with the Bedford County YO at least twice I would like to add my protest. It is a disgrace that this government has forced councils to make these cuts--and then blamed the council for the intolerable position they have found

Knowing how family members have gained experience, pleasure and confidence from making music, it will be a great shame if other young people now and in the future do not have the same opportunity.


I was a music co-ordinator at a Bedford primary school for 10 years; liaised with Bedfordshire Music staff for festivals; helped to supervise children at the wonderful Fiddle Fiestas;had the support of steel bands from two Upper Schools and one Middle School- the list could go on and on. I have been a member of the Bedford Choral Society for 40 years, so have seen and experienced the development of Bedfordshire Music during that time and the dedication of so many superb musicians. I sincerely wish you success with the petition.

I believe youngsters who show musical talent should all be able to access the music service. Who knows what talent will be lost if the music service disappears. Tap into talent whilst young and let them explore and extend their talents. Please keep Bedfordshire music as a county wide music service.

I am and have been a member of Beds youth orchestra for 2 years and it has been an amazing experience which has led me to what I am doing now.

This simply CANNOT be allowed to happen.

The difference music makes to children, to their families, and ultimately to society, is the subject of an enormous amount of research, from the "Mozart effect" onwards, and it shows that there's a lot more to playing music, alone and in groups, than pretty sounds. What else completely engages a child's physical precision, concentration, and emotions?

Bedfordshire Youth Music is a wonderful organization that has sponsored the development of outstanding young musicians in our area for many, many years. It has produced the youth orchestras, bands, chamber orchestras and choirs in the whole of Bedfordshire. The prospect of it being split into two separate organizations each with its own administration, orchestras, teachers etc is ludicrous in terms of economy and efficiency…..all together appalling and would inevitably initiate the decline of high quality music across Bedfordshire.

music offers opportunities to all and allows all children to show their creative side taking it away rmoves a unique and valuable service.

There are four people in our house under the same email address all signing the petition.

It is disgraceful that there will not be a coherent county wide music service, how on earth can we nurture and support our young musicians, when there is nowhere for them to aspire to, the county bands, etc are major goals for many of our youngsters....take that incentive away, and there is little to aim for. As a musician myself, I understand the thrill of playing in a group, and the improvement that can be achieved through playing with more experienced musicians.

Save Bedfordshire Music! I'm not a professional musician, but even so, had it not have been for the music service I would have had a very different career & lifestyle path.

I fully support your initiative and will promote your cause among friends, including The Bedford Friends of the Philharmonia.

Music is just as important as sport in providing children with an emotional and social education. Reducing support to this exceptional county service unilaterally and before a key government report is due is both shortsighted and misguided. Culture is what defines humanity and music learning and playing is a hugely important element of that. Cut this service and you start to sacrifice the heart & soul of musicians countywide.

Thanks to the Bedfordshire Music service, I am the player & person I am today. Would be very sad if the service was to go!

I had lessons with Bedfordshire Music for ten years. I am still a member of the youth concert band, which I have worked my way up to from third concert band which I joined in 2002. I think this will be a huge mistake to split the music service in two, as people will not get the chance to meet as many other people as I have. Also, if it wasn't for Bedfordshire Music I would not be where I am today within music.

I deeply regret the loss of Bedfordshire Music. My grandchildren have greatly profited in every way from their experiences, as my children did before. Music encourages concentration, team work, the ability to link sound to symbol (reading), the ability to recognise pattern (mathematics), social skills, and cultural breadth and provides lifetime pleasure.

Having been involved in FBYM and Beds Music throughout the education of my two children, who were both keen members of the orchestras, I am appalled at the idea that Beds Music should cease to exist in the form that we know it.

It is unthinkable that a county wide Bedfordshire Music service may be no more - so much so that we cannot let it happen. I really do believe that those making the proposals and taking decisions are too far away from reality; they must not be allowed to stand behind 'faceless government cuts/tough decisions' and let 'local political concerns' damage an excellent county service. We must all do everything we can to make them aware of our opinions and the needs of our children.

With all the well known benefits of music throughout the curriculum, surely this decision makes no sense in the interest of general education, as well as music, the arts, culture etc

The current service works well, why change it and duplicate costs?

This would be a retrograde step benefiting no one

I am a French Horn player who has benefitted greatly from Beds Youth Music! Luton Youth Music, who are also under threat, may i just add!

I am appalled at this decision, and am emailing my friends and relations, urging them to sign too.

For over 40 years Bedfordshire Youth Music has been a source of inspiration for a wide range of young people throughout Bedfordshire. The range of orchestras, wind bands and other groups is excellent and the standards are outstanding. Recognised as one of the best music services in the country it would be a tragedy if it were forced to close as a result of short-sighted political decisions. I remember attedning early courses in the 1960s under the leadership of Roy Rimmer and his team and know, from attending the concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, that BYM has gone from strength to strength. It is something of which the local authorities can be proud.

It is crazy to destroy what was/is a superb music service. Having spent years in the county bands, I know their great benefit and their reputation nationally. Anything which affects music in schools and in the county is a serious problem!

Bedfordshire Music has given me so many good opportunities to be a part of some great ensembles. I have been a memeber of Bedfordshire Youth Opera for the past 4 years and it is such a good way to meet people from all across the county who love the same things you do.