Music classes will be free for children

Starting next school year, a large part of the music, theater and dance classes will be free. A bill to this effect was approved on Tuesday by deputies.

Musical education

Thomas Bertol

Starting next school year, a large part of the music, theater and dance classes will be free. A bill to this effect was approved on Tuesday by deputies.

There you have it, good news for young music lovers! This Tuesday, the deputies in the Chamber voted to make musical education free in the municipal sector for students under 18 years of age. In front of the deputies, the rapporteur of the bill Claude Lamberty defended music as an important element “for the cognitive development of the youngest”.

Kultur, Rehearsal of the Place de l'Europe Orchestra: itw directors and musicians.Photo: Gerry Huberty/Luxemburger Wort

We attended a rehearsal of the new amateur ensemble before the first concert in June.

The latter advocated qualitative and accessible courses so that “all children” can benefit from free music education. An education that also allows the youngest to gain experience, forge their character and, in particular, the most timid to gain confidence, stresses the rapporteur.

12,000 children will benefit from free admission

According to his calculations, the savings achieved thanks to this measure ranges from a symbolic amount to 100 euros depending on the case. “With this project, Luxembourg is once again a forerunner in the Greater Region, and perhaps even in the whole world”, enthused Claude Lamberty. An enthusiasm that Fred Keup did not share. The ADR president was skeptical about a real boost in terms of enrolling young people in music classes. The four deputies of the ADR abstained, it is the only party that has not voted in favor of the bill.

The deputy Simone Asselborn Bintz (LSAP) recalled the importance of music that helps “develop concentration, patience and endurance”. Currently, about 18,000 young people are taking music classes. 12,000 will benefit from free classes according to the Ministry of Education. This free entry will apply to attendance at initial training courses (3 years) up to the first cycle diploma (minimum 4 years), that is, to more than two thirds of the courses taught. This also applies to acting, diction and dance lessons.

Full school fees reimbursed for low-income families

The deputy Octavie Modert (CSV) regretted that, therefore, there is a limitation of free entry only for those under 18 years of age. According to her, music should not be a luxury, not even for adults. Octavie Modert considers that this text can still be improved. To do this, she wants an evaluation of the law “no later than two years.” For MP Sven Clement (Pirate), it would still be necessary to create a form of national reserve of musical instruments, to “achieve real equality” for students who cannot afford to buy their clarinet for example.

The Ministry of Education specifies that with this new law, low-income families will be reimbursed for the full amount of school enrollment, when gratuity does not apply. Until now, the support was only partial. Families whose income exceeds the established threshold will be eligible for a partial refund. The latter will apply to children between 14 and 18 years of age.

“It is a positive step forward that is a good adjustment of the law that dates back to 1998”, greeted the director of the Conservatory Marc Meyers. The latter considers that the new law also brings a little more precision and predictability to the municipalities. At the investment level, there is a rate per minute, for example, which is “calculated by branch where the local authority knows the final cost when it invests.” Indeed, the expenses of the municipalities will be more supported by the State, whose financial endowment will increase by more than 50%.

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The students will have a more generous financial endowment for the next course thanks to the last two indexes and the impulse of the State decided in the tripartite meetings.

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