Most important school subject? Music, says Philip Pullmanmain
The best-selling children’s author has this to say:
Every child needs to encounter music as early as possible, and I don’t mean just listen and then answer questions: I mean make, with voice, with clapping hands and stamping feet, with instruments of every kind.
First of all I’d make sure that every school had a talented and qualified teacher of singing. Children will sing very willingly if they can see and hear that it’s fun. I vividly remember the first time I sang a round in class; I can’t remember whether it was “Frère Jacques”, or “London’s Burning”, but I do remember the delight of waiting till it was my turn to come in, and finding the right note, and hearing my voice winding in and out of the lines and making a pattern with others.
Then I’d require every school to provide instrumental teaching for every child…
In another interview, Pullman said today:
‘Every government secretary of state or minister should jolly well go to the theatre, go to a concert, go to an art gallery, go to a museum, become somehow interested in these things,” Pullman told Sky News. “If they’re not interested, they shouldn’t be in government, full stop. You’re lacking a human dimension of some sort if you’re not interested in the arts. And I think it’s a terrible fate to be ruled by philistines and barbarians as we seem to be at the moment.’