Andrew Lloyd Webber attacks school that charges for music lessons

Andrew Lloyd Webber attacks school that charges for music lessons


norman lebrecht

January 09, 2018

The composer has responded angrily to reports that a Yorkshire school is making a £5 weekly charge for music.

‘I am a passionate believer in the importance of the arts in schools, particularly music, which transcends all languages, shades of politics, race and creeds,’ he told The Stage.

‘In our increasingly dangerous and fractured world, the arts have never been as vital as they are today and they should be free.’

More here.



  • Bill says:

    And with the billion or so he’s made from music, he could afford to cover that charge for those kids…if it is truly important to him. What’s the point of accruing substantial wealth, if not to help the causes you believe in?

  • Been Here Before says:

    Isn’t his statement contrary to his own self-interest? The more one knows about music, the less likely he or she will like his music.

  • Sue says:

    Is this the face of a successful and happy man?

  • Fran says:

    Hold on a minute… didn’t he put his wealth into a tax avoidance scheme allegedly? Hardly gives him the high moral ground. Tax that funds educating our children.

  • Nick2 says:

    More cheap jibes! Like him or not, whether he has oodles of cash or not, someone has to make the point he has made. The fact that such a public figure has made it is newsworthy and will have a far better chance of being noticed – and dare I say it, acted on – than virtually all who write here. The messenger in this case is as important as the message.

  • Benny S says:

    He funds several music education schemes, which is nice of him. But he is a Tory peer, and he has so far shown no interest in holding his party to account for decimating music in schools. Let’s hope this is the beginning of that process.

  • Graham says:

    Better £5 a week than no lessons at all.

  • pooroperaman says:

    According to the school, take-up of the subject has massively increased since the charge was introduced. So what’s not to like?

  • Diana says:

    It is not his job to fund public schools where they drop the ball. No public school should charge for music, next they will charge for reading. He is a musical genius so if he donates that’s his option but not requirement.

    • BennyS says:

      You’re right, not his job to donate personally, but his comments are inappropriate because up until late 2017, it literally WAS his job to stop the government wrecking music in state schools. In the 2,097 votes during his tenure as a member of the upper House of Parliament in the UK, he voted only 42 times.

    • Una says:

      Maybe you are American. It is called a state school in Britain and Ireland. Public schools here are very expensive private schools where you pay for everything.

  • Radnor Bongheimer says:

    He rather resembles the 200-year old figure in the hotel room at the end of Kubrick’s “2001, A Space Odyssey”. Or in one of those Hammer vampire films where the rubber face masks disintegrate into dust as black smoke comes out of the eyes and ears.

    • Sue says:

      Very well put!!! Perhaps he’s worn out his “Phantom” mask; finally.

      • Will says:

        It is inappropriate and indeed offensive to criticise the noble Lord Lloyd Webber’s physical appearance, whatever you may think about it.

        • Sue says:

          Do you think the word “offensive” has any currency left at all, given an entire ‘industry’ has been built around it? (Just askin’).

  • Terence says:

    I can’t tell which of the above commenters is from the U.K. but if the pettiness of many of their comments is anything to go by, it’ s no wonder the arts education is in trouble there.

    A reasonable comment by a composer about the importance of music is met, even in this forum, with narrow-minded politicking.

    Glad to live elsewhere.

    • steven holloway says:

      I’m English, Terence, and I can identify five commenters as British in addition to myself. I know one other is Australian. As for the rest…their prose suggests all have English as their first language, and that leaves open a lot of possibilities, with perhaps the U.S. first on the list. What your ‘elsewhere’ is I do not know, but you might bear in mind, re the few commenters I at least suspect are English, that when ALW accepted a Tory peerage, he entered politics. He has voted relatively rarely, but when he votes he shows himself to be Thatcherite Conservative, as when he flew home from the U.S. solely in order to vote in favour of cutting working-poor tax credits. I’m sure that, as a politician, ALW has equivalents in your elsewhere of whom you are not exactly fond.