As council’s across the country wrestle with severe financial constraints, pressure mounts on “non-essential” services.
Often the arts bears the brunt of cost-cutting as it is difficult to quantify its value, but new research is providing ammunition as to the true worth of music.
It found that dementia patients respond to music in a way that no drugs can achieve.
Carers reported music as the “magic key” to unlocking a response from people whose other memories have been largely erased.
One woman whose mother was given music therapy said it was if it “turned on a light that we thought had long gone”.
The power of music seemed to evoke emotions which otherwise had been unreachable.
Tapes of much-loved songs bring comfort to dementia patients and a serenity that the terrible disease robs them of.
Perth author Calum Bruce has written a moving account of his experiences with his late father William and has been left in no doubt about the tangible worth of music.
His father’s emotional response to music provided great joy at a very difficult time for them both.
“I did not realise how powerful music was,” he said.
“I think health services and care services which are struggling could tap into music a bit more.”
Hopefully those in charge of budget decisions on Perth and Kinross Council will be able to listen sympathetically to the views of the 1,500 people who signed a petition asking to ensure the future of music tuition is safeguarded.
There is no doubt that the council faces some harsh financial realities but perhaps they could listen to a few favourite songs as they decide where the axe falls and make sure the younger generation has the best start to its lifelong musical journey.