In 1990 the charts were full of bands who promoted working class angst and Northern soul. But some twenty years on it seems that it is British Public Schools that are delivering the pop stars of today.
Bands such as Mumford & Sons and stars including Lily Allen, Brit award nominees Elly Jackson, better known as La Roux, Florence Welch and Pixie Lott all had the benefit of the some of the country’s best schooling.
This research was done by The Word magazine in 2010 and claimed the majority of UK chart acts were now either privately educated or from prestigious stage schools. The magazine compared a Top 40 from a week in October 2010 to the same week in 1990, when it found nearly 80 per cent of artists were state school educated.
The difficulty of course, is that Private education is not within the financial reach of everyone. However, despite the lack of funding for music in other areas, the good news is that if your child has a particular talent, be it academic, musical or sporting, they could win a scholarship, which can then be topped up with a bursary if you qualify for assistance.
For the musically (or dance) gifted, the Government runs a scheme that provides grants and help with fees at eight independent schools and 21 centres for specialist training. Chetham’s School, Manchester, Purcell School, Hertfordshire and Wells Cathedral School, Somerset are just three of the schools featured on the scheme.
Some would argue music has gone all snobbish and that all the A&R types are now wandering around in Jack Wills clothing and so there is no hope for anyone outside of the public school system. However, the private-versus-state school debate may be the wrong means through which to study the dynamics of the contemporary music industry. In reality, many new acts are alumni of either the BRIT School in Croydon (importantly, a state-funded performing arts school) or of the X Factor.
Against this backdrop, Record my School are pleased to say that our recordings are equally available to all pupils of all backgrounds in schools all over the UK. We do not discriminate between state-funded or private schools and have recorded some stunning musical performances in both. Ultimately education only helps to develop musical talent. Generally it does not create it. Our job is to capture the talent so your pupils and their parents can have a record of the music being created in school.