White Stripes inspire more guitar lessons at school

Axes are more popular than violin say survey

The White Stripes have inspired a rise in the popularity of guitars and drums in schools, a government-backed study has found.

According to researchers from the Institute of Education in London, orchestral instrument lessons are in decline.

Susan Hallam, who led the team, said it was likely the guitar would soon overtake the violin as the most widely-taught instrument, reports The Guardian.

She said: “There is a shift away from the more classical music- oriented instruments and towards the guitar, kit drum, those instruments in more popular music.

“If you look at the music that children are exposed to, most of the time it tends to be pop groups – and of course that is what they want to emulate.”

The live music boom is said to be another factor in the growing trend for children to choose a guitar rather than a violin.

The study found that 19 per cent of primary school pupils having specialist music tuition were learning the violin, down from 24 per cent two years ago.

There were also falls for the recorder, specialist singing lessons, flute and clarinet. But the proportion of pupils learning the guitar is now at more than 18 per cent, another year-on-year rise.

The figures were published as the schools secretary, Ed Balls, announced £332m funding over three years to help boost music for the under-11s.