National Instrumental Music Survey 2021
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Cover of the IMS Survey Report 2021The National Instrumental Music Survey 2021 has been published showing the continued popularity and resilience of these services in the face of COVID-19.

Instrumental music services have been at the forefront of applying innovative approaches to delivering their services in response to COVID-19 restrictions. While lessons could not be delivered face-to-face music services were some of the first to explore online solutions using online platforms.

The National Instrumental Music Survey was first introduced in 2012 to share information about the provision of local authority-led Instrumental Music Services in Scotland including tuition fees, concessionary rates, instrument hire and loan policies, pupil numbers, cost of services, instructor numbers and additional activities.

The 2020-21 survey found that:

  • 41,549 pupils participated in local authority provided instrumental music services despite the huge challenges presented by COVID-19, including a freeze on recruitment in many areas
  • Many local authorities suspended, reduced, or otherwise altered tuition fees in response to the pandemic
  • As in previous years, all local authorities offered free tuition to all pupils studying SQA Music or in receipt of Free School Meals
  • The total cost of providing these services was over £30 million, a real-terms cut since 2019/20.

Each year the survey is carried out by the Improvement Service on behalf of Heads of Instrumental Teaching Scotland (HITS) as a means of sharing a national picture of instrumental music services and best practice within these services.

This report details results from the 2021 National Instrumental Music Survey in Scotland. This survey covers the period prior to the agreement reached between COSLA and the Scottish Government for the removal of all tuition fees. It will therefore the last survey to contain information on these fees, and it is expected that participation will be higher in the coming year.

Instrumental music is a discretionary service provided by all local authorities in Scotland and is separate to the music curriculum taught within the classroom. This survey concentrates solely on these discretionary services, out with Youth Music Initiative (YMI) funded tuition, and the music curriculum.

Download Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey 2021

Download the summary data from the IMS Survey 2021