For the first three years of high school my statutory music education consisted of writing biographies of musicians such as Beethoven and Bach.

It was not until we had a new teacher that we finally had access to basic instruments, such as keyboards and guitars that pupils could learn with and explore. Music provision was very basic, but quality and equality of provision was not something that I questioned until later in life when I met others who described their own musical experiences at school.

Only then did it become clear to me that access to good music education is a lottery and that young people’s ability to develop is often dependent on outside sources, including local opportunities and the encouragement and financial support that you receive from your family.

Against all odds, I ended up becoming a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales and went from performing in the Albert Hall in Llandrindod Wells, to the Royal Albert Hall in London. Not every child in this position can be so fortunate and why should they be? But every young person deserves a fair chance at developing their music skills.

Cuts in music education in Wales have gone on for over a decade, which has resulted in some local authorities having no music provision at all. Simultaneously, local opportunities such as eisteddfodau have diminished in number and many choirs, particularly male voice choirs have struggled to get younger generations through their doors.

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Schools play a vital role in nurturing young people’s enthusiasm and musical expression and must be given the resources and support to be able to achieve this.

There have been multiple calls to the government in Wales to address the decline in music education. Whilst some work has been done to look at what needs to happen to make improvements it has been extremely slow.

As a result, a generation of young people is being denied the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, to develop their singing, their creative compositions. Regardless of the complexity of making this work within the current climate, music services must be protected, nurtured and equally accessible to all.

We also need to stop looking at music as a non-essential add-on and recognise how it supports overall learning.

Figures show that students who study music are more likely to achieve better grades. Music physically develops the left side of the brain, which is known to be involved with processing language and reasoning.

When children learn rhythm they learn fractions and proportions. Music that is played in a group setting helps to develop team-working skills and social cohesion. These are all important skills that young people will use throughout their adult lives.

If the Welsh Government wants to increase the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050 then music can help with this. There is clear evidence to show that listening to Welsh music helps when learning the language and this needs to start with our children and young people in Wales.

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More importantly, and pertinent to the goals of this government, music is closely linked to people’s overall wellbeing. It supports them to have a better understanding of themselves and provides a safe space for creative expression; for using their voice.

The creation of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act demonstrates that the Welsh Government is committed to looking at the long term wellbeing of the people of Wales.

In order to achieve its wellbeing goals – ‘a prosperous Wales’, ‘a resilient Wales’, ‘a more equal Wales’, a healthier Wales’, ‘a Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language’ – the Welsh Government needs to acknowledge the link between music and wellbeing and its benefits on learning overall.

It must not let music provision in schools decline any further and instead follow through with investment that ensures consistency and equal opportunity across Wales. This includes having access to teachers with the skills and experience to support pupils on their chosen avenue.

Support for solo singing will differ from choral singing and again with playing an instrument. It must also take steps to strive for the provision of local opportunities outside of school that will enable people to reach their full potential.

From the roar of the national anthem in stadiums, the Welsh songs that are sung from the heart of people on the streets, in the pubs, on the trains and buses through to more formal settings such as concerts, the National Eisteddfod and the BBC Proms, music is a fundamental part of our heritage and culture in Wales and we must do all that we can to protect it for future generations.