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Making Music report published!

5 years ago


Making MusicWe are delighted to announce the publication of Making Music.

Making Music is the most comprehensive survey of the learning, progression and teaching of musical instruments ever undertaken in the UK.

Involving nearly 4,500 music teachers and 3,000 children and adults, the project builds on three similar programmes of research that ABRSM conducted between 1993 and 1999.

We hope the report’s findings will be used to galvanise and inspire those working in our sector – and those who have the power – to influence, change and further improve the circumstances in which children and adults engage with music.

Key statistical findings from the Making Music report:


  • 76% of UK children aged 5-14 say they ‘know how to play an instrument’ compared with 41% in 1999.
  • Electric guitar overtakes violin for the first time in the list of top six most popular instruments learned. Drum kit, bass guitar, keyboard all surge in popularity while woodwind and percussion do not.
  • Piano sees a 15% growth securing its place as the most popular instrument played by 5-14 year olds.
  • 21% of 5-17 year olds who play are ‘self-taught’
  • 15% of 5-17 year olds have never played an instrument
  • 40% of children from the lower social grades who have never played an instrument said they had no opportunity to learn at school
  • 74% of children from affluent backgrounds have had instrumental lessons – individually or in class groups – compared to 55% from disadvantaged social groups
  • Almost 10% fewer children play instruments in Wales and Scotland than in England and Northern Ireland
  • Teachers rate job fulfilment as 8 out of 10 on average, and are more fulfilled the longer they remain in the profession


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