The latest evidence from the European Commission seems to indicate that the answer isn’t so straightforward. According to the paper “Educational Policy in the UK: Key Issues for the Future”, published recently on the Institute for Creation Research website by the University of Exeter and the University of Exeter, young people will not be allowed to learn guitars if they are under 25.
Here’s the kicker. This document only covers “education policy”, so if you were an 18 to 21 year old student you can still learn some guitar. However, according to the EU rules on children’s rights, the UK has to make the same decision as the ECU at the age of 18 or 19, and a student has until the age of 22 to decide.
The report quotes Professor Roger Jones of the University of Exeter as saying that the age to learn to play guitar should be put at ages “in the range of 12 to 18 years. The fact that people are not being taught, with good care, and with proper guidance, to be good guitarists is a tragedy.”
And there you have it: even though the European Commission allows young people to teach other people how to play, the British have one eye upon adults and others upon younger students. And in the case of minors the UK makes no distinction at all.
It is difficult to see how this could go any other way. The EU has no problem with adults using music and art as part of their education – it is simply their view that those younger should play for an age when they may, in theory, be able to improve.
The issue here is one of values – in the US the problem is that our values are not being reflected in our education policy – and we are not allowed the same flexibility. In the face of the European Commission’s findings this year, David Cameron seems to have retreated slightly from his position. Yet, again, he has the odd one-eyed American in his cabinet. This is going to be an interesting three year session.
By David G. Landis and David W. Allen
I was just thinking about the way President Obama has handled Hurricane Sandy and the death and devastation it caused: he has, as the president said, “made the connection” between climate change and Hurricane Sandy. He has acknowledged the possibility that Sandy could be the first of many climate disasters that will hit the United States. But he has not said that we must be ready to make the big change to meet such a threat and, rather,
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