Music on Wheels: This Double-decker Bus Gives Kids in London Access to Instrument

Many parents wonder about the need for music lessons for their children. And for good reason, since playing an instrument is a determining factor in the cognitive and emotional development of young children. In the United Kingdom, a music school is proposing to help give kids a taste for the fourth art by means of a specially kitted out bus.

If you happen to be walking through the streets of London, you may come across a special kind of red double-decker bus. This is the Music on Wheels Bus, a vehicle that’s been designed to promote the playing of musical instruments among young people.

The Lycaeum School of Music acquired the bus in April 2019 thanks to a crowdfunding campaign and the support of several sponsors. It has been completely renovated and transformed into a veritable music school on wheels. It now houses a multitude of instruments, including violins, pianos, guitars, percussion instruments and saxophones.

Music teachers affiliated with Lycaeum Music are present on the bus to guide young budding musicians in their musical awakening. They help them discover their preferred instrument before teaching them to play it. It’s an initiative that aims to bring music education to a wider audience, according to Petru Cotarcea, one of the organizers of the Music on Wheel Bus. “What we’re trying to achieve is to make musical education in the UK a bit more affordable for everyone,” he told Classic FM.

Is music tuition an elitist activity?

Indeed, music education is often reputed to be expensive and reserved for a wealthy elite. As a result, less privileged families often think that their children are not eligible. The British Department of Education hopes to counter this perception with a new version of its National Plan for Music Education. The document, released on June 25, states that schools will be required to offer at least one hour of compulsory music education per week for children between the ages of 4 and 14.

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With its bus, Lycaeum Music hopes to democratize and promote the learning of music by going directly to those who do not yet benefit from it in schools. With this in mind, the Music on Wheels Bus is currently touring different areas of London, including Ravenscourt Park, Notting Hill and Fulham. It welcomes budding musicians from 4 pm to 6 pm on weekdays, and from 11 am to 4 pm on weekends.

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