South East Wales

Stereophonics' Kelly Jones slams cuts to music services

Kelly Jones and Richard Jones of Stereophonics
Image caption Stereophonics' Kelly Jones says children may fall out of education without access to learning music

Stereophonics' frontman Kelly Jones has hit out at plans to scrap music services for children in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The Cwmaman singer said the proposal by his hometown council will have a "devastating" affect on youngsters and will deny them the chances he had to be a musician.

He believes without music many children will fall out of the education system.

He told the Western Mail: "It's just incredibly short-sighted."

He added: "These days there's more and more emphasis being placed upon the creatives and the non-lateral thinkers, even by institutions as traditional as the big city banks.

"And things like technology are changing so fast that, in 10 years time, there'll be plenty of kids doing jobs which haven't even been invented yet.

'Corrode interest'

"So, to take a child who hates school, but goes along because they know they'll also get to learn a musical instrument or play in the orchestra, and deny them the one thing they look forward to will only serve to corrode their interest in learning altogether."

The proposal to close music services in Rhondda Cynon Taf follows similar action in Powys, Bridgend and Denbighshire.

Councils are tightening their belts following the Welsh government announcement that there will be a cut of £146m to budgets in 2015/16.

Amid growing fears over the future of music education in Wales, the comments from the Stereophonics' singer come on the day the winner was announced in the Welsh Music Prize.

Created by BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and music promoter John Rostron, the Welsh Music Prize champions and promotes the best original music from Wales.

Cardiff-based five-piece band Joanna Gruesome won the prize for their debut album Weird Sister.

Image copyright PA
Image caption James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers, who have been shortlisted for a Welsh Music Prize

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