A number of people have spoken to me about the episode of ABC’s Q&A talking about the power of music. I was offered a place in the audience, in case I wanted to ask a question. I have also had a few people talk to me about the essay in this month’s ‘The Monthly’ about the diminishing support for the arts in Australia. It’s grim reading.
I just don’t have the energy to jump up and down about this any more. Don’t get me wrong – I agree with it all. Music education SHOULD BE IN EVERY SCHOOL. Good music education. Taught properly. The science is in. IT CHANGES PEOPLE. (Yes – I am shouting. Well, raising my voice.) And there should be more support for artists in the country. Absolutely. The statistics are in. Arts activity contributed $111 billion to the economy (in 2016-7, but it’s not really changed.). The Arts alone brought in $4.6 billion. And cultural spending is 0.5 per cent of the budget ($2.6 billion. Subsidies to the fossil fuel economy came to $29 billion. Just sayin’.).
Oh, I can be outraged. It makes me angry if I think about it. But I really have two options. I can work in a different sector. I’m not prepared to do that. Or I can do something about it. And I don’t have the tact or diplomacy to be a lobbyist. So I’ll do the next thing – I’ll educate. Children. Audiences. Myself. And I’ll try and infect as many people I can with the love of music so that they support it.
However this makes me tired. Too tired to jump up and down. Too busy. Busy actually doing stuff. But if anyone reading this wants to jump up and down for me, please do.