School attendance and Private Music Lessons

As music education becomes less of a focus in the school curriculum, the role of private music study is becoming even more important. Music lessons have been proven to develop human potential. A recent article in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Music Matters magazine reports that “from early childhood through to retirement years, whether involved in recreational music making or training for a professional career, people who are engaged in music study are happier, healthier and contribute to society in more meaningful ways.”

But what are parents to do when the after-school hours rapidly fill up with homework, sports and other extra-curricular activities, and the private music teacher schedules fill just as quickly?

In Ontario there is a solution.

The Education Act of the Government of Ontario (1990) provides the opportunity for students in Ontario schools to receive music instruction, often by a private music teacher and to be excused from attendance at school. In Chapter E2, Part 11, Statute 21.2(e) of the Education Act Revised Statutes of Ontario, it states: School attendance may be excused when the child is absent from school for the purpose of receiving instruction in music and the period of absence does not exceed one-half day in any week. (Government of Ontario, 1990, p. 36)

I realize this is not a viable solution for many families, but is is certainly something worth considering.


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