Music teaching is under serious threat due to austerity budgeting, increased use of charging and under-valuing of the service. Members can play a vital role in defending these services.


Remember that through your Local Association you can get the issue of music provision onto the local negotiating agendas - it is important for IMTs to get involved in their local committees and meetings.

Got 5-15 minutes?

  • Email or phone your MSP to raise your concerns – see tips below
  • Email or phone your local Councillors to raise your concerns -  (or use http://www.writetothem.com)
  • Tweet about the issue – tag in @EISUnion / use the hashtag #ChangeTheTune 
  • Share your concerns on Facebook and ask your friends to share it (check that the privacy of the post is set to public) 
  • If you’re a parent/carer, email or phone your child’s/children’s school(s) Parent Council(s) Chair(s) and ask them to put music provision on their agenda, and offer to go along if you can 
  • Write a letter or email to the local Newspaper, highlighting the issues facing IMTs – members can write in a personal capacity or can ask their Local Association to write in a more formal EIS capacity
  • Send a letter or email to a national (Scottish) newspaper to highlight your concerns – letters@theherald.co.uk; letters@sundayherald.com; reception@scotsman.com; letters@thenational.scot; letters@thetimes.co.uk 
  • Put up a ‘Change the Tune’ poster in your school (once available) 

Got 1-2 hours?

  • Visit your local Councillor in person at their surgery and do some face-to- face campaigning
  • If feasible, visit your MSP at their surgery and ask them to raise your issues in the Scottish Parliament and with local Councillors
  • Set up a local online e-petition – check what your Local Association thinks would be most effective – and publicise this to parents, teachers, partner organisations and pupils
  • Find out what events around related issues (child poverty, equality, raising attainment) are coming up in your area and make a plan for getting music onto the agenda
  • Attend your local EIS Annual Business Meeting (or similar)

Got a bit more time?

  • Arrange a local demonstration, perhaps outside the Council offices or in a civic square or local High Street – think about placards, banners, instruments, chants, etc, and invite the local papers and radio stations
  • Arrange a musical ‘flashmob’, perhaps outside the Council offices or in a civic square or local high street, and as above, invite local media
  • Develop a postcard campaign targeted at local decision makers, for parents, pupils and teachers to take part in
  • Start to gather a bank of social media clips of pupils playing their instrumental, performances and concerts (with relevant consents all obtained) that you can use for campaigning purposes

Ongoing actions

  • Keep talking to friends, family and colleagues about the work of IMTs and the issues the service is facing – word of mouth is an important campaigning tool!

  • Keep sharing research, news and relevant items on music education with your networks

TOP TIPS - Influencing your local MSPs/Councillors

Politicians often say how important it is that campaigners write personal letters to them about local issues. They receive dozens, and often hundreds, of letters & emails each week.

Here are some tips for getting their attention, always bearing in mind your personal and professional standards of conduct when corresponding and in particular maintaining a professional tone when posting online.

  1. Keep it short - one side for a letter/3-4 paragraphs for an email if possible
  2. Keep it focused - be specific
  3. Keep it local - include local examples to back up your points and show how the issue impacts on people within your area/constituency/region
  4. Suggest an action – be clear about what you want and how they can help
  5. Above all, make it personal – standard/template letters are much less effective – tell your story, make the issue real to them
  6. Keep a connection - if you've contacted them before, mention it, and if the result was positive, include that and thank them
  7. Follow up - if you don't like the reply, follow up asking them to reconsider their position and highlight why you disagree.