Schools have been given a funding boost of £1.4 million for free music lessons, thanks to the Music in Secondary Schools Trust Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme, which was first launched in 2013.
This extra funding will be paid out over four years at the eight existing partner schools in London, meaning that an additional 4,000 children will be receiving free instruments and tuition from September this year. This matches the same amount that is given by the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.
Speaking of the scheme, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "Never has a musical education been more important. The arts and music in particular are proven to empower young people with the life skills needed for a successful future."
The composer added that he is "delighted" that the grant will help so many students, but he wishes the "government would join in to make it 4 million".
Truda White, chief executive of the Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST), said: "Arts and music provision are being seriously eroded and the take up of these subjects at GCSE is falling year on year. MiSST schools are reversing this trend and ensuring young people have a strong arts and music foundation as part of their curriculum."
The Lloyd Webber programme also receives funding from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation. This will enable MiSST to conduct research into the impact that the programme is having on children's education.
Schools that are part of the programme include Mount Carmel Roman Catholic School for Girls in Islington, Highbury Grove School and Lister Community School in Newham.