More than 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Scottish council to abandon a drastic budget plan to axe school music tuition.
The petition, launched on the 38 Degrees website on Friday, notched up almost 500 supporters within just two hours of going live.
It shows the strength of feeling against proposals by Midlothian Council to axe musical instrument teaching in schools for pupils not studying for a qualification in the subject.
The plan is part of a raft of suggested cuts by the local authority, in attempt to bridge an £11.52 million shortfall in this year’s budget.
Members of the public have expressed outrage at the prospects.
One signatory, Mark L, said: “Outrageous. Learning a musical instrument makes a profound impact on children. It has many of the benefits of learning a new language, only this one is universal.
“It stimulates creativity, teaches them how to apply practise and promotes teamwork.
“It’s mathematical and abstract, visual and aural. It opens doors to physics and biology. It’s psychologically healing, it aids fine motor control.”
Chris V added: “If not for music lessons at school I would not be studying it at university.
“It has allowed me to follow a path I am passionate about, providing me with joy and purpose every day.”