An internationally-renowned Scots violinist has blasted the "catastrophic" lack of music tuition in schools.
Nicola Benedetti said she was "furious" at the lack of music provision in schools as she prepares to perform at the Last Night of the Proms in September. The 25-year-old added that cuts to music budgets were "promoting the wrong message" by encouraging children to value fame over talent.
Speaking to the Radio Times, the former BBC Young Musician of the Year said: "I'm fiercely furious about the provision of music in schools. So many people up and down the country are trying to create a better foundation for musical education.
"But decisions have been made, especially in the light of funding cuts, that are, I think, catastrophic to our future as a nation."
Benedetti, who first had violin lessons at the age of five and left her West Kilbride home aged ten to attend the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, said: "Now, more than ever, we need a cultural identity for youth in this country."
The violinist added: "If children don't have very strong parenting and don't have an activity to replace the aimlessness that can go on after school hours, they end up accepting what's shoved in their face, which is celebrity culture and this obsessive chasing to become famous. But famous for what?
"None of it is promoting anything of true substance or quality. It's not promoting the message that we're better people if we work hard at something."