I was lucky enough to be a child in the 50s and 60s when arts were a full part of state primary education. I had Ivor Cutler as a drama teacher at junior school. And, without knowing it, learned songs from the opera Hansel and Gretel in infant school, where we also had a pottery wheel and kiln, despite being in the heart of London's deprived East End.
At secondary school there were free piano lessons, and group violin lessons, even for someone like me with minimal aptitude. Our school days were punctuated with orchestra, choir, school play rehearsals, painting sets, dying costumes. We were taken to see Maggie Smith play Beatrice while we rehearsed our all girls Much Ado.
As the decades have gone by I have seen these opportunities disappear from the school curriculum as it becomes more structured and controlled. So, when I became aware of ACA through my niece I knew this was a good chance to give today's children the experiences I was lucky enough to have.
Why I joined ACA – Walia Kani