British music industry organizations are applauding the launch yesterday of a "Music Manifesto" as part of the government's pledge to improve arts education.

British music industry organizations are applauding the launch yesterday of a "Music Manifesto" as part of the government's pledge to improve arts education.

The manifesto, drawn up by ministers and a coalition of 70 groups from the music industry and education, offers a five-point strategy for enhancing music's role in the curriculum.

Through the initiative, ministers hope to give music a fresh focus to classroom music lessons. Its commitments range from identifying and nurturing talented young musicians, and providing every young student with access to music.

"The manifesto will help to unite all those with an interest in music education and ensure that we have a common goal," comments Henri Yoxall, GM of British Music Rights.

BPI executive chairman Peter Jamieson today described the initiative as a commitment to music education "on a grand scale."

School standards minister David Miliband launched the document at Abbey Road Studios yesterday with the arts minister Estelle Morris. "The manifesto starts by saying that music can be magic. Indeed it can - that magic needs to be felt in every school in the country. That is our aim," commented Miliband.

Miliband said music lessons would be backed by ring-fenced funding of about £60 million ($111 million) a year until 2008 at the earliest.