She also believes if she was at a state school now her chances of becoming a professional musician would be “absolutely zero”. Urging Government officials to take note of the Daily Express’s Strike A Chord crusade, Alison, 43, said music “is our most valuable commodity in the country. You have to support it or the blood will be on your hands”.
She has twice scooped Female Performer of The Year at the Classical Brit Awards and has been awarded an OBE.
The Express launched its campaign by revealing the number of A-Level music students has plummeted by 50 percent in the past decade.
And Alison says it is vital that music education in state schools is recognised as a core subject.
The mum of two, who is married to film director Sam Mendes, said: “Music is more important to our lives than ever. It’s bigger than sport even, it showed through the pandemic it’s the thing that keeps people sane.
“There is no way I would be a professional musician if I was at school today because I was reliant on the opportunities I had at my state school. By the time I was nine, I played in orchestras and bands.”
Alison said her school in Royston, Herts, “wasn’t known particularly for its music. It was just a normal school”.
She added: “I’m so supportive of Strike A Chord because it’s not to do with becoming a professional musician. It’s about becoming a rounded person who is able to negotiate with other people, to have selfdiscipline, have confidence.
“We are absolute world leaders [in music] but we won’t be – and that’s because it’s failing at grassroots level. We just take for granted we have music as a national superpower.” ??Alison’s new album Quiet City is released on August 26. If your school is a musical success story email [email protected]