LONDON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- One of Britain's best known classical musicians, the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, was named Friday as a member of a new government panel tasked with devising a program for music lessons in schools across the country.
Lloyd Webber is also the principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
The expert panel will devise model music curriculum to help schools deliver world-class teaching, the Department for Education (DfE) said.
The DfE has announced a 1.7 million U.S. dollars funding boost for successful music education hubs which in the past year helped hundreds of thousands of young people learn to play an instrument in whole classes.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: "Having the opportunity to study and explore music isn't a privilege, it's a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum -- and that's why I'm determined that all pupils should have access to a world class music education."
Gibb further said that all pupils at least up to the age of 14 should study music in school.
The existing network of 120 music education hubs supports the teaching of music both in and out of school. The hubs are being supported by funding of more than 300 million U.S. dollars as part of an overall investment in the arts in schools up until 2020.
According to a recent report by Arts Council England, work by the hubs has reached 89 percent of schools and seen over 700,000 pupils learning instruments together with their classmates.
Lloyd Webber said: "Engaging children in music and ensuring they receive a rich and diverse music education is key to growing pupils' creativity and continuing the UK's pipeline of future musicians."
The cellist, whose wife is Chinese born cellist Jiaxin Cheng, said he's delighted to be playing a part in shaping a model music curriculum.
The new panel will start work immediately and aims to publish its model music curriculum by the summer.
A spokesperson for the DfE said: "With 2020 approaching, the government has committed to refreshing the plan to ensure music, which is the second highest funded element of the curriculum behind PE (physical education), remains at the forefront of school life".