Saudi composer urges schools to teach music to children

Saudi composer urges schools to teach music to children
2 min read
10 June, 2019
Nasser Al-Saleh praised the recent reforms but urged for more to be done to make music part of everyday life in Saudi Arabia.
Nasser Al Saleh praised the recent reforms in a televised interview [Twitter]
A Saudi music composer urged schools to teach music to children and make music part of everyday life in the conservative kingdom. 

"Praise to God for the [recent] reforms and openness in support of artists," Saleh in a televised interview. "We have a lot of talent in Saudi Arabia, and this is important because music enhances the soul and nourishes the brain."

Saleh urged authorities to introduce music lessons in schools and to consider music as a profession.

"I wish that children in schools start getting music lessons," he said. "Many countries around the world teach music as a profession. We must also regard music as a profession."

Saleh also said he is looking to open a music institute in the country "very soon".

"It will be called the Nasser Al-Saleh Music Institute. That has always been my dream."

Earlier this year, a royal decree was issued allowing music to be played in restaurants across the country.

The move came in attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to shake off the kingdom's ultra-conservative image with a ban of women driving, curbing the powers of the religious police and opening up cinemas and concerts to young Saudis.

The entertainment drive is seen as a way of bringing in cash for the struggling economy by encouraging Saudis to spend money at home, lure foreign visitors, create jobs for young Saudis, and cement the young prince's power. 

While the government put on concerts, including a performance by the Black Eyed Peas and Nelly last year, the reform push has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including the arrests of women's rights activists, clerics and intellectuals.

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October has also tarnished the country's image and scared off some potential investors.

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