“Music has the power to stop isolation”

Days before the election, Billy Bragg told Rolling Stone UK that he had a message for the new government about the importance of the arts in schools and giving children the chance to play music.

The legendary punk singer and activist spoke to Rolling Stone UK at Glastonbury, just a week before Labor is expected to defeat the current Conservative government in a landslide.

Explaining how music provides the most important therapy for young people, Bragg explained: “It’s not just arts funding. I want to send a message to the government about arts in schools, music in schools and empowering children to heal themselves. Because playing music is A form of therapy.

“My son was a huge Ramones fan growing up, and if he came home from school, went upstairs, plugged in his electric guitar and started playing a Ramones song loudly, I knew he was processing what happened at school that day. . It was his way of getting it out of his system, because while he was upstairs in his front bedroom in Dorset, he was actually on stage with the Ramones thinking about that. where he is.

“He really felt like he and who he was was accepted everywhere, and music gives you that space. It also allows you, as a punter, to be in a place where there are a lot of people showing solidarity with what you believe in. Space.

Bragg then compared it to some of the panel discussions that took place on Glastonbury’s left field stage earlier in the day, including the “Trans Liberation Now” debate.

“There are a lot of allies out there, but there are also a lot of trans people out there,” he said. “The last question they were asked was about feeling isolated and not being able to vote at 17. The response in the room to that person’s question was very, very positive. I hope they can not only gain some solidarity from it, but also feel like they’re not alone .

“They’re not as alone as they think they are. Music has the power to do that. So I think it’s really, really important to encourage kids to get involved in school.

He added: “I know, it’s not a serious topic, but there’s more to life than making money. There’s more to life than just getting qualified by going to university and getting a good job.

“You can find joy in self-expression because if you’re happy with yourself and feel like you’re in the right place doing the right things, then you’re already half way there. If you can then find a way to do it Make a living doing what you love, whether you’re on the Pyramid stage or playing in a basement piano bar, you’re already way ahead of the rest of the guys who are stuck in a job they hate, you know?

Bragg continued: “Tonight in the UK, I would imagine that 90 per cent of the people who work in gigs have day jobs and they get together with their friends at the weekend and play Oasis songs or whatever, and they live for it.

“Then they’ll put those bad jobs behind them. These guys are as much my peers as anyone on the Pyramid stage. They’re doing the same thing I’m doing. I’m just in a really good position. I’ve been able to make a living doing it and I’ll never, ever forget that, but the ability of music to help people deal with what they’re facing, to express themselves and be able to get on stage and be appreciated by an audience, is a lot cheaper than actually doing it. treat.

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