The Henley report on music education in the United Kingdom emphasised the value and importance of music making as a practical skill and how much this can enrich and aid the development of young people’s lives. This comprehensive survey lacked a detailed account of class music lessons and accentuated the role of extra-curricular music making. A music education based on the development of creative and practical skills in music is in no way a bad thing but how important is the content in class music lessons and particular the use of western art music? Are we offering our pupils a rigorous subject-based curriculum in music or is it just a series of practical activities that develop confidence in singing, playing and composing with a fleeting acknowledgement of the great works of music history? Exploring great works of the western art tradition should form an essential part of the music curriculum from the early years and we should strive to create culturally aware pupils that not only have an understanding of the breadth and depth of ‘classical’ music but will feel confident in being part of and perhaps even contributing to the vibrant classical music scene on offer today.