The pursuit of the dream of classical music is not an equal playing field.

My recent study looked at the inequalities rural and regional young classical musicians face, which are unknown to their city-based counterparts.

There are systemic music inequalities in Australia based on where you live and where you go to school. Inner-city, private school kids are often the most likely to access music education. Kids living in rural areas are the least likely to have music opportunities.

Regional Youth Orchestra NSW performing at the Sydney Opera House. Photo courtesy of Regional Youth Orchestra NSW/ Facebook

Music inequality also exists between states. Queensland has had a long tradition of offering accessible instrumental music lessons and ensembles, but most other states fall short. Many children cannot access instrumental music education.

Rural and regional kids face multiple layers of disadvantage. These include the lack of specialist teachers, resources and opportunities, and the time and expense of travelling long distances for music camps and auditions.

These challenges compound and these students may be less likely to go on to tertiary education and careers in classical music.

To support young people’s musical aspirations, we need to understand how location and...