Photo for illustrative purpose. The oud has more than 3,000 years of history that makes it one of the oldest and most important musical instruments in Arabic culture. Image Credit: Reuters file

Cairo: Music has started to find its way into schools in Saudi Arabia as part of dramatic liberalisation and promotion of arts in the kingdom.

A video broadcast on Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya has shown a music coach playing the oud (lute) in a mixed class. Students are seen playing the stringed instrument and singing as the teacher guides them to the appropriate tunes.

“Talents are discovered through teaching,” said Mohanad Talal, a music coach and a singer.

He said in the video music teachers to be keen on discovering students’ music talents. “Some people don’t have ability to discover themselves,” he added.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has seen major socio-economic transformations as part of massive reforms espoused by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Earlier this month, a Saudi government official said music would be taught as part of curricula in Saudi Arabia in two years’ time, starting from the kindergarten level.

Acting CEO of the Music Commission Sultan Al Bazie said preparations are underway to teach music to pupils as an extracurricular via the e-platform “Madrasty”.

He told Al Arabiya television that an initial stage to teach music in schools will get underway soon.

In February 2020, the Music Commission was established as a government agency affiliated to the Saudi Culture Ministry with the aim of overseeing development of a music sector that provides non-discriminatory access to music education, empowers musical talents and contributes to the local economy.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia announced the establishment of the General Entertainment Authority, a state agency that has since sponsored a series of star-studded concerts, stage shows and festivals.

In April 2018, Saudi Arabia reopened cinemas for the first time in nearly four decades.