SCHOOLS Secretary Ed Balls has teamed up with stars from the worlds of pop and classical music to launch the first-ever National Year of Music.

Jamie Cullum, Lily Allen and Katherine Jenkins are among those backing the scheme to see millions of primary school pupils given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument by 2011.

“It’s fantastic that TV talent shows like X-Factor attract millions of viewers every week, but young people need to know that they can only become stars by mastering the basics when they’re young and learning about a range of music,” said Mr Balls. “This is exactly why we need world class music education in schools.”