THE composer who wrote the soundtrack to Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire has called for free music education to be protected in schools.

Patrick Doyle has been nominated for scores of Golden Globe awards, BAFTAs, and Academy Awards, and credits his success to playing music at school.

He has won accolades for his work on Bridget Jones's Diary and Gosford Park and was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for his collaboration with Kenneth Branagh, on Henry V in 1989.

But now the renowned musician is speaking out against local authorities considering axing specialist music classes and imposing fees on pupils.

Mr Doyle, whose other compositions included Ang Lee’s 1995 smash hit, Sense and Sensibility, has urged people not to “underestimate the power of music tuition”.

Raised as one of 13 children, Mr Doyle’s music career started by playing in his school’s brass band and a Lanarkshire youth orchestra.

Born in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, Mr Doyle attended Our Lady’s High and Dalziel High, both in Motherwell, and began piano lessons at the age of 12 before taking up the tuba.

He won a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow to study piano, singing and brass.

The 65-year-old said: “I’m from an incredibly musical family full of fabulous singers.

“We had big parties in the house about four or five times a year where everyone was expected to sing.

“My father was a great archivist and recorded the whole family on a Grundig tape recorder.”

He spent a year teaching music himself at Hillhead High, before entering the theatre world, working at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow

After moving to London, he met actor-director Kenneth Branagh after joining his theatre company, Renaissance, and they collaborated over a 30-year period.

Mr Doyle said: “I can only urge the education authorities not to underestimate the power of music tuition.

“Not only does it add something unique to your general education, it helps to build your confidence.

“Playing and competing with the Lanarkshire Youth Orchestra and the Our Lady’s High brass band gave the foundation for everything that I have achieved throughout my life.

“Specialist music teaching was crucial for me. I couldn’t wait for it to come around every week.

“It was a huge thing in my life. It was the musical education I had in Lanarkshire that set me on my road.

“I didn’t play anything until I was 12 and asked to go to piano lessons.

“My teacher Edith Ferguson transformed my life. She instilled such confidence in you.

“Nothing was impossible.”