Almost 10,000 people have signed up to a petition calling for a local authority to rethink its proposed cuts to music tuition in schools.

Angry pupils and parents in North Lanarkshire have signed up to the petition as musical groups- including a world champion schools pipe band - face the axe.

A group of campaigners are also planning a protest outside the council’s headquarters today as councillors meet to consider the cost-savings.

The two options on the table include cutting instrumental teaching staff and all ensembles attending by children, or scrapping the entire in-school music service.

North Lanarkshire Council has said councillors will have to make “difficult decisions” to find around £35 million in savings this year alone.

Lynda McIntyre, of Save North Lanarkshire Instrumental Services, said: “These proposals will have a devastating impact on hundreds of children - and they have so far come without any consultation. That’s not right, and not fair.

“For many of the children, some of whom come from deprived backgrounds, the experiences and opportunities they’ve had from being part of the music groups has been life-changing.

“Continuing to invest in these services is good for the future of North Lanarkshire.”

The threat to the authority’s music tuition comes just months after it achieved worldwide praise as its pipe band lead Tartan Day celebrations in New York - with videos of their performances going viral online.

The North Lanarkshire Schools Novice A Pipe Band is also the current world champion in its group.

Ms McIntyre added: “It’s already been pointed out that in no other area of Scottish life would we allow a service that’s world-leading to be disbanded. Yet that’s exactly the threat we face here. It’s scandalous.”

Other pupils and parents have also hit out at the proposals, which come amid widespread cuts to music tuition funding across Scotland.

Six councils currently provide lessons free of charge, but the remaining 26 pass this cost on to parents with prices varying from £120 a year in Inverclyde to £524 in Clackmannanshire.

Mackenzie Forrest, a 16-year-old pupil at Calderhead High School in Shotts and member of the pipe band, said: “Music is a very significant part of my life and that of my friends. To cut these opportunities is disgraceful.

“I am a world solo champion and I have won the world championships at Glasgow Green with my pipe band.

“After I sit my highers this year in 5th year and finish my 6th year at school I am hoping to study the Traditional Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and then take on a postgraduate teaching degree to become a music teacher and spread my love for music to other children around Scotland.

“Music has an unbelievable power to heal people and make them feel like they belong, just as physical education in schools does. My time in the pipe band has opened exceptional opportunities for me.”

Angela Kelly, whose daughter Samantha plays with the pipe band, added: “These cuts will tear my daughter’s heart out and all the other kids and tutors’ hearts out. Work with the band keeps these kids disciplined and helps with their other subjects because of the focus they learn.

“They will lose the friendships they have gained with kids from other schools, which helps build their confidence and citizenship skills.”

A North Lanarkshire Council spokesman previously said: “The council is due to set its budget at a meeting on Monday, February 24, when elected members will have to make difficult decisions to find around £35 million in savings this year alone.”