Leading arts organisations have pledged their backing for Government plans to ensure every child takes part in five hours of cultural activities each week.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company both welcomed the proposals and offered to help make them a success by providing activities for pupils.
Culture Minister Andy Burnham said schools would be told to ensure every child attended concerts, theatres and exhibitions to ensure youngsters from poorer families had the chance to enjoy Britain's rich cultural heritage.
However, headteachers warned there simply was not enough time in the school day to fit in extra cultural activities.
The Association of School and College Leaders, said schools were already struggling to cope with demands to ensure youngsters played more sport on top of their academic studies.
The CBSO already works closely with schools, providing educational packs about classical music and sending musicians to speak to pupils. It also holds six concerts for schools each year, attended by pupils and teachers.
A CBSO spokeswoman said: "The atmosphere is like a football match as the hall is filled with young people.
"Creating time at school for culture is a really good thing and it will allow us to build on what we already do."
Jacqui O'Hanlon, director of education at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, said: "We fully support the Government's aims and we look forward to taking part.
"What we still need to look at is how it can be done without becoming an added pressure on schools." Mr Burnham and Children's Secretary Ed Balls launched the plan at London's Young Vic Theatre, which gives free tickets and drama workshops to thousands of young people from poor areas of south London.
Mr Balls said: "All children and young people should have the chance to experience top quality culture - whether that is seeing a play or dance performance, learning a musical instrument or producing some creative writing.
"Many of us remember the first ever live music we heard or the first ever performance we saw. I want all young people to have the chance to experience and take part in creative activities to help them learn and develop."
He said a new week-long festival will allow schools to celebrate the artistic talents of their pupils. The requirement that pupils spend five hours a week experiencing "high quality" culture will be piloted in 10 areas of the country, ministers said.
Pupils will take part in a range of activities, such as performing on stage, visiting galleries, museums and theatres, and gaining experience of film-making or TV.
Learning to play and perform with musical instruments and creative writing will also form part of the programme.
Local areas across England, including some of the most deprived parts of the country, will bid for a share of the £25 million funding for the pilots.
But John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, was sceptical about the plans.
He said: "I don't see how we can offer five hours of cultural activity plus five hours of sport, plus the new responsibility for community cohesion and give pupils their lessons at the same time. We can't just go on placing extra burdens on schools all the time."
Mr Burnham said that the five-hour target was an "aspiration".