This is an excellent service and provision. I cannot praise DMS highly enough. We have many pupils, including those form disadvantage backgrounds, who are able and keen to access music tuition after First Access. Parents enjoy the performances of the children. The support from the service is excellent overall. Thank you!

Mrs Glass,

Head Teacher,

Bowburn Primary School.

Provision for Schools from Durham Music Service

Durham Music Service strives to support every child throughout their musical journey with the highest quality music education and performance opportunities.

We Have continued to develop our range of programmes for 2019 and hope that you will find something that both inspires your children and supports your broad and balanced curriculum. In addition to some of our most popular choices, we are very excited to introduce our first primary rock and pop programme and musical theatre for schools. I am also delighted to announce the publication of the Music Curriculum Map, which will support National Curriculum delivery in your classroom.

All schools in Durham and Darlington can access funded whole-class provision form Durham Music Service and free in-school consultation to help you make the best of your funding and music provision.

You will be contacted directly by the Music Service during the Spring Term with full details of all of ours services and available subsidies.

Michael Summers

Manager of Music Education,

Specialist Inspector for Music,

Durham Music Service.

The DMS teacher has helped children's musical skills and understanding improve and she is wholly inclusive and supportive of all children. With her professionalism and passion she feels like a member of our staff.

Mrs N Noble, St Cuthbert's School, Seaham.

First Access

Every child can access free instrumental learning as part of the National First Access scheme. These programmes introduce pupils to instrumental learning in a fun and inclusive way. They are carefully designed to develop pupils’ love of, confidence and progress in music, while also enhancing their personal and educational development as a whole. Options include:

  • Recorder
  • Violin
  • Ukulele
  • Guitar
  • Voice
  • Clarinet
  • Wind Band
  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • Rock and Pop

Sessions include a wide variety of musical activities and build musical understanding in a progressive and fun way. The use of voice is integral to the sessions and can contribute to overall vocal development within your school.

Each school can access subsidised teaching time to put towards our range of programmes and free training for one nominated member of school based staff.

Length of Programme
1 hour per week for the year £2,385
1 hour per week for the year 
2 teachers WIND BAND programme £3925
1.5 hours per week for the year (2x45mins) £3530
2 hours per week for the year £4,575
3 hours per week for the year £6,720
4 hours per week for the year £8,995
5 hours per week for the year £10,955

Please note some programmes will incur a small maintenance fee for upkeep of instruments.

Progression routes 
What happens after the first access programme

To make the very best of your First Access programme, Durham Music Service has created several pathways for progression that best suit the needs of your pupils. Options include:

  • Whole Class Instrumental Teaching

Pupils can continue their instrumental learning as a whole class, similar to First Access. Pricing structure as First Access tuition.

  • Large Group Tuition

Pupils can learn in larger groups funded by the school.

  • Enrichment Programmes

Pupils can continue with other musical activities from our enrichment programme including after school music clubs.

  • Small  Group Lessons

Pupils can opt for small group lessons where parents are invoiced directly. Instrument hire is available. Many schools support the cost of a small group lessons for pupils eligible for Free School Meals or Pupil Premium. Small group pupils can also access a wide range of after school ensembles which are free of charge.

Brass is really fun and I enjoy learning new tunes. One day i would love to play in a full orchestra. Lessons have influenced me in making this choice.

Jake Marriage, St Georges School Darlington.


Durham Music Service offers a wide range of enrichment opportunities to further enhance your music provision. These include both in school and extracurricular activities and can be regular weekly or "one off" events such as workshops, concert performances and Arts Week events.

World Percussion

African and Samba Beats

1 Term. 1 Hour £1090 : 1.5 hours £1,330

Musical Playgrounds

Create musical buddies in the playground with free resource pack and CPD 5/10 weeks £540/£1080

School Choir

Weekly 45/60 minute sessions £1,895/£2,385

Curriculum Workshops

A variety of topic and curriculum-based workshops. £135per hour

Live Music for Schools

Durham Music Service musicians performing live for whole school concerts. £195 per concert.

Music Club

Weekly 45/60 minute sessions £1.895/£2,385

School Ensemble

Create your own school ensemble with help of our experienced ensemble leaders 1 hour per week £2385

Rock Workshop

Create your own School of Rock!

Workshop encompassing performing, arranging and composing. Whole or half day. Contact us for pricing details.

Singing In Schools

The National Plan for Music Education highlights the importance of singing for young people's whole development and Durham Music Service have created a range of programmes to help develop and support singing in your school. This is enhanced by a range of performance opportunities outside the classroom: Our Big Sings, competitions, choirs and Durham Vocal Festival events will inspire and enthuse your young singers and we also offer a range of CPD opportunities to build confidence and enjoyment of singing in your school.

Singing Programmes Description Costs
Singing Training Scheme Develop you choir or class alongside a DMS singing leader, Teacher CPD included


5/10 weeks

School Choir Start or boost your school choir with FREE entry to our KS2 choir of the year competition


1 hour/45 mins per week

Musical Playgrounds Sing, dance and laugh with our programme of singing games


5/10 weeks

Musical Theatre Develop a singing group with a musical theatre focus


5/10 weeks

Little Singers Singing for KS1 and EYFS £2,385/£1,895 1 hour/45 mins per week
The singing Assembly Developing singing for assembles. Bespoke programme dependent on need. Please contact us for details.

Outside the classroom

KS2 Choir of the Year

December 2019 £20
The Big Sing Big Sing Events around the county with free resource pack and support £150 per school includes event, CDP and Singing School Book
Vocal Horizons CPD vocal packages Various prices