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

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 £2,275
1 hour per week for the year £3,740
2 teachers WIND BAND programme
1.5 hours per week for the year (2x45mins) £3,360
2 hours per week for the year £4,355
3 hours per week for the year £6,400
4 hours per week for the year £8,570
5 hours per week for the year £10,435

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 learning for a subsequent year after First Access
  • Lessons in large groups, funded by school
  • Enrichment Programmes
  • Lessons in smaller groups. Pupils are registered with Durham Music Service and
    parents are invoiced directly.

Small group instrumental lessons

After pupils have completed their First Access Programme they will be given the opportunity to sign up for small group lessons. This involves weekly lessons with a Music Service Teacher in school time. Instrument hire is available and a discounted Instrumental Purchase Scheme is also open to all Music Service pupils. Small group pupils can also join one of our many ensembles which perform regularly around the area including prestigious venues such as Sage Gateshead. For more information, please speak to your visiting Durham Music Service teacher or visit the contact us page.

Pupil Premium 
All schools can receive a subsidy towards their First Access provision from Durham Music Service. Many schools also choose to use Pupil Premium to enhance their music provision, due to the wider benefits our programmes bring.