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

Durham Vocal Festival - January/February

Durham Vocal Festival brought hundreds of young people together to perform alongside prestigious professional musicians such as Apollo 5, Mahogany Opera ad The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Sage Showcase - March

Nearly 1000 young musicians performed at DMS's biannual showcase event to a sold out audience.

Darlington Jazz Festival - April

A fantastic weekend which brought international Jazz performers to the heart of Darlington.

Exam Success - June

Once again Durham Music Service achieved 100% pass rate in external exams.

Great Exhibition of the North - July

Over 100 First Access Brass Players performed alongside hundred of other young musicians from across the North East at Sage Gateshead as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Durham Music Service Website Launch - August

Durham Music Service were delighted to gain funding to help launch its website celebrating the breadth and quality of music making across the region.

Durham County Youth Big Band and NYJO - September

Durham County Youth Big Band were chose to work with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain in their Academy programme and Durham Music Service has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Will Michael Jazz Award 2018 for their ground-breaking work in the field of jazz.

DMS Teachers Inspire Awards - October

Durham Music Service Teachers received recognition for their commitment to young people in the annual DCC Inspire Awards. Durham Music Service was also shortlisted for the Durham County Council's Inspire Unsung Hero Award.

Durham Music Service - November

Durham Music Service received praise for their increased engagement with schools and performance opportunities in their Annual Feedback from Arts Council England 2018.

Choirs of the Year Competition - December

Over 600 pupils, form 20 choirs across the county, completed for the KS2 and KS3 choir of the year in the beautiful chapel at Ushaw College.

Durham Music Service Christmas Concerts - performed to over 3000 pupils in two days.

Durham Music Service is one of the biggest music hubs in the county and is the lead partner in the Durham and Darlington Education  Hub. We believe that music makes a difference, that every child deserves the opportunity to make music and we're committed to making music accessible and inclusive.

Durham Music Service provides high quality and inclusive musical education for over 18,000 pupils each week and works with over 40 ensembles across the County Durham and Darlington. We have over ensembles including a range of orchestras, choirs, wind and brass bands as well as percussion, strings and special school ensembles and work in partnership with our schools to support a further 120 ensembles. Over the last 12 months we have organised over 300 concerts in iconic venues like Sage Gateshead, Ushaw College, and Durham Cathedral as well as smaller community venues giving performances opportunities for over 10,000 young people with a total audience exceeding 50,000 people from all sectors of our community.

Durham Music Trust is the charitable arm of Durham Music Service and registered with the Charity Commission. We aim to support the work of Durham Music Service by providing life-changing musical experiences and performance opportunities.

Special Schools

Musical activity gives powerful, validating, multi-sensory and kinaesthetic experiences to children with SEND, supporting the development of the whole child.

Durham Music Service has created a range of programmes to help develop and support music in your school. This is enhanced by a range of performance opportunities outside the classroom such as the Big Sing and Sign and the SEND Showcase days.

All schools are entitled to a subsidised teaching, please contact us for details.

SEND Programmes

PMLD Sensory Approaches

ASC - Developing Communication Skills

KS1/KS2 Music Curriculum

African Drumming - whole class

Ukulele - whole class

Brass - whole class

Rock Band Project

KS3 Music Curriculum

Instrumental Tuition - drum, guitar, brass

Music Technology


Outside the classroom

Showcase Day

Schools come together in a day of performance and workshops to share the fun of music making together.

Big Bing and Sign

Special schools from across the North East are inspired and enthused at Durham Vocal Festival

Curriculum Workshop

A variety of topic and curriculum based workshops

Live Music For Schools

Durham Music Service musicians performing live for whole schools concerts.

Brass Ensemble Day 

Youngsters having brass lessons in Special Schools can access this fun ensemble day.

Sage Showcase

An opportunity for Signing Choirs across Durham to perform together for a sold out audience, an experience not to be missed.