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Learning to play an instrument

Find out how your child can learn to sing or to play a musical instrument, with a range of financial bursaries and instrumental loans available to support tuition.

Every child in Derby and Derbyshire has the opportunity to learn to sing or play an instrument, supported by a range of financial subsidies and instrument loans.

 Whether you're looking for your child to start lessons or continue learning from Wider Opportunities (whole-class music lessons) or previous lessons, this page provides you with all the details you need before you begin making arrangements with us.  

Begin making arrangements for instrumental tuition

Children in primary schools often have their first access to instrumental tuition in whole classes through our Wider Opportunities programmes (whole-class music lessons). All primary schools in Derby and Derbyshire have access to this programme, aimed at year 4 classes.

Alongside this, regular instrumental and singing tuition (peripatetic teaching) is available to all primary and secondary schools on the following instruments:

  • Strings − Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass 
    Woodwind − Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon 
    Brass − Trumpet/Cornet, Horns, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba 
    Percussion − Drum kit, tuned and untuned percussion 
    Guitars − Acoustic and electric guitar 
    Piano and keyboard

How does this work?

Tuition usually takes place during the school day, with individuals or small groups of pupils leaving part of their curriculum lessons to attend. Wherever possible instrumental teachers will devise a rotation system to avoid pupils missing the same part of the same lesson repeatedly.

Ofsted are entirely comfortable with this. Most of this teaching is undertaken by self-employed teachers who have been accredited and have their work quality assured by the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership.

The majority of lessons at beginner level are delivered in small groups (typically up to 4) where pupils start learning an instrument in a comfortable and confident environment, surrounded by their peers.

This also helps spread the cost of a lesson between the pupils in the group, but one-to-one lessons are also available.

In nearly all cases, pupils will be encouraged to undertake exams on their instruments (or voice) to gain music qualifications with recognised public examination boards.

As pupils' abilities increase, lessons may need to be longer and the option of one-to-one tuition may need to be considered.

Financial subsidies

The Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership helps with the cost of instrumental and vocal lessons through various schemes including financial subsidies for:

  • New starters 
    Pupils continuing from Wider Opportunities (whole-class music lessons) 
    SEN pupils 
    Families facing financial hardship 
    Tuition on rarer instruments 
    Additional support for pupils performing at higher grades.

Where appropriate, the instrumental or vocal teacher accesses these subsidies on the pupil's behalf and only charges the parent/guardian for the balance of the lesson cost.

Only teachers accredited with the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership are able to access these financial subsidies.

Instrument loans

It is also usually possible for a pupil to loan an instrument when starting instrumental lessons. This is free for pupils continuing from Wider Opportunities and for families facing financial hardship, otherwise, this is for a one-off fee of £30.

Only teachers accredited with the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership are able to access financial subsidies and instrument loans for their pupils.

What other activities are available?

There is a vast array of music-making activities available for pupils across Derby and Derbyshire. Whether you're a beginner or advanced performer on your instrument there is an activity for you. Follow the link below to find out more…

Regular musical activities in Derby and Derbyshire for all young musicians.
Four county-level large ensembles for higher achieving young instrumentalists and singers in Derby and Derbyshire

How do I begin making arrangements for lessons?

Starting the process of arranging instrumental and/or vocal lessons is easy and can be done on this website.

Follow the link below to complete our online form for instrumental and vocal tuition and a member of our team with be in touch.

Begin making arrangements for instrumental tuition