Learning to play an instrument

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

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.

Children in primary schools often have their first access to instrumental tuition in whole classes through our Wider Opportunities programmes. 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
    Singing
>> Find out what tuition is available at your school…

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 and instrument loans 

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

  • New starters
    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.

It is also usually possible for a pupil to loan an instrument when starting to learn an instrument 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 for my child when they've started instrumental or vocal lessons? 

There are 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.
Three large-scale ensembles for higher-achieving young instrumentalists; the Derby & Derbyshire Schools' Orchestra and the City & County Youth Orchestra and Youth Wind Band.

Find out what tuition is available at your school 

To best help you arrange instrumental and/or vocal tuition for your child, we need to know a few details. Please complete the e-form below and a member of the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership team will then be in touch to let you know about the tuition we provide in your child's school. 

Note: Asterisks (*) indicate required information.

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About your child's school

Please tell us which school your child attends and what year they are currently in


Please select your school from this list of all Derby City and Derbyshire schools


Any other information

(e.g. does your child already play an instrument? To what level? Do you have an instrument in mind to start tuition on? etc...)

If you experience any problems with this form please contact music.partnership@derbyshire.gov.uk and quote form ID: ILF/618/09