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.

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.  

On this page…

How does this work? | Financial subsidies and instrument loans | What other activities are available

Begin making your 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 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
    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.

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 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.

Begin making your arrangements with us...

Starting the process of arranging instrumental and/or vocal lessons is easy − just complete the e-form below and a member of the DDMP team with be in touch.

Instrumental lessons query/Continuations

Note: Asterisks (*) indicate required information.

errorPlease correct the information in the fields highlighted below.
About you -- the parent/carer

About your child

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

Further details for primary Y3-5

Further details for primary Y6

As your child in Y6 we need to know where they will be going next year. If you know this, please select the new school in the drop down menu below. If you do not yet know or it is not applicable, this option is placed towards the top of the menu.

Further details for secondary

Any other useful information

If you experience any problems with this form please contact music.partnership@derbyshire.gov.uk and quote form ID: ILF/686/09