‘Children who learn an instrument at primary school are more confident and have higher self-esteem, according to research into the Wider Opportunities initiative, where 9 and 10 year-olds learn to play an instrument together as a class for free. They look forward to music lessons and want to do well.’
(Wow, It’s Music Next: Impact Evaluation of Wider Opportunities Programme at KS2 by Anne Bamford and Paul Glinkowski 2009).
The First Access programme (formerly known as Wider Opportunities) has introduced over two million children to instrumental learning. The programme encourages all children to learn to play instruments together with their class. The class teacher learns to play too!
Our skilled musicians have undertaken extensive training and are experts on their instruments. Our tutors have an enhanced DBS to work with children and undertake safeguarding training.
What are the benefits?
Is the 10 week programme free of charge?
Yes… Schools in CWAC and Wirral receive ten weeks of whole class ensemble teaching, including instrument hire, free of charge. The ten-week programme is fully funded through the Edsential Musical Routes Music Education Hub (usually for either Year 4 or Year 5) with funding provided by DfE and Arts Council England.
What instruments can we learn?
First Access programmes are available on brass, woodwind, strings, guitar, ukulele, recorder and percussion subject to availability. Mixed programmes, for example; woodwind and brass or violin and cello, are popular and require two tutors.
Getting the most out of your programme:
The tutor may not necessarily have Qualified Teacher Status and the programme should be planned and delivered in partnership with a member of school staff who should be present throughout. Professional development for class teachers, to enable everyone to get the most out of their programme, is available each year. The class teacher is an important member of the teaching team and music tutors welcome their input.
Space is required when thirty children each have a large musical instrument. The school hall is ideal with access to another room for working in smaller groups. Storage space is required for the instruments until the children take them home.
Performance opportunities throughout the programme are vital for motivating children and can take place in your school, or you may wish to join an Edsential concert, performance or special event.
What happens at the end of the 10 week programme?
Many schools choose to continue with their whole class learning programme and will be charged our standard rates for tutor time and instrument hire Alternatively, children may continue to learn in small groups. N.B. Charges may be passed onto families if preferred.
If music tuition is not available in school, children may continue to learn at one of Edsential’s music centres.