First Access Ten Week Programme

First Access Ten Week Programme


‘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?

  • Music enhances children’s learning; working together cooperatively, listening to each other and teamwork skills
  • The programme is inclusive; it offers equality of opportunity for all.
  • The programme contributes to the school music curriculum
  • Pupils are given ownership and responsibility of their instrument for 10 weeks and they respond positively to the trust and responsibility that is placed in them.

How much does the 10 week programme cost?

Once accepted onto the First Access programme, the school contributes £250 towards delivery in the first term. If the school follows on from the First Access programme with school-funded music activities for a second term (school-pay tuition or whole class continuation) then this £250 will be credited to the school’s account.

What instruments can we learn?

First Access programmes are available on brass, woodwind, strings or ukulele subject to availability. Mixed programmes, for example; woodwind and brass or violin and cello, are popular and require two tutors. We aim to meet the needs of every child in the class and it may be possible to adapt instruments to meet an individual’s physical needs -please enquire.

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.

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