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First Access - Whole Class Instrumental Lessons

Originally known as the Wider Opportunities Programme, First Access is a series of projects for whole classes, learning to play musical instruments. Since September 2008, we have been providing a programme of projects to schools with KS2 children.

For 2017-18 NMPAT will be devolving £285,000 of Government grant to Primary schools to support this initiative for ALL children. The grant is distributed on a per-capita basis amongst the schools.

Projects usually last for approximately 10 weeks, coinciding with the old Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. We would normally work with a whole class (normal maximum 30) from a single year-group for at least 45 minutes per week.

All the equipment is provided by us.

The Options and Costs

Option 1Two NMPAT staff working in your school for a 10 week term project with one class  providing all instruments and resources£975 per class
Option 2One of our staff working as an equal partner with your own specialist capable of sharing the delivery for a 10 week project with one class, providing all instruments and resources.£550 per class
Option 3Your own specialist staff delivering whole-class instrumental projects in your school.Nil cost
SoundStartSoundStart Band. Two staff working in your school for the whole year.£2750 per class

If your option 3 project is agreed, your discount can be off-set against other instrumental and vocal services from NMPAT. To access the grant we will need your scheme of work and data on project participants for reporting to DFE

Types of Project available


Projects available
Let’s Play StringsViolins and Cellos, designed for years 3 to 4.
Let’s Play GuitarWhole class Guitars, designed for years 4 to 6.
Let’s Play UkuleleWhole class Ukulele project, designed for years 3 to 6 - limited availability
Let’s Play SambaThis percussion band project is suitable for years 4 to 6 (due to the physical demands this is really not suitable for younger pupils. It also requires storage space and is loud!)
Let’s Play African DrumsThis percussion project is suitable for years 5 and 6 (due to the physical demands this is really not suitable for younger pupils) - limited availability
Recorder RevolutionRediscovering the Recorder. Suitable for years 3 to 4.
Let’s Play BrassA selection of Bb brass instruments suitable for years 4 to 6
Let’s Play ClarinetWhole class Clarinet project for years 4 to 6
SoundStart BandA whole year (30 week) class Band project best suited for for year 5 - see further details

First Access Plus - Continuation Projects

After the First Access experience, we hope that students will want to continue to play. We have developed specific large group continuation projects for strings, brass, wind and guitars during which the students would be introduced to music notation. Enabling them to extend their learning before committing to small group lessons

During the course of your First Access project, we will contact you with details of these next opportunities which are usually delivered at a ratio of 12 pupils per hour, in half hour sessions

With a full cohort of students, this elective extension would be available to the students at a cost of £31 per head

After a term in a First Access Plus project, students who wanted to continue would be ready for conventional small group tuition and we would look to add them to existing provision in your school or start a new group

How to request a project

Projects can be requested as part of the annual Service Level Agreement distributed to schools immediately following the Easter Holiday. To allow us to plan, this needs to be returned to NMPAT before the half term break. 

What happens next?

We will contact you before the end of the year to let you know which project you will be receiving in which term.

Terms and Conditions and General Expectations

Terms and conditions and general expectations of schools, teachers and pupils can be found on the Service Level Agreements, Conditions and Commitments page.

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NMPAT receives support from:
NMPAT is a company Limited by Guarantee (Company No. 7738151) and a registered charity (Charity No. 1145643)