First Access Projects

class of primary school children playing various instruments, being instructed by a teacher"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

The government tell us this in 'The Importance of Music (DFE 2011 - The National Plan)'. Let us help you deliver the government's aspiration in your school.

To support this aspiration, NMPAT is devolving £310,000 of government money to schools as a grant to enable every child to have a First Access experience during their primary school experience.

Annual SLAs are sent to schools at the beginning of the Summer Term, detailing your share of the grant. We ask for your response by Friday 17 May to enable scheduling for the following year. This page gives information and advice about the options available. Any grant funding remaining after the provision of a First Access experience can be used as a discount against continuation projects and other services purchased from NMPAT.


All projects are delivered to a whole class (maximum 30) for a period of 10 weeks, usually culminating in a celebration concert.

All projects are delivered by two teachers. For some instruments it is essential that both teachers have specialist instrumental skills on the instruments concerned, for this reason they will be delivered by two NMPAT teachers, except by special negotiation where there is a specialist in school.

There are three options for delivery:

​Projects delivered by two NMPAT staff working in your school with one class:

  • Strings
  • Brass
  • Clarinet
  • SoundStart

Because of the technical aspect of playing and maintaining these instruments, these projects are only available as Option A; except by special negotiation where there is an instrumental specialist in school. In these cases, option B costs would apply.   

Cost - £1,050 per 10 week project.

SoundStart - £3,000 per 30 week project (£1,725 where Option B delivery is agreed).

​Projects delivered by one of our staff working with a teacher from the school to assist in the delivery.

Projects normally delivered as Option B may also be available for delivery by two NMPAT teachers if requested, subject to the availability of staff. In these cases Option A costs would apply. 

Cost - £600 per 10 week project.

​Your own specialist staff delivering whole-class instrumental projects in your school.

Cost - none. This will allow the government grant to be used as a discount against continuation routes for pupils or other services purchased from NMPAT.

Option 3 conditions

If you intend to deliver your own 'First Access' programme then please tick option 3 and indicate which children and which instruments would form the basis of your project. We will contact you to collect all relevant information.

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

Projects available

​Types of project available
​Appropriate year groups
​Option​Cost per class
​Recorder Revolution
Suitable for years 3 to 4​B​£600
Let’s Play Samba
​Suitable for years 4 to 6
This project is loud and requires space and storage
​Let’s Play African Drums​Suitable for years 5 to 6
Limited availability
​Let’s Play Ukulele​Suitable for years 3 to 6​B£600
Let’s Play Guitar​Suitable for years 4 to 6​B£600
Let’s Play Strings​Best suited to years 3 to 4​A​£1,050
Let’s Play Brass​Suitable for years 4 to 6​A£1,050
Let’s Play Clarinet​Suitable for years 4 to 6​A£1,050
SoundStart Wind Band​Whole year project. Best suited to year 5
Only available as an extension of existing projects



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 will 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 £34 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.

Bookings for First Access Plus continuation project will be by separate communication from the NMPAT office. You are welcome to add any requests to this SLA in the comments section.

Terms and Conditions

For Terms and Conditions of supply, please see the main Service Level Agreements page.