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First Access Whole Class Projects

"All children at KS2 should have the opportunity to learn an instrument through whole class ensemble teaching and have the opportunity to progress further once the project is over"

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 (whole class ensemble teaching) experience during their time at primary school.

Annual SLAs are sent to schools at the beginning of the summer term, detailing your share of the grant.  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 additional services purchased from NMPAT.

You can find registers, term dates and more general resources under “lesson administration” on our Resources for School Staff page.

Project options

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 an instrument specialist in school.

There are three options for delivery:

​Projects delivered by two NMPAT staff working in your school with one class are primarily available for the following instrumentation:

  • Brass (years 4-6)
  • Clarinet (year 4-6)
  • Strings (year 3-4)
  • SoundStart (year 5)

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 member of school staff in partnership with one member of NMPAT staff, are available for the following instrumentation:

  • African drums (years 5-6, subject to availability)
  • Guitar (years 4-6)
  • Recorder (years 3-4)
  • Samba (years 4-6, subject to availability)
  • Ukulele (years 3-6)

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.

You may have specialist staff in school who are able to deliver the First Access provision in-house. 

There is no cost to NMPAT for this option. This will allow the government grant to be used as a discount against continuation routes for pupils or additional services purchased from NMPAT.

Option C conditions

If you intend to deliver your own ‘First Access’ programme then please indicate on the online form which children and which instruments would form the basis of your project.  NMPAT are not able to provide instruments and you will need to demonstrate a planned scheme of work in advance of the project.  We will contact you to collect relevant information during the course of the year.

To access the grant money, 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.

First Access 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 brass, guitars, strings and woodwind 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 30 minute sessions.

With a full cohort of students, this elective extension would be available to the students at a cost of £34 per head. Schools are welcome to pass this cost onto parents – in part or in full.  This 10 week project would need to be administered by schools, even in schools where NMPAT offers a direct billing to parents scheme.

Following a First Access continuation project, students who wanted to continue their learning would be ready for conventional small group tuition and we would look to add them to existing provision in your school.

Bookings for continuation projects will be by separate communication from the NMPAT office, usually around the halfway point of the initial First Access project.  Full details including letter templates will be sent to you by the NMPAT Office.  You are welcome to add any requests or questions in the comments section of your SLA.

Terms and conditions

For terms and conditions of supply, please see the main Service Level Agreements page.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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