First Access

First Access – An introduction to instrumental learning

First Access is one of the key initiatives of the government’s National Plan for Music Education.  The aim of the First Access is to introduce students at Key Stages 1 – 3 to learning an instrument through weekly whole class instrumental lessons.

In Cornwall, we are able to offer a grant to schools to fund a specialist to deliver a 12 week programme which consists of:

Is my school eligible for this funding?

All schools are eligible to apply for the First Access grant provided that the class for which it is being claimed has not previously participated in the First Access programme.  

How to access the First Access grant

Required Documentation

Please see below the document templates that have been designed to help schools to get the most out of their free First Access sessions and also help us to gain a better understanding of your school's needs.  These documents must be submitted to the Hub office in order to access the grant:

*First Access – Provider Programme Schedule - Outline of the programme.  Submit before delivery

*School Music Plan Template (Primary) - description of current music activity and plan for development

*School Music Plan Template (Secondary) - description of current music activity and plan for development

*First Access – Session Register - record of delivery

*First Access – Review Meeting Notes - a template to structure the post delivery meeting and capture feedback

* These documents should be completed and submitted to the Hub office by either email or post.

Other supporting documents

Whole class set of instruments - Prices and Hire Form 2017-18 - Hire form if school needs to hire a set of instruments

First Access – Planning Meeting Discussion - a template to structure the initial planning meeting

School self-evaluation questions - these questions can help guide schools when reviewing their music education provision.  

First Access Grant - information for schools 


Schools are responsible for organising their own instruments for the First Access.  A class set can be hired from the Hub at the subsidised rate of £70 for a term (for a set of up to 35 instruments), subject to availability.  These class sets include: African percussion, Brass (single instrument or mixed), Classroom percussion, Fifes, Gamelan (Indonesian Tuned Percussion),Guitars, Keyboards, Ocarinas, Recorders, Strings (single instrument or mixed), Taiko Drums, Ukuleles

Whole class set of instruments - Prices and Hire Form 2017-18

Whole class set of instruments - Prices and Hire Form 2017-18 (PDF)

*FREE - First Access Training for music practitioners*

5th September at Truro School, 9.00 - 3.00 in the Music Department

The  Hub has teamed with the Cornwall Music Service Trust to offer a free training day to support music leaders who are currently involved in, or who would like to become involved in, delivering whole class or large group instrumental teaching in order to support the Hub’s First Access programme.

Programme of the day

 - Open discussion about the challenges of First Access, sharing of best practice, how to work with large groups, planning and structuring, importance of final concerts, how to make sessions more inclusive

 - General Musicianship for First Access in both Primary and Secondary, how to progress, First Access ensembles, composing and improvising in the context of First Access

 - Practical Sessions with transferable skills in 

  • Ukulele
  • Brass 
  • Strings
  • Percussion - African Drumming 
  • Music Technology

 - Plenary

Recent First Access projects

Richard Lander School offered all their Key Stage 3 students the opportunity to learn either the saxophone or clarinet over the summer term.  With nearly 1000 children learning an instrument, we hope lots of them will continue with their musical journeys and take up lessons!

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