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:
- An initial Planning session (45 minutes) between the deliverer and classroom teacher (and ideally school senior manager) to review music provision in the school and plan how First Access will be embedded
- 10 x 45 minute whole class instrumental lessons on a weekly basis on the same instrument
- A final Review meeting (45 minutes) to discuss future development of musical learning and next steps.
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
- Identify a teacher. If the school does not have a teacher to deliver the sessions in mind, they can contact the Hub Manager, Tanya Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of local teachers and organisations who may be able to deliver or refer to the list on Cornwall Council website - Cornwall Council website.
- Arrange instruments. School provides own instruments or arranges to hire from the CMEH Instrument service - Whole class set of instruments - Prices and Hire Form 2017-18
- Send Provider Schedule to the Hub office before delivery starts- Provider Programme Schedule Form
- Hold a planning meeting. Lesson deliverer and class teacher meet to plan the sessions(use Planning Meeting Discussion form to structure conversation and capture feedback
- School writes their School Music Plan (School Music Plan template available - Primary or Secondary)
- Music leader delivers 10 whole class instrumental sessions (45 minutes each).
- The classroom teacher must participate in all sessions. Schools will be unable to claim the grant if the teacher does not participate as teacher CPD is a key element of the programme.
- After all 10 sessions - Review Meeting. Lesson deliverer and classroom teacher meet and capture information on the Review Meeting Notes form
- School pays the lesson deliverer directly. The Hub will reimburse the school for the cost of the sessions up to the value of £33.75 per session (for 12 sessions provided all sessions delivered, including meetings) once all documents are received in the Hub office.
- School sends supporting documentation and an invoice to Hub office to draw down grant– documentation that we require is the School Music Plan, Sessions Register and Review Meeting Notes.
- Please note that we are unable to pay schools' invoices until all documentation has been received in the Hub office, either by email or post.
- More detail about this process can be found in this document - First Access Grant - information for schools
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 2018-19 - 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.
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
Recent First Access projects
In 2017 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!