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 you don't have one in mind, contact us - CMEH@cornwall.gov.uk
- School sends School Agreement document to the Hub office - First Access - School Agreement Document
- Arrange instruments - you can hire from us if you don't have your own - Whole class set of instruments - Prices and Hire Form 2019/20
- Hold a planning meeting - Lesson deliverer and class teacher meet to plan the sessions. School writes their School Music Plan (Music Plan for Primary Template or Music Plan for Secondary Template)
- Music leader delivers 10 whole class instrumental sessions (45 minutes each). The classroom teacher must participate in all sessions.
- Hold a review Meeting. Lesson deliverer and classroom teacher meet after the 10 sessions and capture information on the Review Meeting Notes form
- Paperwork - School sends documents to the Hub office School Music Plan, Sessions Register and Review Meeting Notes plus an invoice from the School to the Hub for the cost of the sessions. 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.
- Payment - School pays the lesson deliverer directly and then claims reimbursement from the Hub. The Hub will reimburse the school for the cost of the sessions (up to the value of £33.75 per session) once all documents are received in the Hub office.
- Invoices to the Hub must state the Hub's full address - Chy Trevail, Beacon Technology Park, Bodmin, PL31 2FR and have an invoice number. Invoices can be sent by email CMEH@cornwall.gov.uk 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 - School Agreement Document - Confirmation by the school that they wish to participate and understand the process. Submit before delivery. This document replaces the Provider Schedule document which is no longer required.
*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 2019/20- Hire form if school needs to hire a set of instruments
First Access – Planning Meeting Discussion - a template to structure the initial planning meeting, you do not need to send in this form.
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, Woodwind and Strings (single instrument or mixed), Gamelan (Indonesian Tuned Percussion), Guitars, Keyboards, Ocarinas and Fifes (£35 per term) Taiko Drums, Ukuleles and Samba.
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!