Shaw Music Service

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Curriculum Support

Shaw Music Service offers qualified staff for full class curriculum support.

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to: play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.

National Curriculum Music (2014)

Wider opportunities for Children in Schools

Wider Opportunities is a government initiative, designed to give all primary children the chance to play an instrument as an integral part of National Curriculum music lessons. It is part of the National Plan for Music Education (2011), in which it is referred to as First Access. 

Our programme runs in KS2 schools across the borough and covers mixed strings, mixed brass, flute, clarinet/saxophone, keyboard, guitar and percussion. Each school has been provided with a class set of instruments, which stays in school and is used for the Initial and Transition stages.

The programme is in four integrated stages:


There is no charge to schools or parents for the Foundation and Initial stages of the programme, as these are whole class activities and are part of the school’s music curriculum. The only exception is for the clarinet/saxophone programme. Reeds for these instruments are expensive and children get through them very quickly, so we ask parents to make a contribution of £5 per child to cover the cost of these. 

See below for details of charges for the Transition and Continuation stages.


Working with a vocal specialist, children and class teachers learn basic vocal techniques, enabling them to use their voices safely and imaginatively. They explore musical concepts and ideas and develop the confidence to improvise and create their own songs. They also become familiar with the musical language that will be used in the instrumental stages.


Working with two instrumental teachers and their class teacher, children learn to play instruments in a whole class group and explore different elements of music through playing. In addition to being skilled teachers, many of our staff are professional players whose performance skills can bring a new dimension to music lessons. At the end of this stage, parents will be invited to see some of the work in action.

The programme broadens the children’s music experience and will allow those who may already be learning an instrument to share their knowledge with others.


The 20 week transition stage is the bridge between whole class teaching and standard tuition. Teaching takes place in groups and instruments are provided free of charge. At this stage there is a charge for tuition, currently £40 per term, which is usually covered by parents, If fewer than 6 children would like to continue playing, they will move straight on to the Continuation stage.


Children wishing to continue learning are offered perapatetic instrument tuition.  Instrumental tuition can be arranged for groups of 1 - 8 pupils with a range of timings from 20 minutes to an hour.

Groups and timings can be taylored to fit specific budgets and uncompromising timetables. 

Pupils will need to hire or buy an instrument at this stage. 

Sessions Available 2016/17

Full Class Djembe

The original large group instrument, Djembe is instantly accessible to all age groups and abilities.  With strong emphasis on rhythm skills, these energetic sessions also include, music reading and vocal work.

Full Class Ukulele 

A small easily accessible instrument, the Ukulele is the perfect starter instrument for  Year 2 and 3 classes. With primary focus on Rhythmic skills, playing and singing together forms a large part of these inspiring sessions. 

Full Class Guitar

The Most popular Wider Opportunities program by far, Guitar Wider Opps looks equally at rhythm and melody and their usage in both the popular and classical music genres.  The guitar scheme of work includes vocal work, improvisation and music reading.

Full Class Xylophone

Focusing on developing pitch and timing through music reading and group performance. With a strong emphasis on melodic skills.