Other useful information for parents

Applying for instrumental/vocal lessons in schools:

  • Tell the school that you wish your child to have an opportunity to learn a musical instrument
  • If there are spaces then you will be given a Parental Consent form to complete
  • If there are no spaces then your child will be placed on a waiting list


The school will organise pupils to meet the instrumental teacher who will assess their suitability for the specific instrument. The assessment is based on physical suitability, basic musical understanding and enthusiasm/commitment.

Instrumental Teaching Policy

All instrumental lessons are free to pupils who attend schools in Barking and Dagenham schools. The instrumental lesson takes place in school or at the Music Centre.

Lessons are 30 minutes in length. Pupils are taught in small groups, pairs or individually unless offered within Wider Opportunities programmes:

Beginners: group of 4-8
Grade 3 or 4: In smaller groups or pairs
Grade 5+ : Individual lessons

Achievements and Progress

All instrumental and vocal pupils are regularly assessed by CMS instrumental tutors. At the end of each term CMS tutors will review the term. They will discuss and agree with your child their targets for the upcoming term. This will be written into your child’s practice book so that it can be referred to throughout the following term. If you have any questions for the instrumental tutor, add a comment in your child’s practice book and the tutor will write their response or contact you directly if requested.

Every child currently having instrumental lessons will receive a printed progress report. This will be handed to them by their instrumental tutor during a summer term lesson.

Quality and Standards

CMS is supported enthusiastically by councillors and significant funding is provided via the schools forum. In terms of governance a CMS Advisory group is in place which meets termly. Members of the group include councillors, the Head and Deputy Head of Service, the Principal Inspector, the Head of the Adult College and representatives from infant, primary and secondary school Head Teachers, a student representative and a parent representative.

CMS enjoy positive relationships with schools and regularly seek feedback in the form of surveys and through the advisory group. Evidence suggests our service is valued and stakeholders and service users are very positive about the service they receive.