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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Instrumental lessons

Dorset Music Service during COVID-19

At Dorset Music Service (DMS), along with the rest of our Dorset Council colleagues, the health and wellbeing of our pupils, staff, school colleagues and the wider music education community is our highest priority.

This is a fast-changing and difficult situation for us all and we aim to support our music-making community as best we can. We thank you for your patience and understanding so far.

Cancelled music sessions

We've had to stop the following with immediate effect:

  • face-to-face delivery of instrumental tuition
  • ensemble rehearsals
  • weekly Beginner Friendly Groups (BFG) gatherings

We're currently exploring how quickly we can offer an online alternative and connecting with national partners to share best practice and safeguarding guidelines to make sure this is effective and safe for all involved.

If you're a current DMS tuition customer who'd like to take up our offer of online support with resources and tuition (where we can) email us at DMS with your child's name and school and we'll contact you as soon as we can.

Dorset Music Hub online tuition

Want to continue your instrument tuition online?

During the summer term our team of music instructors delivered online lessons for a range of instruments through a secure learning platform.

We want to continue this offer through the autumn term for any pupils who cannot access music tuition at school.

We welcome applications from:

  • existing DMS pupils
  • anyone who'd like to start lessons

Online instrument tuition during the autumn term

Some schools cannot offer music tuition in the usual way at the moment.

Our Dorset Music Hub pilot scheme over the summer was very successful. We're happy to help young people continue their learning online and will continue our offer over the autumn term.

We offer a block of 10 lessons at 20 minutes per lesson at a cost of £110 for the autumn term.

Book your online lessons

Book now to start your online lessons in the autumn term.

As schools re-open we will offer lessons after school. You arrange the lesson times with your music instructor.

We'll try to accommodate as many requests as we can. Make sure you book as soon as possible; we'll take bookings on a first come, first served basis.

Instrumental lessons are carried out in most schools and provided by our team of experienced and enthusiastic instructors, or private providers depending on your child's school.

Why should I learn an instrument?

Some of the reasons for learning an instrument are that:

  • 20% of children learn to play music, 70% of adults wish they had
  • research suggests that early music tuition improves a child's maths skills significantly
  • music is one of the few activities in life that utilises the entire brain
  • trained musicians more efficiently switch from one mental task to another

How to book lessons

Tuition is available on:

  • strings
  • woodwind
  • brass
  • guitar
  • piano/keyboard
  • percussion
  • ukelele

Contact your child's school for more information if you'd like your child to receive lessons from a member of the Dorset Music Service teaching team.

If you are a school wanting to book tuition please contact the Dorset Music Service office with details of which instrument(s) you require tuition on and for how many students. We will then be able to advise you on how much time you will require for these lessons and send you a booking form to complete your request.

Help with Dorset Music Service fees

We can offer financial help of up to 50% for:

  • our instrument tuition
  • our instrument hire
  • county ensemble membership fees

You could get help if your child meets all of the following criteria::

  • is eligible for free school meals
  • attends a Dorset school or academy
  • is having instrument tuition in a group or a pair
  • is learning one instrument

Find out about help with music fees from Dorset Music Service and how to apply.

Benefits of using the Dorset Music Service for instrumental tuition

Tuition from Dorset Music Service comes with:

BenefitHow this is achieved
Quality assurance Through structured performance management, which includes observations and in-service training. All our Instructors have up-to-date safeguarding training and enhanced DBS clearance. If you're looking for tuition privately please see the Private Tutors leaflet for guidance on safeguarding.
Communication notebooks All pupils taught by Dorset Music Service get a communication notebook. This provides a means of communication between pupil, instructor and parent, while providing a record of tasks, pieces studied and achievement.

Progress reports

Instructors write a yearly pupil report at the end of the spring term.

How it is delivered

We provide lessons through Instructors who work in schools to deliver tuition on a range of instruments for 30 weeks of the academic year. Lessons are delivered depending on instructor availability and school requests before, during or at the end of the school day.

See our instrumental tuition delivery calendar for more information.

Support with cost

You can apply for support with tuition costs by applying to:

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