Area Bands

Area Bands are beginner orchestral groups open to young people in city schools that have a Whole Class Ensemble or In Harmony programme in collaboration with Nottingham Music Hub. These bands are open to all Year 5 and Year 6 pupils who have some experience of learning an instrument (it doesn't matter if it has been less than a year of learning). Activities will be designed to make sure that all young people can take part and make music together!

Enrolment forms for Area Bands 2021-22 are now available. Please fill out this form if your child is planning to attend the live OR online band.

If you have any questions, please email us at

The New & Improved Area Bands

Area Band sessions include a combination of full rehearsals, small group activities, performances, singing, movement and improvisation. Instruments include violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and more! In 2021 - 22, we are reorganising Area Bands to be more cost-effective, inclusive and exciting. Using a blended method, bands will have live sessions in school as well as online sessions.

Live sessions will be led by a member of NMS staff once every two weeks, with schools accessing the online session during the intervening weeks. To develop a sense of community across bands, and to promote fun and inspiring rehearsals, the school-based bands will also link up with the online rehearsal at the start and end of all rehearsals and this way get to practice with even more pupils from across the city!

Band will start at 4 PM to enable synchronisation between live and online bands. We will also be offering online singing just before Area Bands, starting from 3:15 PM!

Why Join?

Learn to play your instrument better
Perform at exciting concerts throughout the year
Meet new people and make new friends!

My experience was TERRIFIC, the minute we played, I felt like I was in a magical world, yes that’s how amazing was! The hall itself was huge! Surprisingly huge! There were so many instruments that were part of it too, it really was a dream-come-true, to be in Area Band!

Old Basford pupil about their experience at an Area Band concert

Partnership with Nottingham City Schools

Area Bands are run in partnership with the city schools. Schools signing up for bands should:

  • Have a member of staff present throughout the rehearsal, to support pupils to set up, participate in the rehearsal and pack away instruments at the end
  • Ensure that pupils have sheet music each week (printed or digital)
  • Bring children to joint rehearsals and performances
  • Have a member of staff to support children through online sessions in the weeks when NMS staff are not present in schools
  • Provide a rehearsal space with a screen, projector and good Wi-Fi

Even during Lockdown, Area Band pupils had the opportunity to participate in online concerts! You can see a video of their performance, collated and edited by the amazing music hub staff. The performance was also featured in our Christmas in the City 2020 concert, viewed by more than 3,000 people!

For the children who go on to join the Area Band, the experience of playing in and performing with an orchestra is incredible. It is almost impossible to exaggerate how enriching and empowering this is.

City Headteacher

A pupil reading music notes
Photo credit: Swainson Productions
Nottingham Music Hub