Primary School Provision

Nottingham Music Hub works with 80% of primary schools in Nottingham City and if your school would like to join our amazing community, please read on below. 

For professional development opportunities with the music hub, please see our CPD Resources page.

Offer to Schools 2024-25

Our vision is to provide a world-class music education for all children and young people in Nottingham. Nottingham Music Hub provides programmes to schools across Nottingham City offering discounted rates for provision that aligns with the expectations of the DfE National Plan for Music Education, whilst supporting schools to provide and engage with inspirational music making opportunities through the year.

Nottingham Music Hub also provides guidance to city schools with developing and implementing their school music development and progression plans, as outlined in the National Plan for Music Education.

Our Music Teaching Provision available to schools is outlined below.

Instrument Hire

Core provision cost includes a free loan of a class set of instruments (up to 35). For any extra instruments we charge £7.50 per instrument if they are in stock. Alternatively you can also loan an additional class set for £110 per class.

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to the NMH staff teaching in your schools or just send us an email at If you want to book provision with us, please email for a booking form.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What has happened to In Harmony?

A: In Harmony was a programme originally designed to last for three years but was so successful that it ran for 10 years, especially in Nottingham which has more In Harmony schools than anywhere else in the country: the 2020 Evaluation of the In Harmony Programme | Arts Council England recommended Nottingham as a “very interesting model for other Music Education Hubs”.

Sadly the DfE have decided that, although they are keen for the programmes to continue, they can extend the separate In Harmony funding no longer, as it only impacted on 6 areas. We are committed to continuing to build on the success of the programme in Nottingham and are exploring more cost-effective ways of doing this.

Q: Why is it so important for the regular class teacher to be in whole class instrumental lessons?

A: Two key reasons:

  • In the new music plan, the DfE recommends that the “classroom teacher should participate in the lessons, and support the specialist teacher in enabling pupils to engage fully”
  • The greatest impact on children succeeding (especially those from less advantaged backgrounds) and still playing years later, is found in schools where there is genuine team teaching between the regular class and instrumental teachers, and where the class learns the instrument alongside the children. There is very strong evidence for this in the city over many years.

Q: Why is curriculum delivery so much more expensive than other programmes?

A: Curriculum delivery is not something music hubs are funded to deliver through the new national music plan – the funding for that is in school budgets. The music hub can only subsidise music programmes that are directly part of their remit in the new plan. We may be able to support curriculum delivery, at full cost, if there is any capacity available.

Q: You used to do whole class beyond year 4 - what has changed?

A: There are two reasons for this:

  • Whole class instrumental lessons beyond year 4 over the last few years have been funded through the In Harmony programme. The funding for this is coming to an end as described above - we can no longer afford it, especially the number of instruments involved.
  • The new national music plan puts more emphasis on continuation in year five and six in small to large groups or one to one teaching.

Q: Why are you keeping some year 5 whole-class instrumental programmes going – and why only some?

A: The DfE is still very supportive of the In Harmony model, as long as it can work without additional funding! With the limited funds that we have, we are able to support a small number of schools that have built highly effective whole class year 5 continuation programmes by being fully integrated into the structure of the school and music hub progression routes, with:

  • Class and instrumental staff team teaching, with class teachers learning instruments alongside children
  • Clear progression and continuation routes beyond the whole class sessions for children to learn in smaller groups and work towards music qualifications
  • School ensembles that have grown out of these programmes
  • Children supported to attend music camp, area bands, major music hub events, the music exam strategy and to progress into ensembles outside primary school before going to secondary

Q: Are you able to support and advise schools on developing their curriculum?

A: Yes absolutely. Professional development, advice and support in designing and implementing school music development plans is very much part of the music hub remit. A primary template for school music development plans can be accessed here.

Q: We want to offer our pupils a choice of instrument, but your models are limited to one family. What can we do?

A: One family of instruments is cost effective in terms of staffing and string and brass offer a choice of instruments within that family. Offering too much choice inevitably fragments learners into smaller groups which raise barriers both for school and learners (cost, timetabling, rooming), and weakens the powerful and valuable ‘we are all doing this together’ mindset. It is totally clear that the increase in diversity found in ensembles has been driven very largely from schools offering a limited range of instruments and cultivating the ‘team’ mindset.

What can work really well is for a choice of instrument to be offered at a later stage, either in school or via initiatives such as the music hub ‘Instrument Shift’ programme.

Opportunities with Partner Organisations

Nottingham Music Hub's partner organisation BeatFeet offer ‘A Party in the Rainforest’, a creative music making programme designed for nursery, reception and KS1 children that uses global percussion, play props and life-size animal puppets.

BeatFeet also offers ‘Jumping Djembes’, which are drumming circles that use music to boost children’s social and emotional development. These are themed workshops which offer children the opportunity to play African djembe drums and sing songs in different languages.

Nottingham Music Hub