A young students hands on piano keys

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions

If you would like your child to learn to play a musical instrument, please contact the music coordinator at your child’s school. They will be able to tell you about the instruments offered for tuition and how your child can get involved.

All our teachers will be happy to demonstrate the instruments they teach, explain how they are played and give prospective students a chance to have a go before making a decision. They will also assess them to ensure they are physically comfortable with the instrument of their choice.

While we would like to be able to teach every child who wants to learn, and quite often we manage to do this, when the demand exceeds the time available, our teachers and schools work together to give the opportunity to as many as possible. On occasion, teachers may also carry out some simple musical activities to help assess their physical suitability for a particular instrument.
If the places for lessons are over-subscribed, potential pupils are put on a waiting list to start as soon as time becomes available.

Most children begin instrumental lessons at the start of the autumn term, but our teachers do take on new pupils throughout the year. The main periods for recruitment are at the end of the summer term and start of the autumn term each year.


Before starting lessons, all children should meet the teacher to try out the instrument and see if it suits them.  There’s no commitment at this stage, just the chance to find out more. Email us at inspiring.music@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk with your child’s name, school and preferred instrument. We will set up a free first meeting for your child with our teacher at school. Alternatively  talk to the music coordinator at school. They will explain the instruments available and contact us to arrange the meeting.


After your child has been assessed, providing your child is suitable for the instrument and the teacher has availability, the teacher will provide your child with an enrollment information sheet with the name of the teacher, the instrument and whether it will be a group or individual lesson.


You are now ready to enrol your child to begin lessons! You can enrol your child via the online portal. You will also need to agree to the Terms and Conditions.

If you are having any issues enrolling on our website, please call 0300 300 6604 or email inspiring.music@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for assistance.

Every child who learns to play a musical instrument with Inspiring Music is provided with a free Music Planner each year. This book not only acts as an on-going record of work set by our teachers each week, it is also an excellent communication route between parents and teachers to ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date with both progress and events associated with your child’s lessons.
In addition, our teachers will also provide parents/carers with an annual instrumental report and parents/carers are invited to attend an instrumental parents’ evening each year.

One of the best ways for your child to improve their playing skills is to make music with other people. Inspiring Music recommends opportunities available locally with a large number of orchestras, bands, choirs and groups for every type of musical instrument taught. Many of our teachers are asked to organise and run groups in schools, usually during lunch times or after school. Additionally, we are extremely proud of our network of four Music Centres.
See What We Offer.

We are committed to providing musical opportunities for everyone in the community – children, young people and adults. We welcome adults to our four community music centres which offer a wide range of musical groups and choirs each week.

To find out more about adult opportunities,  why not visit one of our music centres based in Ampthill, Dunstable, Leighton Linslade and Biggleswade. Or phone us on 0300 300 6604 or email: inspiring.music@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

If your child is leaving or moving school please inform us before the end of term by email at inspiring.music@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

If you wish your child to cease having lessons at the end of the current term,  please contact us by email or in writing before the term ends.

Contact details:

Inspiring Music
Houghton Lodge
Houghton Close
MK45 2TG

Please note that we cannot accept notice verbally given over the telephone or via teachers or schools.

Fees for music lessons

School type Type of music lesson Direct Debit cost - termly Direct Debit cost - 1 lesson Other payment methods - termly Other payment methods - 1 lesson
Lower, middle and upper schools and community lessons (including Academy schools) Group music lesson £92 £8.36 £95 £8.64
Individual music lesson – 20 minutes £138 £12.55 £143 £13
Individual music lesson – 30 minutes £206 £18.73 £214 £19.45
Individual music lesson – 40 minutes £274 £24.91 £285 £25.91
Non-local authority schools Group music lesson £98 £8.91 £101 £9.18
Individual music lesson – 20 minutes £152 £13.82 £158 £14.36
Individual music lesson – 30 minutes £228 £20.73 £237 £21.55
Inspiring Music Centres Full membership £81 £8.10 £83 £8.30
Part membership £54 £5.40 £56 £5.60
South Beds Sinfonia Full membership £36 £3.60 £37 £3.70

Terms and Conditions

If your child is eligible for free school meals (not UIFSM), the school maybe be able to fund music lessons from their Pupil Premium funds; please contact your school prior to enroling. If your child is in the care of Central Bedfordshire Council as a Looked After Child please contact the office on 0300 300 6604 or inspiring.music@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Funding may be available for low income families or families who suddenly find themselves in financial difficulties through charities such as Bedfordshire Educational Association  or The Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music.

The Awards for Young Musicians also helps young musicians aged 5 – 17 with exceptional potential who are struggling with their musical costs.  Annual awards between £200 and £2000 can help with costs such as tuition, instruments, courses, travel and individual support.

At the outset of your child’s tuition, you will need to purchase a music stand, tutor book, and some instrumental accessories such as strings, reeds, valve oil, drum sticks, etc. Our instrumental teachers will be able to advise you about the specific items appropriate to your child’s instrument. Music stands cost from approximately £10.00, and tutor books range between £5.00 and £10.00.
As your child progresses, on the advice of your child’s teacher and with your agreement, your child may be able to take a graded instrumental examination for which there is a charge. Graded examination costs currently start at around £37.00.

The cheapest option is to pay by Direct Debit. In order to do this, once you have completed the online application form you will need to print off and return this Direct Debit form (156kb, DOC) to the Inspiring Music office in Ampthill. Go to our Contact Us page for the full address.

You can also pay by telephone, call us at 0300 300 6604.

Click here for more information on payment methods.



We offer 33 lessons in the academic year. There are more weeks than this in the teachers’ timetables which allows us to ‘make-up’ for any lessons missed due to school closures or teacher absences if required. Please note that these may be made up at the end of the academic year and that not all terms are the same length. However, if we have offered a lesson which your child has not taken up, i.e. not turned up to without notice, then this may be counted as one of the 33 lessons offered.
Calendar of teaching weeks (53kb, DOC)

If at the end of the academic year you do not believe that your child has had 33 lessons offered to them, please contact us in writing or via email, detailing any dates on which lessons were not offered or rescheduled. We are able to check this against our teacher’s records and any lessons owing will be credited.