Music Service

Last updated 4 February 2014

Waltham Forest Music Service (WFMS) provides music tuition in many of the borough’s schools. We provide tuition in singing and a wide variety of instruments, many of which are available to hire at an affordable price. The service also runs a thriving Music School after the school day and on Saturday mornings.

Latest news: Love to sing, rap or beatbox?

If you are aged between 11 and 18 and live in Waltham Forest or Redbridge then you can come to our free vocal workshops. North East London Voices will give you the chance to sing and share your vocal talents with others.

You will get to work with exciting artists and groups including gospel artist Mark De-Lisser, beatboxer and vocal sculptor Jason Singh, jazz singer and pianist Pete Churchill, Indian vocalist Ranjana Ghatak, vocal artist ESKA and the London Youth Choir.

This project is supported by Youth Music and Arts Council England. For more information visit the website or download the poster, which you can also put up at school.

Instrumental and vocal tuition

Learning a musical instrument helps pupils develop concentration, confidence, self-discipline, creativity, communication skills and team skills.

WFMS works in schools to provide tuition on the following instruments:

  • Strings: cello, double bass, violin, viola, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar
  • Vocals
  • Woodwind: bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, recorders, saxophone
  • Keyboard and piano
  • Brass: euphonium, French horn, tenor horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba
  • Percussion: African drumming, drum kit, steel pans

If you would like your child to begin lessons at school, please speak to the Head of Music or Music Co-ordinator and find out what instruments are available to learn.

Whole Class Ensemble tuition

This programme gives hundreds of children the opportunity to learn an instrument in class alongside their teacher. This experience gives them a solid musical foundation and children who would like to continue can join smaller group lessons on an instrument of their choice.


Each school term, WFMS hosts a special visit from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music so that local children and young people can take instrumental and vocal exams.

Instrument hire

Instruments are available to hire if your child is learning with a WFMS teacher, who will hand them a form to start the process. The fees for 2013/14 are £18 per term or £9 for those in receipt of Free School Meals.

Once you have completed and handed in the form, the instrument will be available within two weeks, and in many cases much sooner.

When you come to collect the instrument, please bring the hire agreement, proof of address (such as a driving licence or recent utility bill) and proof of Free School Meals if applicable.

You will need to ensure that the instrument is adequately insured, either through household or specialist insurance.

About Music School

Our Music School groups cater for a wide range of musical abilities and styles. These run on Monday to Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings during term time.

Joining an ensemble enables your child to make music with others of a similar standard from different schools across the borough and will develop self-confidence, concentration and social skills.

It helps build upon work your child is doing during his/her instrumental lesson and also helps to develop their performance skills by encouraging them to work with other young musicians. These skills are valuable and are transferable to other areas of life.

Each group is led by a member of the WFMS teaching team and pupils are encouraged to strive for the highest standards. The groups are structured so pupils can join and progress as they advance on their instrument. Each group has an opportunity to perform publicly at least once a term.

We have developed a number of partnerships with external organisations, and our link with the London Symphony Orchestra has involved members of the Music School in workshops and other performance opportunities.

Instrumental tuition and theory lessons at Music School

The Music Service provides individual instrumental tuition where it is not possible to receive instrumental tuition at school. We run theory classes throughout the week and on Saturdays that support the work covered in instrumental lessons and also develop your child’s understanding of music. To register your interest in tuition or theory, please complete and return this form electronically or on paper.

Music School rehearsal, tuition and concert dates

Spring 2014

  • Saturday 11 January-Thursday 27 March 2014
  • Half term: Saturday 15-Sunday 23 February 2014
  • Certificate presentation concert: 21 January 6.30pm
  • Beginners Concert, 1 March, 11.00am
  • Solo performance platform: 17 March 6.30pm
  • Strings and winds festival, Leyton Sixth Form, 31 March

Summer 2014

  • Saturday 26 April- Monday 14 July 2014
  • Half term: Saturday 24 May - Sunday 1 June
  • Certificate presentation concert: 3 June
  • Wind Festival, Walthamstow Assembly Hall: 26 June
  • Solo performance platform: 30 June
  • Waltham Forest Music Festival: 14/15/16 July

Student voice meetings

  • All 4.30-5.30pm
  • Friday 7 Mar 2014
  • Friday 13 Jun 2014

Music School groups and times

Advanced​ ​groups ​​
Dance Band​ ​Grade 5 + ​Wed 5.30-6.30pm
Youth Orchestra​ ​Grade 4 + ​Wed ​6.30-8pm


Intermediate groups​ ​​
Wind Band ​Grade 3 + ​Wed 5.30-6.30pm
Forest Strings ​Grade 3 + ​Thu ​5.30-6.30pm


Junior groups
Training Wind Band ​Grade 1-2 ​Wed 4.30-5.20pm
Funk in the Forest Grade 1-4 Mon ​5.30-6.30pm
Saturday Strings​ Grade 1-2 Sat​ 9.15-10.15am
Guitar Group​ Grade 1 + Tue​ ​5.30-6.30pm
Foundation groups
Beginner Winds Pre ​Grade 1 ​Mon 4.30-5.15pm
Brass Massive ​Pre Grade 1 ​Tue ​4.30-5.30pm
Woodland Strings​ Pre Grade 1 Thu​ 4.00-5.00pm​


Theory classes (half hour each)
Grade Tuesday Saturday
1 ​4.00pm ​8.30am
2​ 4.30pm 9.00am​
3​ 5.00pm​ 9.30am​
4​ 5.30pm​ 10.00am​
5​ 6.00pm​ 10.30am

Wednesday theory classes

Half hour classes start at 4.30pm and 5.00pm for grades 1 to 5.

Secondary Choir led by Tula Lynch

See the North East London Voices web site for details.

Beginner Winds Project with London Chamber Orchestra

For all woodwind players who can play 4/5 notes. Access to this group is funded by the Mayor's Fund for Young Musicians and players will work with members of the London Chamber Orchestra.

Chingford C of E Infants School - Mondays 4.15-5.00pm

Jenny Hammond Primary School - Wednesdays 4.15-5.00pm

Music school fees

Fees should be made before the end of term in order to secure a place for the following term. If fees are not paid within 4 weeks of the start of the school term, ensemble places and tuition slots will be lost at half term. Music School membership is £24 per term for 2013-14.

Paying fees online

To pay for instrument hire, music school tuition or music school ensembles, please read these instructions (PDF) and then use the 'Pay online' link at the top of this page. Please contact us for more information.

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See also

  • What's on this term

    See key dates and events happening this term at the Music Service.

  • Pay online

    Choose 'Paying for other council services' and then 'Music Service'. A link to detailed instructions is available at the bottom of this page.

  • Register for tuition or theory

    Complete this form if you are interested in lessons at Music School. Please contact your child's school directly for lessons there.

Contact details