Play-It! Head Start – information for schools

What is the Play-It! Head Start strategy?

Supporting all pupils to access Whole Class Instrumental Tuition

An initial session incorporated at the beginning of each term of Play-It! delivery to support children and young people who might encounter barriers towards engaging positively with Whole Class Instrumental Tuition.

Head Start has been developed by Inspiring Music, The Music Hub for Central Bedfordshire.

Before the Play-It Sessions begin

Once your school has been matched with a Play-it! tutor, we will ask you to complete a very short form giving us some information about your class and their musical learning so far.

Using the information you have given us, your music tutor will get in touch with you to liaise with the class teacher or SENCO. This can be via an in-person meeting, online or on the phone to gain an understanding of the children in the class and to identify a number of children and young people (maximum of 8) who would benefit from a ‘head start’ lesson.

Week 1: ‘Head start’ lesson

Your music tutor will work with the group of students identified by the class teacher, away from the main classroom (we can leave resources to use with the rest of the class whilst the head start session takes place).

The head start is designed to give selected children and young people a ‘head start’ to the engagement and learning whilst developing their confidence, enjoyment and willingness to participate in the subsequent whole class sessions.

Your Essex Music Service tutor will dedicate time and attention towards these children and young people, building positive relationships with them and helping them understand what to expect in the music lessons.

This will include learning the initial skills, procedures and repertoire allowing them to be the ‘Musical Champions’ in the sessions that follow with the whole class, if they choose to be.

Weeks 2-10

Delivery continues with the whole class with a performance at the end of the term’s learning, either to another class in school, to parents, or a recording that is shared with friends and family.

Subsequent terms

If a class within your school is receiving a further term from the same Essex Music Service tutor for subsequent terms, week one for each new term can be another head start session.

This is a great opportunity for the tutor to identify a small number of children and young people (same as last term or newly identified) who might benefit. This will consequently act as a way of ensuring good progress and learning for all pupils, making sure all needs and situations are accommodated.

To learn about other ways that Essex Music Service can support children and you people within your school with additional needs, including adapted instruments, please contact Emma Stoffer, Music Service Inclusion Lead Officer (