Tuition discounts are available for low-income families.

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Essex Music Services (EMS) provides financial support to enable students from low-income families and/or disadvantaged backgrounds to access the following:

  • Individual or small group instrumental and vocal tuition
  • Instrument hire (covering a range of orchestral and electric instruments)
  • EMS-run Community Music Centres
  • EMS-run County Music Groups


Discounts for low-income families 

Essex Music Services can provide financial support towards the cost of individual or small group tuition:

  • in Essex schools
    • Discount applied to fees is based on 66% cost of 1 x 15 min lesson per child per week only (10 sessions per term), or
    • 50% cost of Band-It! small group Rock and Pop tuition
    • Tuition must be provided by tutors contracted through EMS


  • during evenings or Saturday mornings at EMS-run Community Music Centres
    • Discount applied to fees is based on 66% cost of 1 x Community Music Centre lesson package:
    • these typically include theory and aural classes, ensembles and choirs as well as individual instrumental and vocal tuition.


  • reduced termly rental rates for instrument hire
    • instrument hire scheme deposits and delivery charges are not discounted
  • and a bursary for membership of County Music Groups
    • for membership of County Music Groups including attendance at workshops, courses and tours.

Further details:

Financial support is awarded annually, covering each academic year (September to August) via an online application process, including the submission of appropriate documentation (subject to approval from EMS), for parents/guardians in receipt of any of the following benefits (HMRC must have assessed your annual household income at £22,000 or less), or if not claiming benefits can provide alternative evidence of household income not exceeding £22,000 per annum:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Working/Child Tax Credit – providing that you receive more than the basic £545.34 per annum (excluding any childcare element)
  • Universal Credit

Applicants who receive other eligible benefits, e.g. State or Widow’s Pension or disability benefit, should also receive Child Tax Credit if they are responsible for caring for a child or children.

Discount rates applicable with effect from 1 April 2019:

  • £50.75 per term towards in-school tuition fees
  • 66% reduction on fees at Community Music Centres (1 x package only)
  • 50% reduction on instrument hire scheme termly rental fees
  • 66% reduction on fees for County Music Groups workshops, courses and tours
  • 50% reduction for Band-It! small group Rock and Pop tuition fees