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

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  • 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 schools1 OR during evenings or Saturday mornings at EMS-run Community Music Centres2, PLUS reduced termly rental rates for instrument hire3, and a bursary for membership of County Music Groups4.

1 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.

2 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).

3 Instrument hire scheme deposits and delivery charges are not discounted.

4 For membership of County Music Groups including attendance at workshops, courses and tours.

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 benefits5, 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

5 HMRC must have assessed your annual household income at £22,000 or less.

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

Looked After Children (LAC) and children subject to special arrangements Essex Music Services can provide Looked After Children and children subject to special arrangements with free individual or small group tuition in Essex schools6 OR at EMS-run Community Music Centres7 during evenings or Saturday mornings, PLUS free instrument hire8 and free membership of County Music Groups9This provision is generously funded by Essex Virtual School.

6 Free tuition for 1 x 15 min lesson per child per week only (10 sessions per term) OR Band-It! small group Rock and Pop tuition.  Tuition must be provided by tutors contracted through EMS.  If the school concerned does not currently contract EMS to provide tuition on the appropriate instrument, the school will need to approach EMS first in order to find a suitable tutor. 7 1 x free Community Music Centre lesson package (these typically include theory and aural classes, ensembles and choirs as well as individual instrumental and vocal tuition). 8 Instrument hire scheme deposits are not discounted; however delivery of the instrument to school would be free of charge. 9 Free membership of County Music Groups including attendance at workshops, courses and tours.

Qualifying criteria:

Financial support is awarded annually, covering each academic year (September to August) via an online application process, including the submission of our short application form (and subject to approval from EMS), for students in the following situations:

  • Looked After Children (LAC).
  • Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order (SGO).
  • Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order (CAO).
  • Children adopted from care.

Carers, social workers or teachers may apply on a young person’s behalf.  Simply download the short application form and upload it on the application page.