transforming young lives and communities through music

The Mayor of Islington's Charity 2015/16

How we work

The Music First Hubs provide a funded weekly, high-quality musical experience for primary school pupils. Students participate in choir, musicianship sessions, have small group instrumental lessons, and play in larger sectional ensembles and orchestra. They are assigned a regular tutor who teaches them on their instrument throughout the academic year. Alongside the orchestra repertoire, children work towards the Music First Award scheme (there are 3 award levels which act as a pathway towards ABRSM grade exams).


Music First Hubs are open to children aged 7-11 from our linked Islington schools. A selection of children from each primary school is put forward for the programme by the Headteacher, Music coordinator or Arts First tutor at the school. Students are nominated/chosen on the basis of: social need; showing commitment and enthusiasm to music in school; and demonstrating potential promising musical talent.


Each child is loaned an instrument, receives tuition, and participates in inspirational music-making activities at the weekly after-school Music First Hub.


3-6pm every week - 10 weeks per term


On joining, a young person comes under the care of a Music First hub Leader, assisted by Music First’s team of tutors and the Hub Coordinator. Teaching Assistants from the linked schools escort the children from school and are responsible for their pastoral care whilst at the Hub, including keeping letters of permission, contact details for parents/carers, and any other safeguarding information.


We encourage parents/carers to assist and support the children in practicing at home, looking after their instruments and attending weekly.


The Hub sessions are provided by Music First tutors who are highly qualified and experienced musicians and teachers. Tutors meet before and after the Hub and, under the guidance of the Hub Leader, carefully plan lessons and orchestra sessions to ensure that pupils receive a cohesive musical experience.


Expected outcomes for students who have been attending the Hub over one year are:

Note reading

Able to read notes on the stave and common rhythms

Able to follow and read orchestral music

Group learning

Evident ensemble skills


Can confidently hold a part in a two-part piece


Can understand how to play with expression

Social development

Is responsible for their learning and that of others, is able to lead, knows how to be a team player and is a confident role model

Music First

c/o Brewers’ Company

Brewers Hall

Aldermanbury Square

London EC2V 7HR

Music First is a registered trademark of Viacom International inc., used under licence

Registered Charity Number 1136028