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The online application process is now available for you to apply for lessons and ensembles.

General Enquiries line 01438 844851.

We are currently experiencing a high call volume; we may be unable to take your call and the mailbox may be full. If this is the case please email and we will aim to respond to your message as soon as possible. 

Thank you very much for your patience.

Some schools manage their own music lesson billing. In those cases, contact the school direct. We manage billing directly with all other schools.

School-billed schools

If your child's school is listed here, please contact the school to arrange instrumental music lessons.

  • Barnwell School (108)
  • Batchwood School (643)
  • Breakspeare School (884)
  • Broxbourne Secondary School (275)
  • Central Primary School (725)
  • Cranbourne Primary School (294)
  • Goffs Oak Primary School (355)
  • Hitchin Boys' School (030)
  • Knights Templar School (001)
  • Laurance Haines School (722)
  • Loreto College (404)
  • Micklem Primary School (844)
  • Mount Grace School (651)
  • Parmiter's School (760)
  • Presdales School (301)
  • Richard Hale School (245)
  • Roselands Primary School (297)
  • Simon Balle School (246)
  • The Valley School (619)


Help with music feesMusic therapyExamsHow parents can help


Online Learning

Online lessons for individual tuition will now be facilitated on the SpeedAdmin system. For instructions on how to access online lessons via SpeedAdmin, please see the online lesson instructions.

Parent Portal information

We a proud to offer a new Parent Portal that introduces additional features you can access via your music service account:

  • View your account balance and make payments
  • View student timetable
  • Register your child to new activities (ensembles/lessons/holiday clubs)
  • Holiday and term date information
  • Payment details

Log in to your account using your username and password by clicking the log in button at the top of this page.

If you have any questions or need guidance please visit our FAQ page.

Types of lesson

There are 3 types of instrumental lesson available:

  • Individual lessons: one to one lessons lasting between 15-60 minutes each week. Each lesson is planned specifically for your child and after only a few lessons they will be ready to join one of our music centre ensembles.
  • Shared lessons: two pupils learn an instrument together. Lessons are planned to meet the needs of both pupils. They will be invited to join a music centre ensemble after just a few lessons!
  • Small group lessons: these lessons normally last 30 minutes. Pupils learn new skills together whilst our expert teachers plan their lessons to account for the needs of each pupil. At least 3 pupils are required to begin a small group lesson.

Current lesson costs

Here are the fees for our lessons.

Some schools offer different lesson types and durations which are detailed within the registration process.

Our lesson prices, which we have strived to keep to a minimum, will have a modest increase from September 2023 as shown below. These will be reflected in your autumn term invoice.

The cost of music lessons will be:

Lesson type


Cost per lesson


20 minutes



30 minutes



30 minutes


Small group (3-6 pupils)

30 minutes


If you require help with fees we offer financial support; please visit our ‘Help with music fees’ page to find out if you’re eligible, how to apply, help you with the process of applying, answering any questions and links you may need.

Fees from 1 September 2024

We believe in the benefits of learning an instrument with friends and peers so whilst we will apply a 4% uplift to individual lesson fees, shared and small group lesson fees will increase by only 2% to support those learning in small groups.

Lesson Type Duration 2024-25
Individual 20 minutes £16.64
Individual 30 minutes £24.96
Shared 30 minutes £12.48
Small Group (3-6 students) 30 minutes £8.32

HMS will also continue to provide financial support of 50% - 100% to students who meet certain eligibility criteria. This includes discounts on accessing music centre ensembles and instrument hire.

Ensemble membership prices frozen for 2024-25

The fee for joining an HMS orchestra, band or choir (ensemble) will remain the same as this year because we believe that learning and performing with other young musicians is vital to a high-quality music education.

We have listened to your feedback and developed a cost-effective way for your child to join as many ensembles as they are able, in any of our centres at one fixed price. For £109 per term your child can join as many ensembles as they want, in any centre.

This means that if they do any more than two ensembles you begin to save money and all additional ensembles after two are essentially free.

You can still access ensembles individually and the prices for individual ensembles are:

Ensemble duration Cost per term
40 minute ‘Chamber’ ensemble £59
1 hour ensemble £59
1.5 hour ensemble £79
2 hour ensemble £99
30 minute Early Years or SEND session £49

County level ensembles and additional music making days are not part of the ensemble offer and charged separately. There are currently no planned changes to these services and further details on the plans for 2024-25 will be shared separately.

Instruments, equipment and exams

Will my child need an instrument?

Yes, you should arrange to hire or buy an instrument before the first lesson. HMS offers a small number of instruments for loan at a subsidised rate, but there are numerous instrument retailers that run a ‘loan to buy’ scheme that make high quality instruments affordable and they can be delivered to your door.

It is a good idea to hire string instruments in particular as your child will quickly outgrow the different sizes, depending on what age they start.


Are there any age restrictions on starting instruments?

There are not any age restrictions, however some schools request that pupils start learning once they reach Year 3. Your child can start learning from any age at all HMS music centres.

Below is a very approximate age guide to starting certain instruments. Each individual child's development is an important factor so please discuss the suitability of starting certain instruments with us if you're not sure.

  • Age 4-5 onwards: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass (they make 1/8th, 1/10th and even 1/16th sized string instruments!), Piano/Keyboard, Recorder.
  • Age 6-7 onwards: Guitar (Electric/Classical), Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Cornet, Trombone (lighter, plastic brass instruments are available), Drum Kit/Percussion.
  •  Age 8-9 onwards: Saxophone, larger Brass instruments, Voice, Harp.

Will my child need any books or music?

Yes, music books are important to help your child progress in their learning. Your child’s teacher will let you know which book is most suitable for your child, and where to buy it from. Most books will last for the first 6-12 months of learning and many have exam pieces included. Online music shops usually keep a stock of the most popular books which can be posted to you.

You will be provided with an HMS practice book to keep a log of what to practice and chart your progress!


Will my child miss class time for their music lessons?

If you select lessons at your child’s school, then it is likely they will miss some class time. HMS teachers make every effort to ensure pupils don’t miss the same class each week, and music lessons can actually significantly benefit academic learning. HMS teachers liaise with each school they teach at regularly to keep updated on pupil progress.


When will my child take an exam?

Your child’s teacher will inform you if your child is ready for an exam. You do not have to complete exams on any instrument to join a music centre ensemble. Exams may not be suitable for every child – the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy making music!

More about music exams

Payments, invoices and missed lessons

How do I pay my bill?

An invoice will be sent, usually by email which will have all the necessary payment instructions. If your child’s lessons are arranged by the school, please contact the school office.

If I have a question about my invoice, who do I contact?

All invoice queries for lessons at a school or music centre should be emailed to the relevant address found in Section 12 of the Terms and Conditions.

If my child misses a lesson, will I get a refund?

Please see Section 10 of the full terms and conditions for more information about missed lessons.

Full terms and conditions

If my child misses a lesson, will I get a refund?

We must receive at least one weeks’ notice if you need to cancel a lesson for any reason. Consideration will be given to missed lessons for medical appointments. If the required notice is not given, the lesson will be charged for and not rescheduled.

Full terms and conditions