Wider Opportunities

Wider Opportunities

To fulfill our commitment to giving all the children of Trafford access to music tuition, we run Wider Opportunities courses in schools for Key Stage 1 and 2  pupils.

One of our specialist instrumental teachers will enter the school for a 10 week period, and assisted by the class teacher/teaching assistant, they will teach a combination of basic musical principles through Dalcroze techniques  (musical movement activities), Kodaly inspired approaches  (vocal material) and actual instrumental tuition and performance.

Wider Opportunities courses are specific to each school, they are tailored to suit the previous musical education and age range of the class to be taught. Each course usually ends with a short concert in the school, which is hopefully attended by parents and the rest of the school’s pupils with an Award Certificate being presented at the end. If the school do not want an end of course concert, then they should inform the Music Service prior to the start of the 10 week course.

Wider Opportunities Philosophy

As our courses are 10 weeks long, we use a variety of techniques and course content to help children achieve the very maximum possible from their Wider Opportunities course. Without overloading the children with specific technique for a particular instrument, we use these instrumental lessons to introduce and develop them to universal musical concepts such as pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and ensemble skills.

We believe that singing and movement are at the heart of musical learning for our children. All our Wider Opportunities courses are taught using Kodaly and Dalcroze approaches married with the individual experience and style of our specialised tutors. This means that all of our children, whatever instrument they are learning, have opportunities in lessons to feel, experience and comprehend musical pulse and subdivision. This is done through aural presentation and movement based concepts such as simple 4 and 8 beat patterns using walk (crotchets), jogging (quavers), stride (minims) and ‘slow’ (semibreves) to represent rhythms.

Children will learn to respond to a number of pitched signals accompanied by the Curwen hand-signs. These signals embed important intervals in the development of a child’s sense of pitch. These intervals are sung and played. Songs that include these patterns are included in the children’s learning and the result is they are often able to identify the pitch patterns correctly within a song or piece of music that they are playing on their instrument.

Through our use of Kodaly and Dalcroze, we notice that our children have a solid foundation on which to build their future learning. Our children at the end of 10 weeks will have learnt the following:

  • Correct posture when playing and singing
  • Singing in unison and solo, with action songs to reinforce the learning
  • Some children will have progressed further and will sing in parts or rounds
  • The children will be able to play a range of short pieces on their instruments and will be mostly using quavers, crotchets, minims and semibreves
  • The children will also learn how to care for and set up their own instrument.

As well as developing our children’s musicianship, this approach allows them to express themselves physically and emotionally in a situation where they feel uninhibited. They also learn how to be expressive with their voices using whispering, talking and singing. The musical activities in the lessons will all lead to the children developing their thinking voices and internalising a strong sense of rhythm.

Wider Opportunities involves the whole class learning and performing together alongside their class teacher for 10 weeks. Our vision is for our children to continue with their musicality beyond the classroom, both in and out of school. Depending on the instrument, our children have the opportunity to take their instrument home for the duration of the course and to share their musical learning at home.

Wider Opportunities Course Details

Our Wider Opportunities programmes are based around a specific instrument or family of instruments. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Samba Percussion
  • African Drumming
  • Cello
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Cornet
  • Tenor Horn
  • French Horn
  • Saxophone
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Fife
  • Recorder
  • Ocarina
  • Oboe/Bassoon
  • Ukulele
  • Guitar
  • Percussion (Little Drummers)
  • Percussion (Little Shakers)
  • Little Voices
  • Steel Pans

At the end of the 10 week programme, those children who have taken an interest in the music tuition have the opportunity to have an instrumental tutor continue teaching in their school. This comes in the form of 1-to-1 and small group instrumental tuition.

There is an expectation that schools will continue to support those pupils who wish to continue learning an instrument after the Wider Opportunities programmes by enabling group and individual tuition to take place in school. Where it is not possible to access lessons in school, children may join our Music Centre out of school.


Get in touch with us at music.service@Trafford.gov.uk and then Book your Wider Opportunities Project now!