Instrumental Music Programme

Click here to download the brochure


Guide to choosing an Instrument
There really is no golden rule in deciding which instrument to go for, but considering the following should really help.

  1. Motivation: The student must show an interest in the chosen instrument. This motivation can come about for many different reasons – perhaps a friend or family member plays that instrument, perhaps they love the sound or the way it looks, or they like the teacher of that instrument in school, or they want to join a local group or band they’ve seen, or they have seen the instrument at a concert or on TV. The key thing is that the student wants to do it. Learning an instrument is not easy, so trying to learn one you don’t really want to do at the outset really won’t help!
  2. Making Music with Others: Consider whether your chosen instrument will offer opportunities to play music with other people or not. Students who learn instruments such as violin, celloflutesaxophoneclarinettrumpetoboetrombone, french horn, saxophone will soon be able to play in music groups with others. Playing music with others can open up all sorts of exciting possibilities, such as being able to take part in concerts and trips. Playing music this way is, for many, where the excitement of music lies. Being part of a music group is a great way to make lifelong friends! Group opportunities are also available for pianists, guitarists and drummers. Vocalists can sing in the choir or in a band and take part in Talent Night.

Choose a brass instrument to play

​Here are all the brass instruments we have available for you to play. If you wish to learn an alternative brass instrument, get in touch and we'll try to accommodate you.

What are brass instruments?

Essentially, a brass instrument is a long pipe with a mouthpiece at one end and a bell-shaped opening at the other, which has been coiled and shaped for easy use. Sound is produced by the player vibrating or buzzing their lips against the mouthpiece. The player can change the pitch of the note by pressing down valves which lengthen the tube itself or by alternating their embouchure.

Play the French Horn

French horn.

The french horn has all the tubing wrapped into a coil ending in a flared bell. The french horn is actually 2 instruments combined into one and is not French. The french horn plays across a very wide range across 4 octaves and is a popular solo instrument in the orchestra.

Play the Trombone



The trombone changes its pitch in a different way to the other brass instruments. Instead of using valves, the player moves a slide to change the length of the tube. Of all brass instruments, the trombone has changed the least from its early ancestors.

Play the Trumpet

The trumpet has the highest note range of any of the brass instruments. The trumpet is the oldest brass instrument – trumpets were found in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Play the Piano



The piano is a complete instrument - it can play the whole musical score. There is a huge repertoire of music from all styles and from different time periods that can be played on the piano.
Pianos also sometimes play as part of a part of an orchestra, or as a soloist with an orchestra as there are many concertos written for the piano. As you progress and improve you will be able to play duets with other players and also accompany other students in exams and concerts.

Take Singing Lessons

Singing, like all music-making, has many benefits, not just for developing musical skills but also for improving health and wellbeing. Singing is scientifically proven to have an effect on our immune systems, improve confidence and self-esteem, lower stress levels and help children's educational development. 
To find out more about the benefits of singing, view or download the Singing Is Good For You! leaflet from the British Voice Association.

Play the Drums

Drum kit.

Choose a woodwind instrument to play

Here are all the woodwind instruments we have available for you to play through the Rochdale Music Service. If you wish to learn an alternative woodwind instrument, get in touch and we'll try to accommodate you.

​What are woodwind instruments?

All woodwind instruments make a sound either by blowing through a reed, which is a piece of cane specially shaped to make a sound such as with clarinets or by splitting the air across a hard edge such as with flutes and recorders.

Play the Bassoon


The bassoon is a low sounding, bass, double-reed instrument like the oboe as it sounds through 2 pieces of cane tied tightly together. The modern bassoon was developed from the early 1700s and today plays an important role in orchestras and wind bands. The early ancestor of the bassoon is called a curtal or dulcian.
Modern bassoons are made from maple wood, plastic or resins. The bassoon has a very wide range of 3.5 octaves. The bassoon is an 'endangered species' - choose this instrument and you will be in demand.

Play the Clarinet

The clarinet is a fairly new addition to the orchestra. Early clarinets first appeared in Germany in the 1700s. Like all the instruments in this family, it comes in different sizes from the small E flat clarinet to the contrabass clarinet. The first 3 sizes are regularly used in wind bands and orchestras.
Other sizes of clarinet include piccolo, basset horns, alto and contrabass clarinets. The contrabass clarinet is much rarer. The clarinet is also played in jazz and swing bands and klezmer music. There is a large repertoire of music for the clarinet. Clarinets are most commonly made from plastic or wood but some have been made of metal which was popular with klezmer musicians.

Play the Flute

Flute and piccolo.

The flute plays the highest notes of all the woodwind instruments. Flutes are ancient instruments - the first flutes were made of bone and are up to 43,000 years old. Nearly all the different world cultures have a flute, which looks similar to our modern flute but can be made from jade, bone, wood or even iron.
Our orchestral flutes, known as traverse flutes or cross flutes, are held sideways and are made of metal, sometimes from solid silver or even gold. The earliest cross flutes we know of were made in India around 1,500 years ago. Flutes have a very wide repertoire of music to choose from and play a key role in orchestras, wind bands and folk music. Like all instruments in the woodwind family, the flute comes in different sizes.

Play the Oboe

Like the bassoon, the oboe has a double reed which generates the sound. This is 2 pieces of cane tied tightly together. The oboe has ancient ancestors in the aulos which was played in ancient Greece. A more recent ancestor is the medieval and renaissance shawm.
The oboe also comes in different sizes. The most common lower oboe is the cor anglais but check out the Oboe d'Amore – which means the 'oboe of love' and the bass oboe which is heard in the Planets suite by Gustav Holst. The oboe is played in orchestras and wind bands and film music. It is a popular solo instrument. The oboe has a beautiful sound which has been described as close to the human voice. The oboe is an 'endangered species' choose this and you will be in demand.


Play the Saxophone


Saxophones are the newest addition to the woodwind family. They were invented by Adophe Sax and patented on 28 June 1846. Although they are members of the woodwind family, saxophones are made of brass. They are part of the woodwind family because they use a single reed like a clarinet to make the sound.
Saxophones come in a complete range of sizes. The saxophone is used by composers of a very wide range of different types of music, from orchestral where it is a relatively rare instrument to wind bands and jazz or big bands where it is a vital player as well as rock and pop music, blues, reggae and soul music. There are also saxophone choirs or groups of varying sizes. If you want the option to play in a lot of different genres of music, the saxophone may be for you.

Choose a string instrument to play

​Here are all the string instruments we have available for you to play through the Rochdale Music Service. If you wish to learn an alternative string instrument, get in touch and we'll try to accommodate you.

What are string instruments?

Orchestral string instruments are made from different kinds of wood with nylon or steel strings added. They can be played by plucking or bowing across the strings. The bow is made from the hair from horses' tails. String players gain many skills as each arm is doing something different - one arm bows when one is fingering the instrument.

Play the Cello



The word cello is actually an abbreviation of ‘violoncello’ and a person who plays one is called a cellist. The cello is an amazing instrument, capable of performing multiple musical roles with a rich, sonorous tone that balances out the high pitch of other instruments. Many modern brands have used the cello in their music, such as Aerosmith, Nirvana and Coldplay.

Play the Double Bass


Double bass.

The double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched instrument of the orchestra and is so-called because it originally doubled the bass line of the music. It supplies power, weight and the basic foundation of the orchestra. The double bass is nearly 2 metres high and bass players stand or sit on a high stool to play it. However, we have some scaled-down versions for younger players.
The bass was the most popular instrument in the 1950s but is now 'endangered' despite being really important in jazz, folk, blues and country music.

Play the Viola


The viola is slightly larger than the violin and therefore plays deeper sounds. It has a rich, mellow tone and blends beautifully with other members of the orchestra, providing support for all the other strings. Despite violas being the oldest stringed instrument, dating from the 1530s, viola players are an endangered species and learners are urgently needed.

Play the Violin



The violin may be the smallest member of the string family, but it is the most flexible and arguably the most important, as violinists lead orchestras, form the main part of the orchestra and also play in folk groups, pop and rock groups and even hip-hop and rap. If you play the violin you will have countless options for what kind of music you can play.

Choose a guitar family instrument to play

​​​Here are all the guitar family instruments we have available for you to play through the Rochdale Music Service. If you wish to learn an alternative guitar family instrument, get in touch and we'll try to accommodate you.

What are guitar family instruments?

Play the Guitar

The guitar is perhaps best known as a rock and pop instrument, key to a huge number of bands, but it is so much more than that. 
The guitar has a very long history and guitar-like instruments are played in all countries and societies, so if you can play the guitar you will have the chance to try out a large range of others instruments and styles.

Acoustic guitar.

Play the Electric Guitar

The acoustic guitar is the classic form of the instrument, with a history spanning 4000 years. The classic modern design took shape in the Renaissance era. Strings of nylon or steel are stretched over a wooden frame to create the instrument. Like a piano, this is a complete instrument and is often played on its own, but can also be found in bands, ensembles, or accompanying other instrumentalists and singers.

Eletric guitar.

The electric guitar is an amplified version of the acoustic guitar. The sound is created by plucking the strings, which creates electrical impulses which are carried to an amplifier. The instrument is a 20th-century invention, born out of a desire to boost the volume of guitars. This is a staple instrument in rock and pop bands.

 Instrumental Teachers



Three easy steps to apply:

Step 1: Download and read the below Terms and Conditions
  Download the Music Instrumental Programme Standards and Commitments

Step 2: Click here to complete the online application form

Step 3: Make the payment by bringing a cheque for the amount to Ms Argyro Protopapa in our Accounts department between 9.30 am to 15.30 pm.
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