Music service


Waltham Forest Music Service is the lead partner in Waltham Forest Music Education Hub (WFMEH) which was established in 2018.

The Waltham Forest Music Service gives children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to:

  • learn to sing
  • learn to make music with others
  • fulfil their potential in music.

Office opening hours

  • Monday - 12pm to 4.30pm
  • Tuesday - 9.30am to 12.30pm
  • Wednesday - 12pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday - 12pm to 4.30pm
  • Friday - 9.30am to 12.30pm

Term time office opening hours

  • Monday - 12pm to 4.30pm
  • Tuesday - 9.30am to 12.30pm
  • Wednesday - 12pm to 4.30/6.30pm*
  • Thursday - 12pm to 4.30pm
  • Friday - 9.30am to 12.30pm

*Open until 6.30pm during Music School term time and 4.30pm on other weeks. Music School term dates are below.

Contact us

Waltham Forest Music Service
12 Church Hill
E17 3AG

Telephone: 020 8496 1584

To keep up-to-date on our music related workshops, events, classes, news and inspiration you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram or subscribe to our seasonal newsletter.

Read our spring term news

Read about the launch of our new Music Education Hub

Thank you to Norman's Musical Instruments for their support.

We provide lessons to schools across Waltham Forest. The instruments vary from school to school and can include:

  • Brass: cornet, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba
  • Woodwind: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, recorder
  • Strings: violin, viola, cello, double bass
  • Percussion and drum kit
  • Guitar (acoustic, electric and bass)
  • Piano and keyboard
  • Singing

How to book

For lessons at your child's school, contact your school's Head of Music or Music Co-ordinator to see what instruments are available.

If the instrument your child wishes to learn isn’t available at the school, ask the school to contact the Music Service to see if lessons can be provided in school.

Individual instrumental tuition is also available after school and on Saturdays at our Music School (although there can be a waiting list).

To register your interest, complete and return the form below:

Download music/theory lessons request form (PDF)

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) supports young musicians by making instrument buying more realistic and affordable. If your child is learning with WFMS you may be eligible to buy an instrument through us and save the VAT. To take advantage of this, speak to your child's instrumental teacher about what make and model to consider. Then, contact the WFMS office to discuss eligibility and the next steps.

You can hire an instrument for £20 per term (£10 for families on a low income).

How to hire

  1. Your child’s teacher starts to fill in a hire form (including the best size of instrument)
  2. Your child brings the form home for you to complete
  3. Call us on 020 8496 1584 to arrange collection of your instrument from WF Music Service, 12 Church Hill, Walthamstow, London E17 3AG

Groups and ensembles Click to get info

We run a variety of groups and ensembles for instrumentalists and singers of all abilities. Here, children can use the skills they develop in lessons, while improving their confidence and performance ability through a fun and sociable learning experience.

Music School pupils have regular performance and workshop opportunities. Our groups have recently performed at the Barbican, Cadogan Hall and Trafalgar Square.

Get information on when and where our groups meet in our timetable for groups and ensembles section.

Junior Guitar Group
Beginner – pre Grade 1
For children who have just started to play guitar and want to learn the basics of playing both single notes and chords. There will be opportunities for live performances which are great fun and help to develop confidence and skill.

Beginner Winds
Beginner – pre Grade 1 | Instrument: All woodwind and brass
An entry level wind ensemble for children who have been learning a woodwind or brass instrument for about a term and now want to experience the enjoyment of playing and performing with others as part of a group. We play pieces that are fun and accessible and are designed to enhance confidence and ensemble skills. Weekly rehearsals lead towards a concert performance at the end of every term.

Woodland Strings
: Beginner – pre Grade 1 | Instrument: Violin, viola, cello, double bass
A string ensemble of violinists, violists, cellists and double bassists with a repertoire varied in style and including jazz, classical and world music. Designed to serve as a foundation for ensemble orchestral experience, progress is showcased in a performance at the end of each term to give our young musicians an early taste of performing.

Drumming Group
Beginner – pre Grade 1
Aimed at children aged 8+ who are already learning an instrument and want to improve their rhythm skills, or beginners who have an interest in learning percussion. The group will play different styles of percussion music, such as Brazilian Samba and African Djembe drumming.

Junior Choir
Beginner – pre Grade 1 | Age: 6+
A mixed voice ensemble open to children of all abilities from age 6. Through a wide range of songs from classical to pop, including musicals and world music, we cover all aspects of the singing technique to build a solid foundation for singers and performers. All sessions begin with fun movement, vocal warm-ups, technical exercises and singing games. No previous musical training is necessary but bags of enthusiasm are.

Recorder Group
Beginner – pre Grade 1
Learn how to play the recorder and read music notation with new friends. Develop your skills through musical activities and games, and learn music to play on our own as well as with others. Come and join in the fun!

Guitar Group
Junior - Grade 1-2
Aimed at students who have experience reading Guitar Tab and playing chords - barre and open. This is a great opportunity to meet like-minded musicians who want to have fun playing popular songs and gain performance experience. The group rehearse during the school term and actively choose repertoire, usually in the rock or pop genre, incorporating drummers, bassists and vocalists.

Training Wind Band
Junior - Grade 1-2 | Instrument: All woodwind
For students of any wind instrument who want to play and explore music in various styles. From pieces with backing tracks and singing, to those that are well known with percussion, we add to our musical knowledge and instrumental technique by learning from new friends and different instruments, playing repertoire with many parts.

Saturday Strings
Junior - Grade 1-2 | Instrument: All string
An ensemble for young string players who want to develop their newly acquired skills in understanding dynamics, getting to grips with different finger positions and an appreciation of interpretation. Rehearsals are varied and involve a mixture of working from sheet music, and using improvisation and various musical tools to enhance the experience of learning. Performances take place at the end of every term in various venues, included Walthamstow Assembly Hall.

Funk in the Forest
Intermediate - Grade 3+ | Instrument: Trumpet, saxophone, trombone, guitar, piano, bass and drums
A classic small jazz-funk combo consisting of front line trumpets, saxophones, trombones and rhythm section guitar, piano, bass and drums. The ensemble gives students an opportunity to perform in the styles of jazz, funk, rock and soul, along with developing more creative skills, such as improvisation and composition.

Wind Band
Intermediate - Grade 3+ | Instrument: All woodwind, brass and percussion
A fantastic opportunity to experience fun music making and to meet new friends who are at a similar standard on their instruments. Join our musical family and learn about ensemble playing and team work, while experiencing an exciting new way of progressing on your instrument. We play a wide range of repertoire including classical, soul and film music.

Forest Strings
Intermediate - Grade 3+ | Instrument: All string
Following on from Woodland Strings and Saturday Strings, this is a wonderful opportunity for more advanced musicians to play an eclectic and diverse mix of repertoire, meet like-minded individuals, and share the fulfilling and essential experience of making music together. Each term culminates in an exciting concert. Forest Strings provides a firm foundation for progression to the Youth Orchestra.

Dance Band
Advanced - Grade 5 | Instrument: Flute, clarinet, alto sax, violin, viola, bass guitar
A small group for individual musicians, we perform special arrangements of 30s, 40s and more recent songs composed, for example, by Gershwin or Cole Porter. More members are always welcome.

Youth Orchestra
Advanced - Grade 4+ | Instrument: All string, woodwind, brass and percussion
Join one of our most advanced groups and cover core classical repertoire, from Beethoven to Mozart, with the opportunity to regularly perform at various venues around the borough. This is a great opportunity for young musicians to develop their ensemble skills to a high level and share their love of music with like-minded instrumentalists.

Forest Vocal Collective
Age: 11+
Join the group and sing songs in various styles from all over the world, including jazz, folk, RnB and soul, with a repertoire that includes songs from Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, ELO, Michael Jackson and David Bowie. Each member has their own eclectic music taste and this variation is reflected in the material that we write or perform each term. We always welcome new singers, beatboxers, MCs, songwriters and performers.

Composition Club
Age: 11+
For students in Year 7 and above who have a good technical foundation on their instrument and some experience with music theory. The group is based on learning and using different techniques for writing music, with an opportunity to get help with any school work that involves this, e.g. GCSE music coursework. Students have the opportunity to play their works, or have them played, at the end of term music school concerts.

Baby Mini Musicians | Age: 3–18 months
Toddler Mini Musicians | Age: 18 months – 4 years
Music is a great tool for language and social development. Mini Musicians for babies and toddlers are a fun way for parents and children to interact with each other through music. These classes are designed to help children feel more secure so they can cope better with new experiences, whilst having fun with a huge repertoire of songs, rhymes, action and rhythm games and dance. Daily routines such as nappy changing, bath time, meal times, waking and sleeping are more enjoyable if done using a wide range of musical activities. Singing is at the heart of these sessions but we also use musical instruments and toys to accompany some of the songs, so expect to do lots of physical movements too!

Mini Musicians Next Steps | Age: 4-6 years
Mini Musicians Next Steps is a new exciting opportunity for children aged 4-6 to learn about musical concepts through singing, playing and dancing. This 10 week course offers an invaluable chance to experience and enjoy music as listeners, creators and performers, whilst laying the foundation for future instrumental and vocal training. During the course children will engage in a wide range of activities that focus on vocal development and learning about musical elements such as tempo, rhythm, pitch and dynamics.

Trombone group
Level: Beginner
A small group for six complete beginner students to master the basics of the trombone. Instrument hire is included in special price of £30 for 10 x 30 minute lessons.

Beginner - pre Grade 1

Junior Guitar Group (Mission Grove Primary School E17 7EJ) 

Mon 4 - 5pm

Beginner Winds

Mon 4:30 - 5:30pm
Beginner Trombones (limited places) Tues 5.30 - 6pm

Woodland Strings

Thu 4.15 - 5.15pm

Drumming Group

Thu 6.30 - 7.30pm

Junior Choir​

Sat 10.30 - 11.30am

Recorder Group​

Sat 12.15 - 1pm

Junior - Grade 1-2

Guitar Group

Tue 5.30 - 6.30pm

Training Wind Band

Wed 4.30 - 5.30pm

Saturday Strings

Sat 9.15 - 10.15am

Intermediate - Age 11+

Forest Vocal Collective (Big Creative Academy E17 6HL)

Tues 5.30 - 7.00pm
Composition Club Thu 4.15 - 5.15pm

Intermediate - Grade 3+

Funk in the Forest

Mon 5.30 - 6.30pm

Wind Band

Wed 5.30 - 6.30pm

Forest Strings

Thu 5.30 - 6.30pm

Advanced - Grade 4+

Dance Band

Wed 5.30 - 6.30pm

Youth Orchestra

Wed 6.30 - 8pm

Note: All groups are held at Waltham Forest Music School, 12 Church Hill, Walthamstow E17 3AG unless otherwise stated. * Held at Mission Grove Primary School, Buxton Road E17 7EJ.


Music School membership is £29 per 10 week term (£14.50 for families on a low income). 

Pay your fees online

How to book

To join a Music School group just arrive 15 minutes before the start of the class to register. You’ll need to complete a Health and Safety form before your child starts their class - our staff can give you this or you can download it here.

Download Health and Safety form (PDF)

Theory lessons and prices Click to get info

We offer theory classes in small, relaxed groups at our Music School to help develop your child’s understanding of music. Thirty minute classes are available on:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 4.30 to 5.30pm
  • Saturday, 8.30 to 10.30am


  • £35.50 for each 10 week term for Music School students (£27 for families on a low income)
  • £48 for each 10 week term for non-Music School students (£40.50 for families on a low income)

Pay your fees online

How to book

To join a theory group just arrive 15 minutes before the start of the class to register. You’ll need to complete a Health and Safety form before your child starts their class - our staff can give you this or you can download it here.

Health and Safety form (PDF)

Each teaching term lasts 10 weeks - fees are calculated as a share of the total price for those starting during the term. We need a half term’s notice to cancel lessons.

One membership covers any number of Music School groups.

A free taster session is available on request.

Pay online

Prices shown are per term.

Music School Tuition  Length (mins) Full Price Low income*
Individual lessons 20 £136.50 £94.50
Individual lessons 30 £194 £136.50
Adult Lessons 60 £45 NA


  Group Full Price Low income*
Learning at WFMS 30 £35.50 £27
Not learning at WFMS 30 £48 £40.50


Beginner trombone group (30 mins) inc. instrument hire  £30 

Other charges

  Full Price Low income*
Music School Ensemble Membership £29 £14.50
Instrument Hire £20 £10

* Proof of low income is required to qualify for reduced fees. Please show original copies of housing benefit or reduced Council Tax letter to the Music Service office.

Toddler and baby groups

  Full Price
Toddler Mini Musicians: first child £65.50
Toddler Mini Musicians: second child £52.50
Baby Mini Musicians: first child £58
Baby Mini Musicians: second child £45
Mini Musicians Next Steps: first child £58
£29 Low income

Music School dates 2017-18

2017-18 First half Second half
Autumn 16 Sep - 19 Oct 30 Oct - 2 Dec
Spring 6 Jan - 10 Feb 19 Feb - 22 Mar
Summer 16 Apr - 26 May 4 Jun - 2 Jul

We run a music making session for babies and toddlers at our Music Service, 12 Church Hill, Walthamstow E17 3AG.

Taught by Early Years Music specialists, the classes include singing, dancing and playing with lots of different instruments.

  • Mini Musicians Next Steps (4 - 6 years): Mondays, 4 to 4.45pm
  • Baby Mini Musicians (birth - 18 months): Tuesdays, 11.15 to 12 midday
  • Toddler Mini Musicians (18 months to 4 years): Tuesdays, 10.15 to 11am
  • Toddler Mini Musicians (18 months to 4 years): Fridays, 10.15 to 11am and 11.15 – 12 midday


  • Baby Mini Musicians: first child £58, second child £45
  • Toddler Mini Musicians: first child £65.50, second child £52.50
  • Mini Musicians Next Steps: £58, £29 Low income

How to book

Please contact the Music Service by email to / 020 8496 1584 to book these classes - spaces are limited.

Performance dates Click to get info

Spring 2018

23 February 5pm WFMS Beginners Concert, 12 Church Hill
28 February ABRSM Theory exams
28 February London Symphony Orchestra WFMS residency @ WFMS Wind Bands
3 March 11.30am WFMS String School Workshop & Concert Sixth Form
6 March Funk in the Forest @ Music For Youth Competition, Union Chapel Islington
8 March WFMS Solo Performance Concert, Leyton Sixth Form College
14 and 21 March March London Symphony Orchestra WFMS residency @ WFMS Wind Bands
18 March 6pm & 7pm Training Wind Band & Wind Band perform at the Barbican
23 March 5pm WFMS Beginners Concert, 12 Church Hill
24 March Youth Orchestra Concert at St Mary’s Music Hall E17 - Buy tickets here
28 March WFMS Music School Concert, Leyton Sixth Form

We hold exams each term with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Rockschool Ltd at our music school. The exams lay good foundations for music making while encouraging students to reach their full potential.

We support pupils all the way through their exam preparation by:

  • providing an accompanist and extra rehearsal sessions
  • offering theory and aural classes to boost exam success
  • holding a Certificate Presentation Concert to celebrate high achievers

Exam dates

  ABRSM Practical exams
28 February Theory exams, Woodford County High
30 April - 2 May Practical Exams, 12 Church Hill
16 June Theory exams, Woodford County High
17,18,19 July Practical Exams, 12 Church Hill