Music and music tuition

This guide describes the availability and application process for specialist instrument tuition.

Types of tuition available

Expressive arts education within the Curriculum for Excellence gives all pupils a broad introduction to playing a musical instrument. In addition, there are opportunities for children to receive specialist instrument tuition.

Tuition is limited to one instrument per pupil. In exceptional circumstances, SQA Music pupils may be able to learn a second instrument, but only if no other pupils are requiring this space.

Types of tuition available

Tuition is currently available for these instruments:


trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, tenor horn, cornet, baritone horn


oboe, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon


violin, viola, cello, double bass (from S1)


bagpipes, pipe band drumming, voice (from S1), timpani and percussion (from S1), guitar, piano, keyboard

Not all instruments will be available in every primary school. Check the music availability in primary schools list for information about availability at your child’s school.

When does specialist music tuition begin?

Tuition is normally available from the year groups set out here.


School year



from P4



from P4


Pipe band drumming

from P4



from P5



from P5



Piano and keyboard

from P6




from P6



Timpani and percussion

from S1




from S1



Benefits of specialist instrumental tuition

  • instruction from professional and highly skilled teaching staff
  • opportunities to participate in an ensemble, band, orchestra or choir, and take part in regular public performances
  • excellent preparation for the graded examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and other awarding bodies
  • a written report of your child's performance, progress and prospects with his or her instrument or voice

Personal enjoyment is one of the key motivators in learning a musical instrument. We believe that children who show a reasonable aptitude for their instrument and join one or more ensembles will gain the most from the experience.

After a time, we hope that pupils will feel confident enough to take part in school extra-curricular activities on their instrument or voice and to represent their school or Stirling Council by performing at events.

How to apply for tuition

You can apply online. Remember to check tuition availability first when the music tuition application is open.

What happens next

At the start of the new session, we assess all new applicants and allocate spaces where they are available.

Pupils who are not initially offered a space will be held on our waiting list for the remainder of the academic year as spaces can become available.

There are other Council music schemes out with school and this information is given to applicants at the appropriate stage.

Parents guide to registration of interest

Continuing music tuition

If your child already receives music tuition you will need to complete an annual Continuing Music Tuition form. If your child no longer requires music tuition let us know by emailing

Ensure you have read and understood the Terms and Conditions and Declaration.

Music strategy

Our Music Strategy reflects Stirling's strategic outcomes: 

  • Prosperous: people are part of a prosperous economy that promotes inclusive growth opportunities across our communities.
  • Healthy: people are healthy and live full and positive lives, within supportive communities.
  • Achieving: people are skilled and supported to make a positive contribution to communities.
  • Resilient: people are part of safe and caring communities with an attractive, safe and sustainable environment. 

The Curriculum for Excellence framework covers all aspects of a child’s learning from age 3 to 18. Music education is a key to helping learners achieve

Musical instrument loan

Where possible, Stirling Council lends instruments to pupils free of charge for two years. After that, pupils are expected to buy or hire their own instrument.

If you’re interested in hiring or buying an instrument, speak to your child's instrument tutor first. You can do this by contacting the school.

Further information

For more information email or speak to your child's tutor.

Pass it on musical scheme

If you have any unwanted instruments or related items and would like to donate them, you can find out how by reading about our Pass it on scheme.