Music School groups
At Waltham Forest Music School we run groups for all ages and abilities
We welcome new members to all our groups – now is a great time for young people to join us in real life, make music together and meet new friends. Come along and give us a try!
Watch this short film about Music School to see what our rehearsals look like:
In this film you can meet some of the groups who performed at our Summer Showcase in July 2023 at Leyton Great Hall.
About Music School groups
In a music group, ensemble or orchestra children can use the skills they develop in lessons, while improving their confidence and performance ability through a fun and sociable learning experience.
Our Waltham Forest Music School runs music groups after school Monday to Thursday and on Saturdays - most groups are held in rehearsal spaces at Walthamstow School for Girls - check the Music School timetable for more info on the venue of each group.
Music School pupils have regular performance and workshop opportunities. Our groups regularly perform at venues around Waltham Forest as well as world renown venues including the Barbican Concert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank and Trafalgar Square.
Read more about our groups.
Music School behaviour policy
All pupils attending Music School groups and lessons are expected to follow the standards set out in the behaviour policy.
Music School fees
The membership fee for the academic year 2023-24 is £36 per term (£18 low income*).
For this fee, your son/daughter can attend one or more of our instrumental groups and choir.
Music School groups are subsidised by Arts Council England to help provide opportunities for young people to progress & develop their musical skills at an affordable fee.
* Proof of low income is required to qualify for subsidised fees. Please send copies of housing benefit or reduced Council Tax letter to the Music Service office. The Council Tax single occupancy 25% discount doesn’t apply.
How to join a Music School group:
Register on Eventbrite and tell us which group/s you'd like to attend
Pay the fees online before attending a rehearsal
Come along to the next rehearsal - see term dates in the timetable above.
Music School Term dates
Music School terms are 10 weeks long.
More about Music School groups
Beats and Bass Music Production
At this weekly music production workshop students will be given access to an online music production app and will be able to access tutorial videos to learn to produce music at home. Students will complete weekly tasks and receive feedback from our specialist tutors to help them develop and finish their tracks. They can work on an instrumental track or build their beats around a vocal acapella.
We offer this class in partnership with VIP Studio Sessions music production software. Students will receive a log-in for this cloud-based software so they can continue working on their productions at home outside of the class. No specialist music production equipment is required.
Find out more
Beginner Mixed Ensemble
Beginner to Grade 2
Our beginner mixed ensemble is for children learning any instrument to come and play music together and develop performance skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. We play music in a range of styles and welcome students ideas. Young musicians who can play a few notes up to Grade 2 level are invited to join.
Beginner to Grade 1
In the Brass Group young musicians will learn set pieces and experience the joy of making music with others! Our Brass tutors will support students to learn their part while developing their tone and technique. The weekly sessions will build on the skills students have learned in their whole class lessons at school. They’ll work towards termly performances so family and friends will be invited to come along and enjoy the wonderful sound of brass.
Watch this short film about our Big Up Brass! project to see the fun and excitement of playing brass:
Beginner to Grade 2/3
‘Junior Funksters’ perform a mixture of upbeat funk, modern pop tunes and classic jazz standards. The group is aimed at beginners up to Grade2/3 standard and rehearses on Mondays. It is welcome to all players of brass, woodwind instruments and anyone who wants to jam with the rhythm section- guitarists, bass players, pianists/keyboardists and drummers! The rehearsals cover everything from learning the basic skills needed to perform in a band to beginning to learn how to improvise on your chosen instrument, so come and join the jam!
Funk In The Forest
Grade 3 and upwards
‘Funk In The Forest’ are a classic small jazz-funk combo consisting of front line Trumpets, Trombones, Saxophones, Clarinet and rhythm section, Piano, Guitar, Bass and Drums. Funk in the Forest is aimed at students who have achieved Grade 3 or above on their chosen instrument and gives them an opportunity to perform in the styles of Jazz, Funk, Rock and Soul along with developing more creative skills such as improvisation and composition. The ensemble rehearses weekly on Mondays during term time and works on performing a large array of music, from swing and bebop to more modern Funk and Soul.
Beginners up to School Year 4
Improvers in School Year 5 or above
Guitar Group is an exciting way to meet like-minded musicians with a passion for rock and pop music. Whether you are a vocalist, drummer, keyboard player or play any type of guitar this is a great opportunity to use your skills in a real band situation. You will have the opportunity to pick your own songs and repertoire as well as the potential to write original material. You will get to perform a concert at the end of each term to show off all your hard work. Unleash your true potential as a musician and sign up today.
Little Choir of Joy
At the Little Choir of Joy children will learn lots of fun songs covering different styles including pop, folk and musical theatre. We’ll do fun warm ups, shake ourselves about and move to the beat. We’ll perform in concerts as soon as we can to share our uplifting music with others. We’re very proud that The Little Choir of Joy featured on the BBC Radio London Christmas Day Show as part of the Borough of Culture 2019.
Mini Musicians Next Steps
Our Next Steps course for children aged 4-6 years continues to develop musical skills while helping children to become more independent in their learning. It also prepares them to carry on studying a musical instrument if they wish to do so.
Taught by professional musicians and Early Years Music Specialists our progressive curriculum uses a variety of musical activities to lay a foundation for future musicality, as well as helping children feeling more secure and confident when coping with new experiences.
Singing and playing instruments are at the heart of every session.
Please note the fee for this group is separate to Music School Membership.
Register on Eventbrite here
Watch the Next Steps group at one of their rehearsals:
Pathfinders Creative Music Ensemble
Pathfinders Ensemble is part of our newly set up Waltham Forest Satellite Music School and at Chingford C of E Infant site. This new ensemble is an exciting, creative and explorative group open to young people aged between 8-12 who learn an instrument or have vocal lessons.
ROCKIT! Rock/pop band
Grade 2 +
ROCKIT! is for young musicians who play keys, bass, guitar, kit or who sing to play together in a band and work towards live performances.
In the band, musicians will learn contemporary and classic rock and pop songs. In their first term the band played 'Living on a Prayer' and 'Uptown Funk' with plenty of great vibes! The band will also have the opportunity to write original songs together.
Beginners (who can confidently use three fingers) to Grade 3
The Strings Group is an ensemble for violin, viola, cello and double bass players. The rehearsals are varied and involve a mixture of working from sheet music, using improvisation and various musical tools to enhance the experience of learning.
Waltham Forest Children's Ukulele Club
Beginners and improvers aged 8 to 12
Have fun making music at Waltham Forest Children's Ukulele Club!
For children aged 8 to 12, no experience needed, beginners are welcome. An excellent 'next step' for children who've played ukulele in their class at school
Waltham Forest Youth Choir
Age 11 to 18
We're a choir for young people aged 11-18 who love singing. We sing a range of classic and contemporary pop including songs by Adele, Clean Bandit, The Weeknd, Aretha Franklin, Rag 'n' Bone Man…and many more! Join Waltham Forest Youth Choir and expand your vocal skills and musical experience, have fun and feel good (we love the vocal warm ups!). No previous singing or musical experience is needed - just your voice and enthusiasm to sing!
Singing in a choir is a rewarding and uplifting experience! Watch here to see our Youth Choir rehearsing and performing for a concert in July 2023.
Music from movies and music from maestros, you'll get to play a wide range of music in Wind Band. We play upbeat pieces and lyrical pieces, always rotating the different parts from one piece to another, so that everyone has a chance on the melody line!
Youth Chamber Orchestra
The Youth Chamber Orchestra is one of our most advanced groups, aimed at string, woodwind, brass and percussion players Grade 4 and above. It covers core classical repertoire from Beethoven to Mozart and performs at various venues around the borough. It 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.