top of page


Children dancing in a kindergarten class

We offer music kindergarten classes for babies aged 6 months all the way up to 6 years, at a variety of locations across London.  In the classes, children learn various musical techniques and develop their ear, whilst gaining the opportunity for socialisation and language development with their peers.  Basic musical concepts are introduced within a framework of age-appropriate games and activities.  Over time, this takes your young child on a wonderful adventure through the world of music, where their sense of pitch and rhythm are developed alongside the training of the inner ear.  The younger they start, the better!

For more information, visit our Kindergarten website, or contact Yvonne on 020 8444 9435 to sign up for a discounted trial of 3 lessons!

Instrumental Tuition

Our instrumental programmes for violin, viola, cello, mini-bass, guitar, piano and flute build on the foundations already laid in the Colourstrings Music Kindergarten and, through the use of Kodály ear training exercises and a colour-coded system of notation, simplify considerably the process of learning to read music, allowing virtually all children a very good start and the chance of long-term success.  The vast majority of our students will play their instruments throughout their lives, not just for a couple of years as 'something else to try'.

A collage of children enjoying their music lessons
A girl playing the cello

From the very beginning, correct technical foundations are carefully laid alongside the continuous development of the child's musical intelligence.  Most importantly, a Colourstrings-trained child learns to hear inwardly what s/he is reading and therefore plays with a much deeper sense of understanding and musicality.

Instrumental tuition begins when the child is musically and emotionally ready - usually between 5 and 7 years old.  Entry to the Colourstrings instrumental training is by open enrolment of children who have completed at least two consecutive years of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten, including a minimum of one complete year of solfa.

Children choose their instrument themselves after experience of hearing and handling each one in the music kindergarten.  Choice of instrument is an intensely personal thing and the right choice increases motivation and helps learning an instrument become a long-term activity.

For older students wishing to join the school a very small number of places exist for players between the ages of 11 and 14.  Very talented students without the expected technical foundation may also be considered, depending on circumstances.  Entry is by audition and priority for consideration is given to those students who have significant experience of Kodály Musicianship training (relative solfa).

A girl playing the piano


Children in a musicianship class

Alongside instrumental tuition, pupils attend compulsory musicianship classes until Y11, after which it is optional.  The contents of these varies by age but they build on the foundations of music appreciation, inner hearing, and music theory laid in kindergarten.  Our Musicianship classes provide a comprehensive foundation in relative solfa, musical appreciation, inner hearing, and music theory, catering to pupils of all ages and ability levels.  Through exploration of different styles of music, students will gain a deeper understanding and enjoyment of music, making it the cornerstone of a well-rounded musical education.

Orchestras, Ensembles, & Choirs

We offer a wide range of chamber music groups that pupils (and some parents!) can join, catering to all age and ability levels from second year instrumentalists to highly-skilled musicians aged 19.  Some of the older groups have residential courses and tours, which help to develop not only musical but also team skills, with activities and opportunities to develop new friendships further.

There are nine levels of string orchestra:

  • String Ensemble

  • Training Orchestra

  • Junior Orchestra

  • Intermediate Strings 4

  • Intermediate Strings 5

  • Concert Orchestra

  • The Sinfonia

  • Senior Strings (Grade 7+)

  • Chamber Strings (occasional, by invitation to the top players of Senior Strings)

Cello and Cello & Bass Ensembles:

  • Junior

  • Intermediate

  • Senior

  • Advanced

Guitar Ensembles & Guitar Orchestra:

  • Junior

  • Intermediate

  • Senior

  • Advanced

  • Guitar Orchestra (up to 30 players)


  • Training

  • Junior

  • Chamber

  • Adult

Chamber Music: varied groups throughout the week and some weekends, including string quartets, trios, duos, piano trios, cello trios, guitar and violin, and others.

Children in the concert orchestra enjoying themselves
A girl playing the viola in a string orchestra
a string orchestra rehearsal in a light and airy hall
Cello players in an orchestra rehearsal

All groups perform at the public Showcase Concerts during the year, and parents are also often invited to attend a termly open rehearsal which will normally be either the penultimate or final rehearsal of term.

When playing in an ensemble, a young student's level can fall up to two years (it is very different from playing solo and requires learning many ensemble skills). For this reason, repertoire is very carefully chosen to try to ensure that the greatest possible musical, technical, and psychological benefits can be gained by everyone in the weekly rehearsals. Regular attendance is essential, just as it would be for any other successful and happy team.

Please note while there is no extra charge for membership of these groups, there may be extra charges for residential courses and tours, although we try to keep these low.

Residential Courses

Residential courses are run annually for various groups from about Y6 upwards. The courses usually take place outside London (and sometimes abroad) for several days over a weekend or holiday period. Apart from full rehearsals and detailed sectionals (including technique), eating together, midnight feasts in the dormitories and a popular tuck shop, there are all kinds of non-musical activities - games, talent shows, film nights, bonfires, fireworks and games to develop teamwork (orienteering, shelter-building and blindfold obstacle courses), archery and artwork.  Once experienced, these courses are never forgotten!  Children forge long-lasting friendships here, usually for the remainder of their years with us. 

Children outdoors on a residential course preparing for a trip


A concert in a church with a large audience

Great emphasis is placed upon performance and shared music-making and there are about 250 concerts annually, including a Festival and six or seven major public 'Showcase' concerts and several dedicated Piano Showcases. Pupils are encouraged to perform frequently at our more informal termly concerts, where they not only get used to performing, but also see, through the other pupils, how far they've come and be inspired by what they will one day be able to do themselves. Piano accompaniment is available for older strings players, including for a rehearsal.

Flying School

The Flying School is additional to normal studies, making a student's experience comparable to the experience gained by attending one of the junior conservatoires, but it can be integrated into the existing timetable and done locally. All courses are taught by experts, senior teachers or external tutors / coaches. A variety of subjects or projects are undertaken, some examples being:

  • Chamber Music

  • History & Analysis

  • Harmonies from around the world

  • Arranging music for disparate groups of instrumentalists

  • Keyboard Harmony

  • Elements of composition

  • Score reading

  • Alexander Technique

  • Performance Technique

  • Early Music, including figured bass

  • Jazz

A small string group rehearsing

Admission is normally by invitation from NLC Year 6.


Masterclasses are run by either a senior teacher or a well-known internal or external teacher, depending on the age-group invited. Mini-masterclasses are normally held on a Saturday morning or afternoon. They may be a part of the May Festival or Flying School, or offered before certain concerts to different age groups and instruments.

Adult classes

Adult classes are also available, including for solfa, choir, and music appreciation, regardless of previous musical experience. Whether it's to understand more fully your child's musical journey, for your own development or interest, to meet other parents or just for fun, contact the office on 020 8444 9435 to find out more about availability, times, and prices.

bottom of page