We are delighted to be able to partially reopen Colwell Arts Centre from the 26th April 2021 on a strict appointment-only basis. To collect, return or exchange an instrument, please contact us at glosmusic@gloucestershire.gov.uk to make an appointment.


If you are a self employed teacher or school looking for support with regards to planning for the forthcoming academic year then please click here.

COVID-19 Instrument Hire Help

We understand at these difficult times that some families will be finding payment of these invoices challenging, especially where you might have significantly reduced incomes. We do not want to let money be a barrier to your child continuing to learn on the instrument they have chosen and we have made funding available to support this. Please click here to complete the COVID-19 Instrument Hire Help form and email to mark.medland@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Apps and resources

Available for Windows and Macs.  Drag notes to change pitch and speed, remove them, add effects, build loops and more!

Free to download (with additional in-app purchases).

Available on iTunes.  Pick up your instrument and play along with a full orchestra that listens to you and fits your playing in real time. The only better way to experience the thrill of playing with a real orchestra is to actually play with a real orchestra! 

Free to download (with additional in-app purchases).

Available on iTunes, PolyNome gives you access to Presets and Playlists created by other users, as well as instant access to Practice routines, drum and percussion grooves, song count-ins and more!  Cost £5.99

Guitarix is virtual guitar amplifier for Linux which takes the signal from your guitar as any real amp would do. Demos available on the webpage.

MuseScore is a music notation program. It's focus is on preparing notation for printing, it supports JACK and can have its output routed to any synthesizer or sampler and integrated with other programs, enabling you to create, play and print sheet music.

Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.  The latest version issued in January 2016 includes improvements to the spectrogram view of tracks which are particularly valuable for vocal work.

Play different instruments, sing, rap or beatbox and bring them all together in an acapella video, each recording featured in its own little box and plays at the same time to create a virtual band or group.


Lessonface offers live, face-to-face individual or group music lessons taught over live video, making teachers all over the world more accessible than ever before.

Registration is free.  Lesson fees are payable directly to the teacher via credit card.


Help your pupils with their composition using a virtual keyboard.  Select an instrument, drum pattern or chord mode to explore a variety of sounds.

Available on iTunes, specially-composed accompaniments in a broad range of styles; from Tangos and Ragas, right the way through to Blues and Hip-Hop mean that pupils are given a context for their scales. The playback speed can be adjusted over a wide range, so students can practice slowly at first, and gradually increase the tempo as their skills improve.

Free to download (with additional in-app purchases).  A full selection of demo exercises are available.


Your Space Music Lessons is an an online music school, offering pupils the opportunity to learn a musical instrument in their own home and in their own time and under the direction of an experienced music teacher.  Visit the website to sign up for their newsletter and for full details of lesson plans and fees.

Free to download on iTunes, Sketch-a-Song has been designed to make creating music as simple as tapping and dragging with over 40 different instruments available.  Suitable for use by all ages as well as in the classroom.


Available on iTunes, Biophillia has been created by musician Bjork to enourage children to create their own music through experimentation and exploration.  Featuring a three-dimensional galactic interface with nine song apps available as in-app purchases, music scores and karaoke playback.

Cost: £9.99 with additional in-app purchases available.

The British Music Education Yearbook complete guide to music higher education.  Information on conservatoires, universities, teacher training & further education courses.  Advice to help you choose the right place study as well as career options for music graduates, studying abroad, financial support and more.

Sign up to download your free guide

encouraged to create their own music–that through experimentation and exploration - See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2015/10/biophilia-app-music-education-technology/#sthash.nk7vAd4x.dpuf 

Spiffing Tunes
These video backing tracks with video of notation are ideal for practicing improvisation. They’re mainly jazz standards with a vintage feel, but there a few other items as well. You can try them for free via YouTube or buy mp3s (with free downloadable sheet music) from their main website at reasonable prices (99p to £1.99). 

Sweet Home Alabama guitar lesson
An example of a lesson on how to play "Sweet home Alabama" on guitar.

How to play the cajon
A five minute intro and many other lessons

ABSRM exam piano backing tracks downloadable for clarinet, flute, horn, piano and violin for all grades, all at less than £1 with offers for multiple tracks.

Piano backing tracks for exams from 99p


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