"Over time, all pupils in primary schools who wish to will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument;" Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 2000
Wider Opportunities or Whole Class Vocal/Instrumental Tuition is a national scheme introduced to ensure that all pupils at Key Stage 2 (KS2) are given the chance to learn to sing/play a musical instrument.
Each Local Authority explores the use of musical instruments that they think would be advantageous and for which they can get professional tutors.
Pupils learn to sing/play an instrument as part of the whole class, in curriculum time and with instruments provided free of charge. The tuition lasts for a minimum of one academic year cultivating the group to an acceptable performance standard.
At the end of the academic year pupils will have covered both pratical and basic theoretical musical aspects and will be given the option to continue lessons on their chosen instrument.
Wider Opportunities has opened up many partnerships with community musicians as many non-traditional musical instruments have been added into the school curriculum. This has also led to the classroom teacher learning to sing/play alongside the pupils, thus gaining continued professional development.
In steelpan tuition, pupils learn the art of music as another language as not many spoken instructions are required in order to teach a complete song. Pupils are taught to memorise patterns shown to them. By building on these patterns a complete song is produced.
This style of teaching has been at the foundation of steelpan teaching from its onset. Traditionally, it is the arranger or band leader who teaches the band members the parts of the song in sections, and then bring them all together to form a complete musical arrangement.