Every Child a Musician

The Every Child a Musician Programme (ECaM) is a Newham Council Mayoral priority programme, which provides free musical tuition and instruments for children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Newham’s Primary Schools.

The Programme which is directly funded by the London Borough of Newham, has been running since 2010 and over this time, has enabled over 12,500 children each year to enjoy musical learning at no cost to their parents or to schools. Directly employed music tutors have been teaching music to a diverse range of young children within Newham, not only enhancing their enjoyment and progress in music, but also contributing to their social, mental and physical well-being.

Playing a musical instrument can improve children’s learning experience at school in many ways. Research has shown that learning a new instrument can:

  • help improve children’s literacy, numeracy, creativity and intellectual development
  • develop children’s self confidence and motivation
  • develop children’s concentration skills to help them learn other subjects
  • develop children’s team working skills and collaboration
  • improve children’s speaking and listening skills
  • help children to take pride in their musical achievement
  • enjoy themselves with music

The Every Child a Musician Programme provides free musical instruments to every child in Year 5 and 6. The pupils, should they continue with music tuition into Year 6 are then gifted the instrument for free and it is theirs to keep at no cost to parents or carers. The child is then encouraged to undertake musical progression in Secondary School and then beyond into their future life.

Aims and Objectives

Every Child a Musician (ECaM) forms Promise Number 8 within the London Borough of Newham’s Mayoral Contract with Newham Residents:

The vision has additional aims:

  • to provide the opportunity to acquire additional creative skills for all children in Year 5
  • to build the confidence and motivation of children through music
  • to ensure those inspired by our ECaM programme can pursue wider opportunities for music in the community and beyond.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • widen access to music so that all children have an opportunity to play a musical instrument
  • teach children how to read music
  • to offer children opportunities to perform music together and in the community
  • provide learning opportunities for Newham children that are comparable to other more affluent boroughs

How the ECaM Programme Works

Within Year 3 and Year 4, ECaM provide a Whole Class Teaching model, which includes one tutor teaching a large class group of around 30 pupils for 1 hour per week. Schools can choose either; Flutophone or Ukulele for these lessons, both of which have a natural progression onto wind instruments or Guitar playing when pupils progress into Year 5.

In Year 5 and Year 6, ECaM provide a Small Group Teaching model which includes one tutor teaching groups of around 4 pupils in a 30 minute session. ECaM offer 8 standard instruments in Year 5, with schools picking the 3 they would like their pupils to learn; including; Clarinet, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard, Trombone, Trumpet, Viola or Violin.

All weekly music tuition is provided free of charge to each child participating, and the musical instrument is presented to each child in Year 5 as a gift from the programme. The instrument is theirs to keep at no cost to their parents or carers and is an incentive to continue musical progression and learning later in life.


Newham's Every Child a Musician (ECaM) is the largest and most successful musical programme in the country, with over 10,000 Newham children benefiting.

Bringing music to Newham

ITV Interview revealing the benefits of Newham's Every Child a Musician Programme