We’re on a mission to unlock potential and bring the joy and wonder of music to every child.


In 2009, the Bristol Ensemble founded Preludes Music, an educational initiative dedicated to bringing high-quality live music directly to children who would otherwise be unable to access it. Now deeply rooted in the Bristol music community, and with over 80% of Preludes Music children living in areas experiencing economic and social challenges, Preludes Music stands as one of the most expansive project of its kind in the country, delivering musical opportunities to more than 3000 children each year.

“Such a joy to experience making music without the traditional barriers that can be put in place. Music should always be this accessible and fun! Thank you.”


Our comprehensive programme encompasses activities ranging from individual and small group tuition, to whole-classroom music lessons, orchestras, choirs, holiday clubs, performance opportunities, and a plethora of enriching cultural experiences.

If you are interested in working with Preludes Music to deliver music to the children you support, please get in touch.

Get In Touch

delivering musical opportunities to more than 3000 children each year

There are many ways to get involved with Preludes Music. The most common is through schools, but we also work in settings outside of education. We are flexible and work responsively with partners to ensure we are meeting their needs and the needs of participating children. Please get in touch on to find out more about how we work and how we can deliver life-enriching music to your children.

“The learning and rapid progress the children make is phenomenal…The most inclusive practice I have ever seen for all children.”

Hilary Dunford, Headteacher


Aligned with the national curriculum and often going above and beyond, Preludes Music delivers a programme of music lessons for primary-aged children that runs throughout the full academic year. This includes weekly in-person classroom sessions, as well as private and small group instrumental lessons, orchestras, choirs and holiday clubs.

We begin by providing an all-inclusive musical education to the Reception intake. Each year we start again with the new Reception children, whilst continuing with the children already in school so that gradually the whole school is fully integrated with a thorough and consistent long term music education.

“I like the music class, I asked for a violin for Christmas after our music lessons.”

Year 1 Pupil

All the children in the project are given the opportunity to learn to read music and to play an instrument in group and individual sessions. Every child is included in this process.

Our older students will gain lots of experience performing as an orchestra with violins, cellos, brass, recorders and percussion among their own school and with other school students across Bristol. They have regular opportunities to perform at special events across Bristol, whether in city centre venues such as St Mary Redcliffe Church, St George’s Bristol, SS Great Britain, or within their own communities.

“My children really enjoyed their music experience and it was a joy to watch them play an instrument they never thought they would play.”


Preludes Music schools further benefit from regular interactions with professional musicians from the Bristol Ensemble. This includes unique performances in their schools, attendance at rehearsals, and participation in concerts in and around the city, often featuring world-class soloists.

Beyond musical progress, our students develop significant confidence and key skills, including teamwork, communication, coordination, speech, language, creativity, and discipline.



Preludes Music, the education arm of the Bristol Ensemble, works in areas of Bristol that are experiencing high levels of economic disadvantage and aims to put music at the heart of every child’s education. By doing so we improve confidence, co-ordination, speech and language and benefit all other areas of their learning.

Meet the tutors

Penny Rawlings

Penny was brought up in Bristol where she played in many orchestras and ensembles at school and for the City…

Charlotte Dunling

Charlotte Dunling is a clarinettist with a passion for sharing music with people from all walks of life. She has…

Charlie Groves

Charlie is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter who has been in the Preludes Music team since it started in 2009.

Ian Maslen

Ian climbed aboard the good ship Preludes Music in 2016 and has been delivering whole class lessons as well as…