There are lots of factors to consider when deciding with your child what instrument they would like to learn, such as which instruments are taught at their school and which are available to hire out from us. More importantly they should think about what type of instrument most appeals to them! Instruments come in different ‘families’. Click on the instrumental family of interest below to find out more…

Buying a whistle, recorder, ukulele, guitar or keyboard.  These instruments are often taught in class music lessons in school, like our SoundStart programme.  If a child has one at home they can also  enjoy our online learning too.  Click here to find out about buying one of these instruments.

For all other instruments you are able to hire an instrument from CMA when you start lessons.  When you wish to buy one you can use our Instrument Assisted Purchase Scheme where you can buy the instrument free of VAT.


The family of woodwind instruments consists of the flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe and bassoon. The instruments are blown to produce a sound and provide layers of colour to the Western orchestra.

Piano &Keyboard

These instruments are able to play more than one pitch at a time, and do not need to play with other instruments to create harmonies. Piano and keyboard players aren’t often needed for orchestral groups but can have exciting roles in small and big band settings that play jazz, blues or musical theatre styles, to name a few. Many classical pianists will pursue careers as soloists. There is a difference, however, between the two instruments.


The family of string instruments consists of the violin, viola, cello and double bass, and is one of the oldest families. They are usually played with a bow but can also be plucked.

The strings are the backbone of the Western orchestra but can often play in small groups, the most popular being the string quartet, comprising of two violins, a viola and a cello.


The guitar and ukulele are stringed instruments that are played by plucking and strumming.


Brass instruments are used in the Western orchestra, wind bands, brass bands and often found in jazz ensembles and backing groups for popular music. They are renowned for the power and volume they can produce.


Singing is a fundamental and universal form of human communication, capable of great expression and used in all cultures. A huge variety of singing styles have developed in different regions around the world.