Our Musical World

Discover how to make a talking drum 'speak', play a ceremonial drum for a Lunar New Year lion dance and dance in traditional North Indian ankle bells.

This dedicated Early Years session begins with an interactive story exploring the music and some of the instruments of Nigeria, China and India. Children will then have the chance to play a wonderful selection of world instruments, whilst exploring clothing, masks or puppets from each country.

This session includes private access to the Horniman’s fantastic Hands on Music space.

This session is not suitable for under 3s.

Accompanying adults are very welcome, but we may restrict access to the taught session to a maximum of 10 adults depending on the total numbers in the group.

Learning Objectives:

  • Children will sing songs, make music, and dance and experiment with different rhythms
  • Children will play co-operatively, taking turns with others
  • Children will be encouraged to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others

Please note that our Natural History Gallery is now closed as part of a major 2 year redevelopment, Nature + Love. The rest of our Galleries, displays and Gardens will be open as usual, with plenty across the site to support your topic (including our Music and World Galleries). Our schools workshops are unaffected.

We will be opening a new, free temporary exhibition about the natural world, animals and their habitats, in September 2024.


Workshop information

How to book

Booking a taught session includes a welcome briefing on arrival, timed access to a lunch space, cloakroom facilities and access to toilets for the exclusive use of school groups.

Contact us to make a booking:
020 8291 8686

When you contact us please have ready:

– the name of the taught session you would like to book or topic you are studying,

– 1st/2nd/3rd choice of date and preferred session time,

– the number of pupils and adults attending.


Entrance to the Horniman Museum and Gardens is free of charge. Taught sessions and access to some exhibitions are charged for. We invoice after your visit.

The following charges apply:

Mainstream State schools: £90 including VAT, £75 excluding VAT

Private/independent schools: £129.60 including VAT, £108 excluding VAT

SEND schools and groups: £45 including VAT, £37.25 excluding VAT

We offer a bursary scheme for schools that meet a set criteria.

Planning your visit

See the School Trips page for other essential information including our risk assessment.

We are open from 10am-5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge but must be booked in advance by emailing schools@horniman.ac.uk.

We offer reduced educational rates for our Aquarium, Butterfly House, and Temporary exhibition. See the School Trips page for further information.

Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.