Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer to your question below, please get in touch.

Q. How quickly will my order be despatched?

    Your delivery timescale will depend on the Shipping Method you choose in the checkout:

  • Postage & Delivery
    • UK First Class Post – we aim to have your order with you in 3-5 working days.
    • UK Special Delivery – your estimated delivery date will be specified in the checkout, but if you order before 1pm on a working day, then your order will normally be with you the next day.
    • Tracked European Delivery: 4-6 working days.
    • Standard European Delivery: 6-8 working days.
    • Tracked Rest of the World Delivery: 8-10 working days.
    • Standard Rest of the World Delivery: 12-14 working days. 
    Please note that our ‘working days’ are Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm, and do not include weekends or UK Bank Holidays. The time taken for delivery will be dependent on the destination and the delivery service within that country.

    Please see our page for postage prices and alternative delivery options.

Q. Where is my order?

    We do aim to fulfil orders within three working days (UK) but if you wish to check on your order's progress, please telephone Customer Services on 020 8481 7200 with some or all of the following details to hand:

    Your web order number (if appropriate), your customer number (if known) or your school/delivery address postcode.

Q. How many schools use Out of the Ark Music's material?

    Approximately 80% of all primary schools in the UK use our music as well as countless schools around the world. In addition, our 'early years' publications are used by many thousands of pre-schools and nurseries.

Q. Must my order include a book and audio CD?

    We now offer Words on Screen™ eSongbook versions of many of our products, which means that if you would prefer to not to purchase a physical product, then this is the option for you.

    Click here for more information about Words on Screen™.

    Details of the available product formats are shown under the Buying Options tab of each product page on our website.

Q. What is the format / size of each songbook?

    All of our books are A4 format (11.7" x 8.2"), except the following:

    • 'DIY Nativity' & 'Sunday's Cool' - 254 x 176mm / 10" x 7"
    • 'Pictures, Poems & Percussion' - 380 x 280mm / 15" x 11"
    • The Song & Story series & ' Out of the Ark ESSENTIALS' - 254 x 176mm / 10" x 7"
    • 'A Combined Harvest', 'A Cracking Christmas', A Spring Thing' & 'Here Comes Summer!' - 254 x 176mm / 10" x 7"

    For convenience all of the primary years songbooks (musicals and song collections) can be opened 'flat' - some are wiro-bound whilst others are thread-sewn with Flexi glue. The nursery / reception books are stitched. All of our books are supplied with an accompanying CD (unless supplied digitally). All of the songs on the CD are sung by a children's choir and professionally arranged backing tracks are provided for use with practice or performances.

Q. What type of music scores are provided?

    Piano music scores, the melody and chords are included in all of our songbooks and musicals.

Q. Can the song lyrics or the music scores be photocopied or reproduced?

    We convey the right to copy the song lyric sheets provided in each songbook for teaching purposes.

    Photocopying or printing the lyrics or displaying the lyrics on screens for assemblies or public worship requires a CWCL or CWMRL licence from CCLI.

    Photocopying or printing the music scores for assemblies or public worship requires an CWMRL licence from CCLI.

    Photocopying or printing the lyrics or music scores for non-assembly use in schools requires a Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML).

    Photocopying or printing other parts of the teachers' books for us in schools requires a CLA licence.

    IMPORTANT: All copying or printing activities must be logged as required by each of the licensing agencies.

    See more comprehensive information about copyright and licencing here.

Q. Are performance licences required?

    The performance of a musical or nativity to an audience (other than pupils and staff) requires an Annual Performance Licence, even if it's a 'free' performance, wherever in the world the performance takes place.

    Which Licence Do I Need?

    (Please note a Performing Rights Society (PRS) Licence does NOT cover musicals and nativities). An Annual Performance Licence is title-specific and it is cheaper to purhase an Annual Peformance Licence as part of product pack. Licences can also be purchased via the Buy Licences page of this website.

    Extended Performance Licences and COVID-19 Licence Guarantee

    With our extended Performance Licences and COVID-19 Licence Guarantee, you can buy your Christmas nativity or musical now with confidence. Our feature-boosted licences allow you to record, film and stream your performance online for family and friends if they are unable to attend. And if you need to cancel your performance, our COVID-19 Licence Guarantee means you can simply give us a call and we will extend your licence for 12 more months free of charge.

    See more comprehensive information about copyright and licensing here.

    PRS licenses the extra-curricular use of copyright music on school premises, however a PRS Licence does not cover the performance of musicals.

    PPL licenses the extra-curricular use of sound recordings on school premises.
    An Out of the Ark Annual Performance Licence is required by customers world wide, not just in the UK.

Q. How do I purchase or renew my licence?

    If you are looking to PURCHASE a licence for a particular songbook title, or for a nativity or musical, simply go to the relevant product page on our website, click on the Buying Options tab and add the appropriate licence to your basket.

    Alternatively you can visit our Buy Licences page.

    If you would like to RENEW a licence or are in receipt of an emailed licence renewal reminder, please click on the link provided in your email or visit the My Licences section of your online account area.

Q. Are inspection copies available?

    Due to copyright laws we are unable to offer inspection copies.

Q. Do you have a returns policy?

    Please refer to our full Returns Policy here.

Q. How can I pay for my order?

    Payments made at the time of ordering can be made by debit or credit card securely on our website or by telephoning our Customer Services department. Where an invoice or pro-forma invoice has been issued, or you are sending payment with order, we accept payments by:

    BACS - Send payment to: Account Number 00044040, Sort Code 20-90-56, using your Customer Code as the reference. For international payments: IBAN - GB89 BARC 2090 5600 0440 40; SWIFTBIC - BARCGB22.

    Cheques (Pounds Sterling ONLY) made payable to 'Out of the Ark Music' and sent to: Out of the Ark Music, Units F1 & F2, Kingsway Business Park, Oldfield Road, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2HD. Please quote your Customer Code on the back of the cheque.

Q. Do you supply music to private customers as well as schools?

    Yes, we supply our music to private customers. We do require payment with each order from all customers except state-funded UK schools.

Q. Can we alter the music or the scripts?

    The scripts can easily be adapted to suit your particular school or nursery - you do not need to obtain permission from Out of the Ark Music to make minor changes to the scripts. However song lyrics must not be changed without our written permission.

Q. Are editable copies of the scripts available for your musicals or nativities?

Q. Where can I find my script, score, lyrics and other printable resources if I have purchased a Words on Screen™ eSongbook?

    Your eSongbook resources such as your script, score and lyrics can be found in your Words on Screen™ Player. Simply open your player via your online account by either choosing Download Player or Stream Online. Your eSongbooks can be found by clicking on All eSongbooks. After selecting your chosen eSongbook title, you can find all extra resources available for that product on the left-hand side of the screen. All eSongbooks come with MP3s, printable lyrics and score sheets. All musicals and nativities also come with a printable script. Some eSongbooks, musicals and nativities also include links to suggested choreography videos, craft activities and more.

    Click here for our handy guide on how to access your online resources using the Streaming Player.

Q. Do we need special permission to use the backing tracks?

    The CD backing tracks may be used in class for teaching purposes or in assemblies. We also issue licences for the performance of our musicals or nativities which include permission to use our backing tracks for performances.

Q. Can we make recordings of our performances?

    Sound or video recording is permitted by Out of the Ark Music. A school or organisation wishing to record the performance for distribution to the public (including parents) must obtain a Limited Manufacture Licence to do so. Please apply for this licence by telephoning Customer Services on 020 8481 7200 or emailing informing us of which nativity or musical you are recording and the anticipated number of copies you wish to make.

Q. Can I use Out of the Ark Music's artwork for publicity purposes?

    Yes, our artwork can be reproduced on programmes and publicity material for productions of our musicals/nativities and for concerts that feature our songs. If our artwork is used, the following credit must be included: 'Reproduced by kind permission of Out of the Ark Music'.

Q. Are Out of the Ark Music products available internationally?

    Yes, we ship our music to schools, pre-schools, churches and private customers around the world.

    International customers can order on-line or by fax +44 20 8941 5548. Payment is required with each order. Payment can be made by credit card or debit card; all charges are made in pounds sterling (the credit card issuer will convert to the local currency). If ordering by mail we can also accept cheques, made payable in pounds sterling, to Out of the Ark Music.

Q. Is VAT (or GST) charged?

    UK and EU customers: VAT at standard rate (20%) will be charged on performance licences, replacement CDs, rehearsal CDs and Go Digital Add-on packs.

    If you are based in the European Union (EU) VAT area, and have an EU VAT number for VAT exemption, please submit it to us for approval using the EU VAT Status page in ‘My Account’. Having submitted an EU VAT number, please wait until you receive an e-mail from us confirming that it has been approved, before placing your order. VAT will be charged on purchases that you make prior to this approval, and cannot be refunded by Out of the Ark.

    Other regions: We do not apply sales tax to goods supplied from the UK to countries outside the EU.

Q. Are schools exempt from VAT?

    Although UK schools are 'exempt' from VAT it is a legal requirement for suppliers to charge VAT on goods supplied to schools. It is the responsibility of the schools to claim back the VAT from HM Customs & Excise.

Q. Are scripts provided with all of the musicals and nativity plays?

    Yes, all of the musicals and nativity plays that we produce include a script that is provided free of charge, with the exception of 'Off to Bethlehem' and 'DIY Nativity' which do not have scripts.

    We convey the right to photocopy the scripts of all our musicals and nativity plays for learning and rehearsal purposes only.

    For larger productions, such as 'Wind In The Willows' and 'Alice - The Musical' we can also provide additional scripts at a cost-effective price.

Q. What are the rules surrounding photocopying, displaying lyrics & reproduction

    Important: If the songs are used in a school assembly then photocopying, printing, displaying or projecting the lyrics or music score are covered by the school's CWCL and CWMRL licences issued by CCLI.  Usage of the songs should be logged and reported as required by CCLI.

    You are free to use all of the material - including songs and scripts - in the classroom for teaching purposes.

    Photocopying of the published material is permitted under schools' copying licences issued by PMLL, CLA and CCLI.

    UK state schools should report when requested any:

      - copying of the lyrics and music on their Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) returns
      - copying of the script, teachers' notes & staging instructions on their Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) returns 

    Schools that do not have a CLA or SPML licence may under the terms of an Out of the Ark Music Annual Performance Licence or Annual Digital Site Licence:

    • Make up to 2 photocopies or printed copies of the script for learning purposes. Copies must be destroyed after the performance.
    • Make up to 2 photocopies or printed copies of the music score for use by participating musicians on the performance dates
    • Reproduce the song lyrics on printed paper, e.g. for programmes, to project the lyrics or to display the lyrics electronically, to make transparencies for overhead projection and to display the lyrics on a touchscreen, interactive whiteboard or other type of screen. The following credit should be included with the lyrics: 'Reproduced by kind permission © Out of the Ark Ltd'

Q. Can I buy CDs separately?

    CDs are sold together with the songbooks as a package. In addition, rehearsal CDs can be purchased in multiple packs. These are available for all of our nativities and musicals as well as for some song collections. 

    Individual CDs cannot normally be supplied to order - however if your CD is missing or damaged we are able to provide replacements as a special order - please telephone our customer services team: 020 8481 7200

Q. Do I need special permission to photocopy the script of the musicals?

    No. We convey the right to photocopy the scripts of all our musicals and nativity plays for learning and rehearsal purposes only.

    For larger productions, such as 'Wind In The Willows' and 'Alice - The Musical' we can also provide additional scripts at a cost-effective price.

Q. Can I submit my own manuscripts for review?

Q. Why can I not hear the song clips on the website when I "click to listen"?

    It may be that your browser does not support playing the audio clips.  Try using another browser such as Chrome.

Q. What are Instant Access PDFs and MP3s?

    Instant Access PDF and MP3 Add-on Packs are digital downloads.

    • They are only available as ‘add-ons’ if you purchase them at the same time as you make an online purchase of the corresponding musical or nativity.
    • The Add-on Packs are only available for selected titles, and only apply to purchases of a Book & CD & Performance Licence (or Book & CD Extra & Performance Licence) package via our website:
    • Instant Access PDF and MP3 Add-on Packs are non-refundable and cannot be returned.
    • When purchasing Instant Access PDF and MP3 Add-on Packs, no refund can be made for the physical products (ie Book and CD) purchased with the digital download. If elements of the product package are damaged or inoperable on receipt, they will be replaced free of charge.
    • MP3 song files may be placed on a school network but may not be placed on a parent portal or internet beyond school.
    • The download may be shared within the purchasing school or group but cannot be shared with any other school or group.
    • All other licence requirements relating to the use, reproduction or performance of our product remain the same. You are still required to log the use of songs on your annual CCLI report, declare copies made of our digital songbooks on your MRL report, or your Schools Printed Music Licence and obtain licences for public performances.
    • Please note that files cannot be supplied to you via email, they are too large. Files must be downloaded from the link that you receive in your confirmation email or from the 'My Instant Access PDFs & MP3s' section of your online account.  Downloads for each purchase are limited to 3 attempts.
    • PDFs and MP3s are also supplied as an integral part of any Words on Screen™ v2 package - if you buy one of these packages you will not need to buy an Instant Access PDF and MP3 Add-on Pack. When making an online purchase of a Words on Screen™ v2 package you will also be able to download the files instantly from your online account. 

If your query is about Words on Screen™ click here.


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