How many pupils are in a beginner group?
This depends on the instrument but most beginners will start tuition in a group of four pupils. Instruments such as piano may start up in smaller groups.
How long is a group lesson?
A standard beginner group is 30 minutes long.
How many lessons will my child receive?
Ten lessons per term.
Will I need to provide an instrument for my child?
Yes. Have a look on our page buying/hiring an instrument for advice.
When do lessons take place?
The vast majority of lessons take place during the school day, including over break and lunch times. This obviously means that your child will come out of an academic lesson to take part in their instrumental lesson.
Are lesson times fixed?
To avoid confusion, lesson times at primary school are fixed unless the school requests otherwise. At secondary school timetables rotate on a weekly basis in order that pupils do not miss the same academic lesson several weeks in a row.
I would like my child to learn an instrument. How does the application process work?
We need you to fill out an application form. You can apply now through this website or fill out a paper form, available from your child’s school.
On receipt of your completed form, your child will be placed on the relevant waiting list(s). You will not hear from us until a place becomes available, at which point we will send you a written offer and an invoice for tuition fees.
Should I send payment with my application?
No payment is due until we are able to offer your child a place. When a place becomes available we will send you a written offer and an invoice for tuition fees.
How many instruments can I apply for?
You are welcome to apply for as many instruments as you wish. Parents often put their child on more than one list and accept the first instrument that they are offered tuition on.
How can I check my child’s progress on the waiting list? How long can my child expect to wait for an offer of tuition?
Every waiting list is different and waiting times can vary. We appreciate this can be frustrating and so you are welcome to contact us to check the progress of the lists on which you have placed your child.
Can I put my child on another list at a later date?
Yes, but you do not need to fill out another form to do this. Contact us and we will add the extra instrument to your child’s record.
The instrument my child wants to learn is not available at his/her school. Where else can he/she learn?
We also deliver tuition on many instruments at our music centres. Your child can apply for tuition at any of our centres if the instrument of his/her choice is not available at school.
You have written to me offering my child a place to start tuition. How do I accept this place?
With your written offer will be an invoice for tuition fees. Please settle your invoice to secure your child’s place.
You have written to me offering my child a place to start tuition. How do I decline this place?
Please contact us to let us know you do not need the place as soon as possible so that we can offer it to another child.
How often will you invoice me for my child’s tuition?
Over one academic year you will receive three invoices. We ask for payment in advance of each term’s tuition, eg you will receive an invoice for the Autumn term’s tuition at the end of the Summer term.
Do you accept debit/credit cards over the phone?
Unfortunately not. We accept cheque, cash or payments by bank transfer (online banking). Our account details will be listed on your invoice.
How can I find out the dates of lessons?
A calendar listing teaching weeks will be sent out to you with your termly invoice. Useful dates are also listed online. Occasionally teachers will change a lesson date, and you will be notified of this in your child’s yellow Practice Notebook (see below). If you have more specific concerns please contact us directly.
How can I communicate with my child’s instrumental/vocal teacher?
The best way to communicate with your child’s teacher on a weekly basis is via the yellow Practice Notebook. Each week the teacher will write down what your child should be practising for the next lesson, and there is space at the bottom of each page for you to comment on how the week’s practice has gone, or to ask specific questions.
If you would like to discuss any matter in more detail with your child’s instrumental teacher please contact us and we will arrange for the teacher to call you.
How often will I receive a report on my child’s progress?
You should check your child’s yellow Practice Notebook (see previous question) each week for regular feedback on how your child is progressing. You will also receive a written report from your child’s teacher at the end of each academic year.
What happens if the teacher is absent?
We expect our teachers to make the Trust and all affected schools aware of their absence through illness/unforseen circumstance by contacting us and each school as early as possible on the day of absence. We ask teachers to request that each school then lets pupils know that their teacher is absent. At primary level this may be a verbal or written message to the class teacher of each affected pupil. At secondary level the message of absence would normally be communicated to pupils by the Head of Music via a written note on the main Music Department noticeboard.
We are committed to delivering 10 sessions per term and build in a catch up week at the end of each term to enable teachers to teach any missed lessons. If a teacher is absent for more than one week then they may need to build more than 10 lessons into the following term. By the end of the academic year your child should have received 30 lessons, and if this is not the case we will credit your account to compensate for any sessions missed due to teacher absence.
What measures do you have in place to compensate for lessons missed due to Bank Holidays and school INSET days?
We ask our teachers to liaise with their schools early on in each term to find out whether there are any days on which they will be unable to teach because of school closures due to Bank Holidays or INSET. We build in a catch up week at the end of each term to enable teachers to teach any lessons which may have been missed through Bank Holidays or INSET.
My child missed a lesson as he/she was unwell. Will this lesson be made up?
Unfortunately not, as the Trust is only liable for instrumental lessons missed as a result of the absence of our teachers.
My child could not get to his/her lesson as he/she was involved in another school activity. Will this lesson be made up?
Our teachers are not obliged to make up lessons pupils miss due to school trips, school exams, and work experience, although many teachers will try to teach on an alternative date if they are given sufficient notice.
My child is at secondary school. How will I know if my child does not attend his/her lesson?
Checking your child’s practice notebook on a weekly basis will show whether your child was present for each lesson. If your child does not attend the teacher will mark any absence on the register and will ask why he/she was absent when they attend the next lesson.
If your child is absent for two consecutive weeks the teacher will contact the Trust to arrange for a non-attender’s letter to be sent to your home address notifying you of your child’s absence. You will be asked to contact the Trust on 020 8538 3866 to confirm you are aware of the absence.
If a child is absent for three or more consecutive weeks the above procedure will be repeated and you will be asked to contact the Trust on 020 8538 3866 to confirm whether or not you wish to continue with tuition.
What should I do if I am unhappy with my child’s tuition?
Please contact us immediately so that we can address your concerns.
How do I cancel tuition?
We need you to notify us in writing at least half a term before you would like tuition to stop. We reserve the right to charge half a term’s fees in lieu of notice if this requirement is not met.