Senior School - Individual Music Lessons: Information, Terms and Conditions
Many of the daily queries received by the Music Office are answered below. Please take the time to read it carefully. The take up of instrumental lessons is regarded as implicit acceptance of the conditions under which lessons are offered.
Time & Place
All lessons take place in the Music School at a time set by the teacher. As far as possible teachers will avoid scheduling music lessons during trips, tests, sporting activities and other school commitments as published in the school calendar. However, pupils are responsible for informing their music teacher of the times and dates of any school or private commitment which may affect timetabling of a music lesson. A minimum of two weeks’ written notice is required otherwise lessons may still be scheduled and charged. Notice can be given by completing a green absence notification slip, available by the timetable board. Slips should be submitted to the Music Office.
Music lessons are arranged on a rotational basis across the school day. Please note that we will not accommodate parental requests for specific lesson times. Music lessons are 40 minutes long and are arranged so that a pupil never misses an entire academic lesson. Teachers will rotate lesson times so that the same music lesson slot will not be repeated within any sixweek period. Pupils are expected to excuse themselves from their appropriate academic lesson at least 24 hours in advance and are expected to catch up on any work missed.
6th form pupils will be timetabled outside the academic timetable, either during a study period, lunchtime or before or after school. Music teachers will endeavour, but cannot guarantee, to fix lessons for pupils below these years only when a second or third instrument/singing lessons is taken up.
The Music Department contracts to teach 30 lessons over the academic year and you will be billed for 10 each term. Because of the varying lengths of terms, pupils often receive more than 10 lessons in the Autumn Term and less in the short Summer Term. At the end of the Summer Term the actual number of lessons taught is confirmed and you will receive a refund if your son or daughter has received less than 30 lessons for which you have paid.
Notice to Discontinue
Notice to discontinue lessons must be given in writing (which includes e-mail) to the Music School office by the close of school before the half term break and lessons will stop at the end of that block of 10 lessons. Notice given any later than this will be deemed to apply to the following term (ie block of 10 lessons). The same terms of notice apply when a pupil changes instrument or teacher.
All absences are charged for including those due to illness, medical appointments and travel delays. For queries regarding the arrangements of long-term illnesses, please contact the Director of Music as soon as possible. For absences beyond your control, your music lesson fees may be recovered by your school fees insurance. Should a lesson have to be cancelled by the teacher, the teacher will arrange to carry that lesson forward to a later date or to credit the appropriate fee. Where an unexpected clash arises after the music timetable has been set for the forthcoming week the music lesson takes priority. If a pupil fails to turn up for 2 consecutive lessons the teacher will telephone to let you know. Where a pupil is in school but unable to play their instrument due to injury (eg sprained wrist) they are still expected to attend lessons and will work on aural and theory.
A Level/GCSE Exams
During exam periods pupils should make appropriate arrangements with instrumental staff to continue music lessons. This should be done well in advance of the exam period. Examination periods must not affect a pupil’s quota of music lessons. Pupils on study leave are expected to meet their quota of music lessons and must make appropriate arrangements to do so.
Practice between lessons
Whilst the teacher will make every reasonable effort to improve the musical skills and understanding of the pupil, pupils are
expected to cooperate with the teacher and adhere to the sessions of practice advised by the teacher. Weekly targets will be
set out in the pupil’s practice book. Parental support, particularly for younger pupils, is essential.
All instrumental and singing pupils are expected to play in ensembles/choirs if selected to do so and are encouraged to take an active role in concerts and house music competitions. Music Scholars and Exhibition Award holders are expected to take an active performing role as set out in the terms and conditions of their award.
Lack of pupil commitment
At the discretion of the Director of Music, tuition may be withdrawn for persistent poor attendance and lack of work between lessons. There are waiting lists for many instruments and priority is given to those fully committed to
Reports & staff consultations
You will receive a detailed report of your child’s progress at the same times as academic reports are issued. You will be invited to sit in on a music lesson annually during which time you will have the opportunity to discuss your child's progress.
Pupils are entered for practical exams at the sole discretion of their teacher. The majority of pupils are examined by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) and an examiner will visit the school each term. For some instruments, such as percussion, teacher may enter pupils for Trinity College London exams. These exams usually take place at a Trinity College London exam centre and parents will be expected to arrange transport to the exam centre. Exam fees are charged on the end of term account. Should a teacher think that a pupil is ready to take an examination, you will be informed and asked to complete a consent form before the exam entry deadline. Teachers will not be coerced into entering pupils for exams. If a pupil is not ready to take the next grade, the experience may have a negative effect. Pupils progress at different rates and this can depend on the nature of the chosen instrument as well as the effectiveness of practice habits. A candidate who withdraws from the exam will be liable for the exam fee. If a candidate misses the exam through illness the Board may refund part of the fee provided a medical certificate is forwarded to the Music Administrator.
Music Theory Exams
Pupils taking Grade 6 and above are required by the ABRSM to have passed grade 5 theory exam. This exam is available inm school each term as required. We offer free theory lessons at lunchtimes and recommend that all pupils take advantage of this once they reach grade 4 on their instrument.
Lesson fees are payable a term in advance through the school billing system. If you start lessons part way through a term, these lessons are billed in arrears as a music disbursement. Fees are set by the Bursary and are subject to an annual review.
Music Exhibition Award
An Exhibition Award is given to a pupil on attaining grade 5 with a merit or distinction in an instrument or singing exam. This award entitles the pupil to free tuition for the duration of the award, usually 4 terms. Any lessons missed due to the pupil’s fault will be charged on the end of term bill. Full terms and conditions can be found on the school website.
There are a limited number of school instruments available for hire (with the exception of piano, drum kit and electric guitar) Priority is given to beginners and we would normally expect the instrument to be returned after three terms of hire. Instrument hire is payable at the end of each term of hire through the school billing system. Where an instrument is hired for part of a term the full fee is payable. Full terms and conditions can be found on the school website.
All instruments brought to school should be kept in the Instrument Store in the Music School. Instruments should not be left on the external bag racks as they can suffer from extremes of temperature and humidity. Pupils who bring their own instruments into school must have them insured as they are not covered by the school insurance policy. All instrument cases must be clearly labelled with the pupil’s name.
ALL OF THE ABOVE CONDITIONS ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION