Information for Parents and Carers
Weekly lessons are given during the school day and initially pupils are normally taught in small groups. Lesson times are rotated wherever possible, particularly in secondary schools, to avoid pupils missing the same subject lessons every week.
Our very strong advice is that pupils should not receive tuition from more than one teacher on the same instrument (for example in school and also with a private teacher). It can be very difficult for pupils to receive advice from teachers with different teaching styles and impede progress.
Please note that the Music Service is unable to provide tuition for more than one instrument per pupil.
Tuition on guitar plus strings, woodwind and brass instruments is offered to pupils in Year 5 and above where teachers are available. Tuition is also available in percussion (tuned and drum kit) and voice for students in Year 7 and above.
All teaching staff are highly experienced and qualified professional teachers and performers. They travel to schools to deliver lessons and to support students in their learning from absolute beginner to very advanced levels.
We have a stock of good quality student instruments available for hire to every child in receipt of Music Service tuition. If you decide you would like to purchase an instrument for your child please ask us for professional advice so we can help you you find the most suitable instrument for your child at their stage of learning. This can often avoid costly mistakes. Please note that we do not sell instruments through the Music Service.
From time to time we will ask you to purchase a music book which will complement the schemes of work we use in schools. We are careful to bear financial implications in mind and will make sure that the music we ask you to purchase will last a while. All instruments need various accessories that will need replacing every so often. Oboe, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone players will need to purchase reeds, string and guitar players will need strings and brass instruments will need valve oil. Percussion students will need ear plugs to protect their hearing plus their own set of drum sticks. Your child’s teacher will advise.
How can I support my child when they are learning an instrument?
Some children need to be reminded when it is the day for the their lesson and to bring their instrument and music to school
Regular practice at home is essential for good progress. Your child’s teacher will note down details in a practice diary every week. You are asked to refer to that diary each week to see the teacher’s comments and to add any of your own where appropriate. We have found this to be an effective form of communication between the teacher and home as well as a motivational tool to enhance learning. Once a year you will receive an invitation to attend a parents’ evening but please do feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or concerns.
How will I track my child’s progress?
As soon as your child is ready they will be encouraged to work towards their Red and Blue Badges, which are preliminary awards in preparation for more formal graded exams which run from grade 1 to grade 8. Pupils gaining passes at grades 6, 7 or 8 through ABRSM or Trinity examination boards gain UCAS points to count towards university entry requirements. While not being compulsory, we do find that following the requirements for the graded examination system helps to build skills and to structure learning and pupil progress, whether or not they take the exam.
From the start all pupils are encouraged to participate in school assemblies, concerts and other activities to help build up their confidence as performers and to celebrate their success. Please do encourage your child to take part in group music making and do come to their concerts to cheer them on.
Will my child be able to continue learning their instrument when they move to secondary school?
Yes, we plan ahead to make sure we can continue to teach your child at secondary school. We do try to keep the teacher the same but this can’t always be guaranteed.
How does learning a musical instrument contribute at GCSE or A level grades?
Different examination boards have different requirements at Music GCSE and A level but performing is a significant element of all GCSE and A level qualifications, often affecting overall outcomes by 2 or 3 grades. When the time comes to choose subject options we will be on hand to advise and support and ensure the best possible outcome for your child.
Will my child have to stop learning if they don’t choose to take Music at GCSE or A level?
No. We strongly believe that music has a beneficial impact on everyone as a lifelong interest and can support learning in other subject areas in a number of ways.