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Music at Lady Manners School

Lady Manners School has a proud tradition of music and the extra-curricular provision of music groups and ensembles is extensive and diverse.

In addition to the various music groups and ensembles, the school can arrange lessons for all orchestral, wind and brass band instruments, guitars, piano, and voice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Music Tuition

What is available?

Lady Manners School arranges lessons for all orchestral, wind and brass band instruments, guitars, piano, and voice. There are always some vacancies for tuition each September, but these are often oversubscribed and it is possible that your child may need to go on a waiting list until a place becomes available.

What do I need to do?

Please take time to read all the information provided below and contact school if you require any further clarification. If you would like your child to be considered for music tuition at school, please complete the Application for Instrumental/Vocal Tuition form and return to the school as soon as possible.

How much practice is needed?

If your child is to make reasonable progress, they will need to practise regularly between lessons. Progress depends more on frequent and regular practice, rather than the length of practice, especially in the early stages. Four practice sessions of 10-15 minutes each week will achieve more than two 30 minute sessions. The physical and mental demands are considerable, particularly for younger children. As time goes on more practices may well become necessary, and daily sessions are desirable.

Will my child be able to join any music groups?

Your child must be prepared to be involved in at least one school extra-curricular music activity at lunchtime, and in associated school concerts as soon as an appropriate level of ability has been reached. Progress and confidence increase as a result, and there is benefit to general aural development. Later on, the tutor may also suggest that your child is ready to join the local Music Centre, to perform with others of a similar standard in bands or orchestras. Experience shows that young players gain an enormous amount from these activities, and that their progress is enhanced considerably.

How can I help my child?

Your encouragement and moral support is vital. Sometimes, your presence while practising and appreciative comments can be invaluable. Try to attend musical activities that your child takes part in.

How long does each lesson last?

The duration of a lesson depends upon the level and the type of instrument. The length of a lesson is determined by the arrangement you have with the tutor and the payment you make. The following information provides the recommended duration:

  • Beginners/Intermediate - Strings: 20 minutes
  • Beginners/Intermediate - Other instruments or voice: 15 or 20 minutes
  • Advanced - All instruments: 20 or 30 minutes

In a few cases, for example Sixth Form students and examination candidates, a 30 minute lesson may be appropriate. The music staff will be pleased to give advice.

At what time do the lessons take place?

Lessons take place during the normal school day. Lesson times will vary in the week to minimise impact on regular lessons.

What is the length of commitment required?

The minimum period of commitment to taking lessons is 1 term (approximately 13 weeks), with a half-term's advance notice (in writing) to discontinue.

How will I be charged?

Individual tutors issue their own contracts. You will be invoiced half termly in advance and payments should be made direct to the tutor. Refunds due to student absence are not possible. Lessons lost through tutor absence will be re-arranged where possible and a refund will only be made in exceptional circumstances if lessons cannot be re-arranged.

How much will the lessons cost?

Lesson charges are determined by individual tutors and they are reviewed by the school annually at Easter. The level of the charge varies according to the duration of the lesson, and whether the child receives individual tuition, or in a pair. From September 2017, it is unlikely that the cost of a lesson will exceed £30.00 per hour. An example of a typical charging structure is given below:

  • 15 minutes: £8.25
  • 20 minutes: £11.00
  • 30 minutes: £16.50

On this basis, a weekly 20 minute individual lesson would cost approximately £440 in total per academic year.

Will my child be entered for examinations?

Tutors will prepare students for Associated Board Exams (or similar) as appropriate. The school can enter students for the examinations and the entry fee will be charged to parents. The entry fee for exams currently ranges from £35.00 to £82.00 (depending on the grade to be taken) and parents will be informed when payments are required. Payments can be made online (via Wisepay) or by cash/cheque.

Can I hire an instrument for my child?

Instruments may be hired from the school's Music Department, subject to availability. A charge of £15.00 per term is made by the school, in order to cover fair wear and tear. You will be invoiced termly in advance and payment can be made online (via Wisepay) or by cash/cheque. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to loan an instrument free of charge from the Derbyshire City & County Music Partnership. If you wish to hire an instrument, your child's allocated tutor will liaise with the school or the partnership to organise this and will supply you with the appropriate form.

The facility to hire an instrument may only be available for the first year of lessons (or in respect of a strings instrument, until your child is fully grown), in order to release it for other new students.

How can I purchase an instrument?

Assuming your child wishes to continue their lessons, you may be expected to purchase a suitable instrument, and advice will be available from your child's tutor. You may wish to take advantage of a scheme which allows for the purchase of a musical instrument without VAT, for a small administrative charge. If you wish to purchase an instrument in this way, your child's tutor will be able to supply you with the appropriate form. Alternatively, there is currently a scheme operated by the Arts Council called 'Take It Away', which provides loans to purchase musical instruments. Details of this scheme are available on their website using the following link www.takeitaway.org.uk

What do I have to do about repairing or replacing an instrument?

Your child needs to understand that their instrument should be handled with care and that they must look after their instrument responsibly at all times. If something goes wrong with their instrument, contact your child's tutor in the first instance. They may be able to advise, or arrange for the most economic repair of the instrument. You should not attempt to carry out repairs yourself. Whether you hire or purchase your child's instrument, the cost of repairing any actual damage, or replacing a lost instrument will have to be met by you. Therefore, it is recommended that instruments be insured, either by inclusion as a specified item on your household contents policy (please check that instruments 'in transit' are covered) or with a specialist insurer for musical instruments.

Are any other costs involved?

Although some music may be provided in the early stages, from time to time tutors will recommend pieces for parents to purchase. It is also necessary to pay for 'consumable' items on certain instruments (even those on hire) e.g. strings and reeds.

Please note, if your child is entitled to Free School Meals then the school will be able to help with the costs outlined above. If you would like your child to be considered for help with the funding of their music tuition, then please write to the Head of Year.

Parents wishing to arrange instrumental or vocal lessons for their children should download and complete the application form below. These should be returned to school. If we are not able to offer music tuition straight away then your child will be placed on a waiting list.