COTHAM SCHOOL MUSIC DEPARTMENT. Instrumental Tuition A Guide for Parents

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1 COTHAM SCHOOL MUSIC DEPARTMENT Instrumental Tuition A Guide for Parents We believe that learning to play a musical instrument offers a child a great deal more than musical skills. It builds self-discipline through practice, develops social skills through ensemble playing and improves a child s performance in other areas of the curriculum. Above all, it is a means by which students can grow in skill and confidence into imaginative, fulfilled and well-rounded adults. Access: The school has a policy of open access to instrumental tuition for pupils, within the constraints of accommodation and staffing available. Pupils are not selected for tuition, but may be advised according to their musical aptitude, physical characteristics and previous musical experience. Range of instruments: Lessons are offered on the school premises in the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba Kit Drumming, Orchestral Percussion Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar Classical Guitar Piano, Keyboard Pop Singing Steel Pans DJ ing Orchestral Percussion Kit Drumming Tabla Please note UNDERLINED MEANS THE TEACHER WILL CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY REGARDING LESSON COSTS Lesson Provision: Most of the lessons take place during the school day, although it is sometimes necessary for teachers to start before 8.30am or teach after 3.30pm. All lessons are 30 minutes long, and are offered for 33 weeks of the school year, beginning in the SECOND full week of the Autumn Term. Most lessons are provided on a group tuition basis where pupils of similar standard are taught in groups of up to four. As far as possible, lessons times are rotated so that pupils avoid missing part of the same subject lesson in consecutive weeks. IMPORTANT: Pupils timetabled to be off-site for PE or Games on their lesson day should see the Secretary for the Performing Arts during the first week of the Autumn Term so that timetables can take account of these clashes. No on site lessons can be catered for in the same way. Absence: In the case of the instrumental teacher being absent, or the school having an INSET day, the lesson time will be re-scheduled before the end of the term in question. If a student does not attend his/her instrumental lesson, an absence letter will be sent to parents for information. The Bristol Schools Music Service does not reimburse lessons missed through pupil absence. Reporting: For students having lessons provided by the Bristol Schools Music Service, an annual report detailing pupils progress and attainment will be sent to parents, via their child, at the end of the school year. Parents who wish to know more about their child s progress at any time during the school year are very welcome to ask the instrumental teacher concerned to contact them by telephone at home.

2 Charges: All lessons offered through the Bristol Schools Music Service are charged at a flat rate of a term (usually 11 in each term, but always 33 lessons in the year). Individual lessons will be charged at per term. Payment should be made at the end of the term for the following term s tuition and handed in to Mrs Kate Hughes, Secretary for the Performing Arts, Please make sure that cheques are made payable to Cotham School and that all forms of payment clearly carry details of your child s name, year group and instrument. Lessons offered by private tutors are charged at individual rates payment is a matter between the parent and teacher concerned. These charges do not cover costs of sheet music, examination entry fees and other incidentals such as reeds, strings, valve oil, rosin, drum sticks, plectra etc. Bursaries: Any parent experiencing financial difficulty may be eligible for a bursary to help with the cost of lessons. In the first instance, please contact Mr Bailey, Head of Music. Discontinuing Lessons: Lessons are ordered from the Bristol Music on a TERMLY basis, and we require half a term s notice in order to stop lessons at the end of a term. Notice must be given to the Performing Arts Secretary, in writing. If written notice is not received it will be assumed that the student is continuing for the whole of the following term, and parents will be charged the full rate by the Music Service. Students in Years 11 and 13 who leave school in the Summer Term are welcome to continue with their lessons, but must inform the Performing Arts Secretary before the Spring half term break if they want to book lessons for the Summer Term. Year 11 pupils who wish to continue lessons in the Sixth Form must reregister before the closing date for applications in July. Ensemble Opportunities: In learning to play all musical instruments it is important to understand that tuition alone will not lead to a success. In addition to daily practice, it is important that all instrumentalists take part in ensemble playing at the appropriate level. For most musicians this is the most rewarding part of learning music. The school offers a wide range of choirs, bands and orchestras, details of which will be given at a later date. All pupils having instrumental lessons in school are expected to attend the appropriate group, once they have gained a basic facility. This is usually achieved after the first year of tuition. However, all pupils learning an instrument should join a Choir as this will help them to develop their all round musicianship. All school instrumentalists and vocalists, wherever they are taught, are encouraged to play in the school ensembles provided. Practice: Daily practice is a crucial part of learning to play a musical instrument. Practice needs to be thorough and focused on what the teacher has identified. The following is recommended: Beginners 15 minutes a day Grade II 25 minutes a day Grade III 30 minutes a day Grade IV 35 minutes a day Grade V 40 minutes a day Grade VI 45 minutes a day Grade VII 50 minutes a day Grade VIII 60 minutes a day Clearly parents have a vital role in supporting pupils in establishing good habits on their practice at home. Each student should bring their School Planner to their instrumental lesson as a useful channel of communication for written messages between parent and instrumental teacher.

3 Ownership Information: Please make a record of the make, model and serial number of your child s instrument and keep it at home in a safe place. Keep a card in the instrument case detailing your child s school, their name, address and telephone. All instrument cases should be clearly marked on the outside with your child s name. Security: Secure storage facilities are available in the Music Department. All instruments should be taken home at the end of the school day. The school is officially closed at 5.30pm (5.00pm on Fridays) and access after these times is not possible. Insurance: All privately owned instruments should be insured to cover loss or damage at home, in school or in transit. Home and contents insurance does not always cover this. One company specialising in musical instruments is British Reserve Insurance Co. Ltd., Cornhill House, 6 Vale Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1EH: telephone: (01892) Hire of School Instruments: It may be possible to hire an instrument from school. Please contact Mr Bailey for instrument availability.. Rental of Musical Instruments: Many music shops offer a rental scheme whereby the cost of rental during an initial period is deducted from the purchase price when parents opt to buy the instrument. Instrumental teachers will be happy to advise on suitable makes, models and suppliers. Assisted Purchase Scheme: Purchase of musical instruments is best done through the school using the Assisted Purchase Scheme, which removes the need to pay VAT and which can attract additional school discounts from suppliers. The procedure is as follows: (i) After consultation with the instrumental teacher and the supplier, parents are asked to send details of the appropriate make, model, supplier and address, together with a cheque made payable to Cotham School, and the order will be placed; (ii) Parents will be informed when the instrument arrives for collection. It is also possible to buy instruments through the Bristol Schools Music Service, based at Sheridan Road, Horfield. By buying popular instruments in bulk they are able to further reduce the cost to parents of new beginner instruments. The contact telephone number is APPLICATION FOR INSTRUMENTAL LESSONS: Application for instrumental lessons should be made by completing the enclosed form. Completed forms must be returned to the Performing Arts Secretary at Cotham School AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Do not send any payment at this time, you will receive an invoice for the applicable amount once lessons have commenced.

4 INSTRUMENTAL LESSONS A STUDENT S GUIDE Being organised: The day before your lesson, check the lesson time on the notice board. At the start of the subject lesson, explain to your teacher when you will need t leave. Leave 5 minutes before your instrumental lesson is due to start, collect your instrument and be ready to play on time. Find out what work you have missed and make every effort to catch up. If you have an important test or a doctor s appointment for example, see Mrs Hughes at least one day before, and it should be possible to change your lesson time. On no account should you do a swap with another person. Take your planner to your lesson so that your instrumental teacher can use it to remind you what to practice, or to communicate with your parents. Practice daily, a regular practice time works best. Ensemble Playing: Make sure you attend the appropriate band or orchestra. Do join choir too to help you make even quicker progress. Apologise, in person, to the teacher concerned if for any reason you cannot attend a particular rehearsal. Keeping your Instrument safe: Do not share the code number with any pupil who does not use the instrument store. If you forget the code to the Instrument Store, ask one of the Music staff or Mrs Hughes, the Performing Arts Secretary. Leave your instrument in the Instrument Store before morning registration. Use the shelves and racks provided, not the floor. Cellos and double basses should be put in M13. Remember to collect your instrument at the end of the school day. No instrument should be left overnight.

5 REPLY SLIP FOR INSTRUMENTAL LESSONS (Please complete, tear off, and return to Mrs Hughes. In case of any questions/queries telephone: ). We have read the leaflet Instrumental Tuition A Guide for Parents We agree to the terms set out in this leaflet. WE ACCEPT THAT PAYMENT IS REQUIRED IN FULL WHEN LESSONS COMMENCE. SUBSEQUENT PAYMENT WILL BE REQUIRED AT THE END OF EACH TERM FOR TUITION THE FOLLOWING TERM. WE AGREE THAT: NOTICE TO STOP LESSONS AT THE END OF A TERM MUST BE GIVEN TO PERFORMING ARTS SECRETARY, IN WRITING, BEFORE THE PRECEDING HALF TERM BREAK. IF WRITTEN NOTICE IS NOT RECEIVED IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT YOUR CHILD WILL CONTINUE FOR THE WHOLE OF THE FOLLOWING TERM, AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED THE FULL RATE BY THE MUSIC SERVICE. We accept that non-payment will result in termination of the agreement. Student s Name..Tutor Group.. (Please complete, tear off, and return to Mrs Hughes) We have read the leaflet Instrumental Tuition A Guide for Parents. We agree to the terms set out in this leaflet. We accept that payment is required in full at the start of each term (For private lessons, tutors charge at individual rates - teacher will contact you directly and the means of payment is a matter between the parent and teacher concerned.) Student s Name...Tutor Group. Instrument Experience... (beginner, grade 2 etc) Full name of Parent / Carer.. Signature of Parent / Carer.. Signature of Student. Contact Telephone Number Instrument. Experience (beginner, grade 2 etc) Full Name of Parent/Carer Signature of Parent/Carer. Signature of Student. Contact Telephone Number Reply Slip for PRIVATE Instrumental Lessons

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