Frequently asked questions
What is the point of having individual lessons – don't they learn music in the classroom?
In classroom lessons, we teach music through the use of keyboards, computers and the voice. We learn to read, write and play music in different styles. Pupils who want to take their music further by learning to sing or play an instrument need a specialist teacher. VMTs come into Farringtons School weekly, at set times. All instrumentalists and singers are expected to participate weekly in the school ensembles and to take part in school shows and performances. Pupils will also have to take graded examinations, the higher grades of which are worth UCAS points and help with gaining employment or obtaining a place at college or university.
When will lessons take place?
Lessons take place in the Music Department on the same day each week. Pupils are taught on a rota system, ensuring that they do not miss the same class lesson every week. It is the pupils’ responsibility to ensure that they make up any class work missed through attendance at instrumental lessons. Timetables are issued via email by the VMT to the parent. Parents are expected to print the timetable as this is the pupil’s permission to leave the classroom.
How much do lessons cost and how do I pay?
Lessons cost £185.00 for 10 x 30 minute lessons per term. There will be 30 lessons a year, averaged out across the 3 terms. A full term’s notice is required in writing to the VMT by the parent to stop lessons. The VMT will expect you to make a payment if you want lessons to stop before the end of this notice period. You will be invoiced at the end of each term for the next term’s lessons. The invoice will contain information about how and to whom to make payment as some VMTs are self-employed and some are employed by the Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT). A full term’s written notice is required to both the VMT and the Director of Music in order to cease lessons. Notice should be received on or before the first day of the final term of lessons.
How long should my child practise?
Pupils who are receiving individual tuition should practise a little each day, rather than long, irregular sessions. Little and often is the key. As with all learning, there is a partnership between teacher, parent and pupil. You should be prepared to sit with and talk to your child about their lessons and learning, just as you would do regarding the classroom curriculum. The value of parental support and encouragement at home should never be underestimated. Learning an instrument is a partnership between all involved; parent, pupil and VMT alike. Targets will be written by the VMT into a practice diary which includes a place for both pupils and parents to respond weekly.
Do I need to own my own instrument?
It is always preferable to have your own instrument. However, the school has a number of orchestral instruments available for hire at the nominal charge of £30 per term. This is considerably cheaper than many other places. Consumables, such as reeds, strings and other sundry items are the responsibility of the parent.
Pupils may hire instruments for a term or two whilst they decide if that particular instrument is for them. Pianos and Drum Kits are available in school for practice, as are rooms before, during and after school. The VMTs or BYMT can also advise on the hire or purchase of instruments.
If my child learns an instrument outside of school time, will they miss out on clubs, groups and performances?
Every musician is welcome, whether they learn in or out of school. We aim for our groups and ensembles to be as successful and inclusive as possible and value instrumentalists and singers, wherever they learn. All are very welcome at Farringtons School.