Tuition is currently available for most musical instruments, including bagpipes, as well as singing. Instrumental tuition takes place during normal school hours on an individual basis. Lessons are usually 30 minutes duration once per week. From the outset, pupils are taught the principles of music notation, the appropriate technique for playing the instrument concerned, supported by theory of music and aural skills. As the pupil progresses the repertoire becomes more wide-ranging and may introduce various styles and periods in music history.
To ensure proper progress pupils should practise at least 10 - 15 minutes twice a day but those who are more advanced will need considerably longer practice each day to ensure good progress.
It is advisable that parents monitor the practice of their children at least at the beginner stage and encourage and help them to follow the instructions of the teacher concerned. Weekly instructions are written by the teacher in a practice diary, which all pupils are given. This should enable the parents to monitor what is to be worked on each week. In addition, each parent is able to sit in on their child's instrumental lessons at least once each term should they wish, at a time agreed with the instrumental teacher concerned.
It is possible to learn more than one instrument at a time on the understanding that the pupil has to be very organised in terms of practice at home and to be able to make up for missed class lessons. In some exceptional cases pupils study three instruments within the school but these must be seen as special cases and careful planning is needed to ensure that their instrumental programme and class lessons can operate smoothly side by side. The Director of Music must be consulted in these cases.
Several musical groups are open to pupils who have reached a certain standard of playing and are invited to join by the instrumental tutor leading each group. Groups usually rehearse once per week.
Instrumental lessons can commence at any time during the academic year as long as there is space available and contact should be made with the Director of Music. The cost of each lesson is currently £19 and this will be added to the end of term bill. Lessons missed due to a pupil's absence will be charged for, unless the absence is on school business. Where the teacher is absent, another time will be offered. Written notice of at least half a term is required to be provided to the Director of Music if a pupil wishes to stop instrumental lessons. Instrumental hire is available for most instruments and will be added to the end of term. The cost per hire per term is £45.
Visits to instrumental lessons can be arranged with your child's instrumental tutor. This can be helpful to establish personal contact and to find out how the teacher works with your child. It is also a good way to find out what you can do to help your child at home should it be necessary. Please make an appointment well in advance with the instrumental teacher concerned.
Grade examinations are held every term, either at school or in examination centres in the local area. Entry for grade examinations is determined by the instrumental teacher as and when they consider pupils to be ready.
For more information about instrumental tuition, please contact our Director of Music, Astmar Olafsson (firstname.lastname@example.org).