Teaching Policy

I have brought together the following policies regarding my work as an instrumental teacher and Braille/Braille-Music instructor. Should you wish to arrange for private music lessons, hire my services at your education establishment, or wish to discuss any issues concerning the following policies, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lesson Fees

Private lesson fees must be paid in full, and before lessons proceed. This is to ensure that payments are dealt with satisfactorily, and not accidentally overlooked. If preferred, lessons may be paid for in advance, however, please be aware, no refund will be issued in the case of a missed lesson, but instead, can be rescheduled for another time. If requested, lessons may be shared by no more than three students, thus equally dividing the cost.
Lessons can either be paid for individually, per half term, or per term. The latter two arrangements will also include a 30 minute lesson, free of charge, for private lessons only, which can either be taken separately or added to a schedualed lesson. Lessons can also be arranged for during school and festive holidays, accept for Sundays and bank holidays.
Should payments happen to be overdew for two or more lessons, lessons will be postponed, and will resume as soon as the outstanding balance has been met. If payments are regularly inconsistent, either by being late, or are not paid in the full amount, lessons may be terminated.

Current prices:

30 Minutes – £20.
60 minutes – £30.
90 minutes – £45.

An initial consultation lesson is offered, and is recommended prior to a programme of study beginning. This will be free of charge, regardless of how much time the student requires, and is intended as a general introduction to lessons, providing the opportunity to meet, and to informally discuss the way forward.
Lesson fees do not include travel expenses, and may be charged where applicable, for instance, if a taxi or train journey is necessary.

Programme of Study

It is important that a suitable programme of study is discussed and agreed to prior to lessons proceeding. This is to ensure that an organised structure is established, with consideration given to additional education, work, and/or family commitments.
Current programme options include weekly, fortnightly, and monthly lessons. Flexi lessons, i.e. those which are not incorporated into the current programme options, are not advised. In the case of lessons becoming irregular without prior consultation, lessons will be discontinued, and may not be reconsidered.
Should a previously agreed programme of study pose unforeseen difficulties, or prove impractical for any reason, an alternative programme can be adopted. Although advance notice is not required, you are asked to be sensitive to the teacher’s other professional/personal commitments.

Skype/Facetime Lessons

You are welcome to request one-to-one lessons via Skype and/or Facetime, especially in cases where distance or restricted mobility may otherwise mean that lessons in person would be difficult. Skype and/or FaceTime lessons are generally more flexible, in terms of time, and may be a more comfortable option for some, however, the fees and guidelines outlined in this document still apply, but you are invited to discuss your options before coming to an arrangement. Please ensure you have a reliable internet connection, a webcam and microphone prior to lessons being arranged. Supporting materials which would otherwise accompany a lesson, can be sent either by e-mail or post at no extra charge.

Notice Requirements

As well as having to pay for the lesson itself, you are also paying for the time allocated for that lesson, and the preparation involved. It is therefore important to be aware, a minimum of twenty-four hours notice is required for cancellations. Last minute cancellations, or failure to show, will result in you having to still pay the full price for that lesson, as it is then too late to offer the reserved time to another student. With sufficient notice, or in the case of an emergency, it would be possible to reschedule the lesson for another time. Should four or more lessons be missed due to ill health, you are asked to provide a document signed by a medical professional, stating the ailment and proposed recovery time.
With regards to discontinuing lessons, four weeks notice is required. This is to ensure a positive closure for the student, and to reflect on what has been achieved. This will also enable the teacher to advertise the vacancy, or to offer the reserved time to another student.

Lesson Guidelines

It is essential that students arrive for their lessons punctual, and well prepared. This includes having their instrument if applicable, relevant books recommended for study, additional materials supplied by the teacher, and any other learning aids which may be necessary. Music may also include band and orchestral work, or other material associated with additional educational study.
Stationary, metronomes, and music stands are available for use at the teacher’s home, however, students are encouraged to bring their own recording device and/or additional learning aids, in order to maximise lesson time and facilitate private study. Recordings made during a lesson may include pieces, accompaniments, and exercises performed by the teacher. It is also possible for the entire lesson to be recorded, with advanced notice, and to include spoken word if necessary. Depending on the nature and requirements of the material to be recorded, it may be necessary for recordings to be made during the teacher’s preparation time, and provided to the student either on audio CD or MP3 via E-mail (please note, recordings must be intended for private use only).
It is preferred that lessons take place without a third party present. In the case of inappropriate behaviour, or under medical circumstances, suitable arrangements can be made, providing the third party ensures their interaction with the student is kept to a minimum. With regards to teaching children or vulnerable adults, you reserve the right to request to see the teacher’s current CRB/DBS certificate.

General Guidelines

Private lessons will usually take place at the teacher’s home, accept in special circumstances, such as for those who have restricted mobility, or specific medical complications. Free private parking is available outside the property, and a train station is located within a short distance. Some buses also pass through the area, however, you are advised to check a current timetable or clarify the details with your local bus company before confirming any arrangements.
Smoking is not permitted inside the property, and litter must not be left in or around the premises. Children under the age of sixteen and vulnerable adults must be accompanied by an adult/carer both to and from lessons. Students with special needs are very welcome, whether they have a specific learning difficulty, a physical or sensory impairment, and suitable provisions can be made if necessary. Pets are not permitted inside the property, or to be left outside unaccompanied, however, facilities are available for those who own a registered working assistance dog, although you are asked to restrain the dog where appropriate, and to discipline accordingly.

Progress Reports

It is possible for the teacher to compile and supply a written progress report, free of charge, upon request. With sufficient notice, a progress report can be available for the next schedualed lesson. All information is kept confidential, and a copy will be kept on file for future review.
Progress reports are a useful way of documenting a variety of issues, and may include notes on the student’s strengths and weaknesses, suggested practice methods, and aspirations for the future. In the case of children, progress reports may also include any behavioural issues and commitment in lessons, so should there be any concerns, the matter can be addressed more effectively.

Performances and Examinations

Students are encouraged to perform frequently, to friends and family, no matter what their age or ability. This helps to increase their self confidence, and develop a comfortable fluent relationship with their instrument and the music they play. It is also possible for public performances and other musical activities to be arranged for the student to participate in.
If requested, the student may wish to prepare for a graded examination. In this case, you are advised to discuss the requirements with the teacher, to ensure the best possible arrangements can be met for the student. Instrumental examinations will fall under the Trinity Guildhall examination board, unless specified otherwise.

Additional Information

This document is available in print, Braille, electronic and audio formats, and you are welcome to request a copy at any time. These policies are subject to change, of which notification will be issued in advance.
Students are required to purchase their own equipment before and throughout study. There are many outlets who claim to offer you the best products and services at a low cost, however, it is important to be aware, some of these are unprofessional, and could lead you to disappointment or greater expense in the future. Please consult the teacher for matters concerning purchase of instruments and maintenance, books and accessories, and other products and services which may be relevant, as you will be given the best available options on a professional level.
There are many organizations, charities, and forums dedicated to musicians of all ages and abilities, and which support all aspects of learning, playing, and enjoying music. These may require membership, which then allows individuals full access to library services, promotions and discounts, as well as keeping members up to date with developments within the music world and matters relating to the student’s chosen subject. Please consult the teacher for further details.

Thank you for your cooperation, and for taking the time to observe these policies.