FAQ’s

Q: Do pupils have the opportunity to perform?

A: Yes. The Becky Dell Music Academy puts on two free concerts each year, one at Christmas and one in Summer, in which all pupils are encouraged to take the opportunity to perform in front of their family and peers. Other opportunities also arise throughout the academic year (we previously hosted a Steinway concert at a Steinway showroom!). We believe that performance is an important aspect of learning an instrument – it’s a great confidence builder and great fun!

Q: How do your term dates fit in with my child’s school term dates?

A: We have formulated our term dates based on the term dates of the local schools that most of our pupils attend and have a 34 week academic year. Have a look at our 2016/17 term dates below:

Term dates 20162017 (London)

  • Weeks 1 – 6: w/b September 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, October 3rd, 10th
  • Weeks 7 – 12: w/b October 31st, November 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, December 5th
  • Weeks 13 – 18: w/b January 2nd (lessons start 3rd Jan), 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, February 6th
  • Weeks 19 – 24: w/b February 20th, 27th, March 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
  • Weeks 25 – 29: w/b April 24th, May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd
  • Weeks 30 – 34: w/b June 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, July 3rd

Term dates 2017-18 (Manchester)

  • Weeks 1 – 7: w/b September 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, October 2nd, 9th, 16th
  • Weeks 8 – 12: w/b November 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, December 4th
  • Weeks 13 – 19: w/b January 1st (lessons start 2nd Jan), 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, February 5th, 12th
  • Weeks 20 – 23: w/b February 26th, March 5th, 12th, 19th
  • Weeks 24 – 29: w/b April 16th, 23rd, 30th, May 7th, 14th, 21st
  • Weeks 30 – 34: w/b June 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, July 2nd

Q: Can I change lesson times or must they be at the same time every week?

A: We agree on a set weekly time for lessons. Should you wish to change this lesson time either temporarily or permanently, you must discuss this with the tutor and any changes made are at the tutor’s discretion. Please do bear in mind that the tutors have busy schedules and other pupils, so are not obliged to agree to changes in lesson time.

Q: Are pupils able to book extra lessons, for example, in the holidays?

A: Yes, pupils can book extra lessons. A separate invoice will be sent for each additional lesson and the fee will be the same as the fee for scheduled term time lessons.

Q: How long are your lessons?

A: This depends on the pupil’s age, ability level and personal requirements; we recommend 30 minute lessons for younger or less advanced pupils, but as they develop they may wish to increase their lesson times to 45 mins or 1 hour.

Q: What do you charge?

A: Our rate is £28 + VAT (£33.60) per 30 minutes in London and £24 + VAT (£28.80) in Manchester. A minimum of 6 weeks notice will be given before any change of fee and there will never be more than one price increase in any academic year.

Q: How do I pay for lessons?

Fees are paid by standing order on the 1st of every month. An annual fee is worked out (34 weeks x lesson amount) and spread evenly across 12 months of the year. Becky will advise all new parents. Please ask if unsure.

Q: How do I ensure that the tutor is right for me/my child?

A: Before starting regular lessons, all prospective students are given a complimentary taster lesson with the tutor that we believe to be right for them, based on their personality and interests. All of our tutors are very friendly, easy going and reliable and have been hand picked for the job, so you’re in safe hands!

Q: Do you teach adults as well?

A: Yes, definitely! Some people think we are a music academy for children but we are happy to offer lessons to anyone that wants to learn music.

Q: Do your tutors have disability awareness training? Are you all CRB/DBS checked?

A: Yes, all of our tutors have attended disability awareness training on joining the academy and we welcome all students with open arms making our courses inclusive and accessible. If the person learning music has dyslexia or dyspraxia please let us know, as some of our tutors are more specialised in teaching students with those impairments. We are all CRB/DBS checked and can provide these on request.

Q: What should I do if my child is thinking of stopping?

A: It’s important to make sure whatever the decision, it is the right one for your child. Have a look at our blog post “So your child is thinking of stopping” which gives some insight into a few of the reasons your child might want to stop and how to deal with the decision process.

Q: Should I choose to leave the academy, do I need to give notice?

A: Yes, a minimum of 6 week’s notice is required if you wish to terminate lessons. You will be required to sign a contract when you start lessons at the academy, but it is more important for us to find you the right teacher and ensure you are settled than immediately signing a contract.

Q: Do you offer a scholarship?

A: Yes, we are delighted that our first scholarship was launched in the academic year of 2014/15, initially with one place and then in 2015/16 launching two more places. In 2016/17 we will be offering five places in total – please see the scholarship page for more details. We have partnered up with a local charity and Greenwich schools to put the scheme in place, and this new initiative will give those who would have been previously unable to afford private music tuition the chance to have lessons. If any parents or supporters have any surplus instruments that they would like to donate to the cause, please do get in touch with us. Equally, if any parents would like to pay for another scholarship place, please get in touch.

Q: What are the arrangements for accompanying a music exam?

A: Our tutors are available to accompany music exams but there is an additional charge to this. As we have a lot of students, we can easily end up playing for 6 – 8 exams/Sundays a year and so the additional charges are as follows:

  • Accompanying the exam: £56 + VAT (£67.20). This is to cover the time spent getting to and at the exam centre and for learning the music.
  • Accompanying the exam and a private lesson beforehand at home: £84 + VAT (£100.80). As above, plus a 30 minute lesson at home before hand.

If you have two children doing exams at the same time you will be pleased to know there is not a second charge for the second child. Unless you wish them to have another warm up lesson at home before hand, which will be another £28 + VAT (£33.60) or pro rata for the time spent.

Theoretically you should get a 10 min warm up at the exam centre, but this very much depends on whether they are running early/late and if you have other students before or after doing exams.

I would advise an extended warm up/last minute rehearsal at home the day of the exam, but I appreciate this adds on money, so it is up to you. If you decide not to do it, I would advise a 30 min warm up session for the child which they need to do themselves so they are well warmed up and prepared when they arrive at the exam centre.

You are of course very welcome to find your own accompanist, but you will find the prices are very comparable and your child has the advantage of knowing and trusting their tutor!

If you have any outstanding lessons, or by mutual consent you and your tutor decided to skip a lesson after the exam, you are welcome to use lessons to pay or part pay for the exam accompanying fee.

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Here is the small print of our terms and conditions, there are no nastys! A copy will be given to you when you join the academy. Additional copies can be supplied upon request.

Terms and Conditions

Lessons

1.1 At the Becky Dell Music Academy (BDMA) lessons are taught 34 weeks of the year. You will be sent the term dates ahead of each academic year.

1.2 Additional lessons outside of these term dates can be arranged, but we require students to commit to weekly lessons in term time.

1.3 Once the lesson time and date has been agreed, that slot will be reserved for your child for the teaching year.

1.4 If you miss a lesson during these dates then the lesson is lost and no refund will be given.

1.5 If we turn up for a scheduled lesson and you have forgotten about it/are not there, then the lesson is lost and no refund will be given.

1.6 If you have multiple lessons within a family and a child is away for their lesson we are happy for the other child/children/adult to have their lesson time.

1. 7 If you wish to stop lessons six weeks notice is required.

1.8 If you wish to alter your lessons to an alternative regular time in the course of the academic year, six weeks notice is required.

Tutor missing a lesson

2.1 If the tutor cannot make a lesson for any reason you have three options;

2.2.1 arrange for a replacement lesson at a mutually convenient time.

2.2.2 arrange for Becky or another tutor to cover the lesson at a mutually convenient time.

2.2.3 receive a refund for the missed lesson if you have not used your extra lesson during the academic year, or earlier in the event that the contract is terminated before the end of the academic year.

Payment/Fees

3.1 Fees will be spread evenly across 12 months and are to be paid by standing order on the 1st of every month. The academic year runs September to August and the first payment of each academic year is to be made on 1st.

3.2 If the fees are not received on time you will receive one free reminder. If the fees are not then paid within a week of this reminder you will be charged a £25 administration fee and we have the discretion to suspend your child’s lessons until the fees are paid.

3.3 You will always receive at least six weeks notice of any increase in fees. There will never be more than one price increase in any academic year.

3.4 If you are having trouble paying the fees, please contact us to discuss this.

3.5 The details for the bank account are available from Becky.

Click here for contact details

Please put your child’s/children’s names as the reference

What you can expect from us:

Tutors will:

4.1 Be CRB/DBS checked and have Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

4.2 Turn up promptly for lessons

4.3 Keep parents informed of progress

4.4 Use inspiring and appropriate music for the pupils

4.5 Encourage the pupils to expand their musical repertoire and musical knowledge

4.6 Enter the students for appropriate exams

4.7 Encourage and prepare them for performing at our regular concerts

In addition, Becky will:

5.1 Write regular updates and vlog/blog posts on the BDMA website

5.2 Put on regular concerts, usually two a year. Please be aware we do group photos at the end of the concerts and will put these up on our social media and websites. PLEASE LET US KNOW if you do not want any pictures of your child being published.

5.3 Train and keep tutors developing professionally and personally so they can be the best tutors possible

5.4 Develop the community of tutors and students

5.5 Provide help and advice with buying/hiring pianos and other instruments

Version 1.2 August 2016