Q. Do you have a catchment area?
A. Yes, our catchment is limited solely to the Blackheath (London), Greenwich (London) and Worsley (Manchester) areas for two main reasons; Firstly, our tutors are all local, home visiting professionals, so out of fairness to them we strive to keep their travel time to a minimum. Lastly, we pride ourselves on our happy local community ethos!
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: 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 £29 + VAT (£34.80) 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 money back guarantee on their first 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: 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 2018/19 term dates below:
Term dates 2018- 2019 (London and Manchester)
Weeks 1 – 7: w/b September 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, October 1st, 8th, 15th
Weeks 8 – 13: w/b November 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, December 3rd, 10th
Weeks 14 – 19: w/b January 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, Feb 4th, Feb 11th
Weeks 20 – 24: w/b February 25th, March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
Weeks 25 – 29: w/b April 22nd, 29th, May 6th, 13th, 20th
Weeks 30 – 34: w/b June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, July 1st
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: £58 + VAT (£69.60). 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: £87 + VAT (£104.40). 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 £29 + VAT (£34.80) 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.
Q. Where can I find your terms and conditions?
A. Right here, download a copy now! BDMA Terms & Conditions 2018/19 (V1.5)