Music notes for parents

Instrumental Music Lessons 2019/20

We operate a system of Direct Billing where instrumental teachers bill parents direct each term, in advance, for an average of 11 lessons (33 over the academic year).

In the Michaelmas term, teachers aim to teach 13 lessons but parents are billed for 11, given that 10 lessons only are usually possible in the following two terms. In Lent and Summer terms, 11 lessons are billed but only 10 are taught in each. Adjustments are made in the Summer term’s invoice.

From September 2019, the hourly rate for music lessons will be £46.80 resulting in termly bills of 11 half-hour lessons = £257.40

Sheet music and accessories bought by the School are placed and itemised on the school bills sent to parents. These items are thus billed in arrears.

Parents are requested to settle the accounts for lessons sent direct to them BY THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TERM by cheque payable or direct transfer to the teacher concerned (not the school).

If you wish your son to commence or withdraw from music lessons, please email the Director of Music at michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk.

Michael Stinton, Director of Music

Parents should note that a COMPLETE ACADEMIC TERM’S NOTICE is required in writing to the Director of Music for withdrawal from lessons or a full term’s fees are payable in lieu of such notice.

In line with many schools with large and strong music departments, the music lessons for lower school and middle school pupils are organised by means of carefully worked rotations which minimise any disruption to academic lessons. Our academic lessons are about an hour, so a typical 30 minute music lesson will enable a pupil to catch part of that lesson. Boys who study several instruments should have one in an extra curricular slot, where possible. Boys in the Sixth Form will use one of their private study lessons for a music lesson. We expect boys to check and respond to their emails regularly and to raise any clashes with members of the Music Staff who will work hard to resolve them.

Boys are expected to attend music lessons on a regular basis. When pupils fail to attend a lesson the school operates a system which usually enables a boy to be contacted in his subject lessons, reminded and collected.

Sometimes the absence of a pupil is due to forgetfulness or indisposition etc. In all such cases lessons will be charged in the normal way. However, if sufficient notice is given to the Director of Music, it may be possible for the schedules to be amended to allow for a pupil to come at a different time.

The school’s policy is for pupils to become actively involved in the management of their time, to take responsibility for prompt and regular attendance and to alert the full-time music staff to any individual problems they may have.

In the summer term boys in years 5 and VI are not expected to receive lessons during the period of Public Examinations. Instrumental teachers will take account of any such shortfalls in number of lessons taught and the summer term invoices will reflect this fact. Boys in the Upper Sixth are likely to be billed by teachers for 6 lessons only in this term (5 taught), ie, 13+10+5 (taught) = 11+11+6 (charged).  Likewise, boys in year 5 are likely to be charged for only 1 or 2 lessons as a result of revision leave.

It is imperative that all instruments are named clearly both on the inside and outside of cases and ideally on the instruments themselves. Parents are strongly advised to keep a careful note of make, model and serial numbers as well as original invoices for instruments. All instruments should be stored in appropriate lockers and shelves when not in use.

Sometimes it is possible to hire instruments from the school (at a charge of £80 per term in 2019/20) when these instruments are available. There is no charge for the hire of double basses or violins/violas.

All musical instruments should be adequately insured. It is advisable to have instruments valued by a reputable firm and added to Home Contents insurance but should be covered for All Risks. The Director of Music can provide details of specialist insurance companies for more valuable instruments.