Music Lessons

music@home

instrument tuition in covid times

Music is a massive part of life at Kingsmead so we have planned for resuming music lessons quickly and safely. Group lessons for wind instruments will not be possible and teachers will be teaching 1-1 for twenty minutes. Strings may be in pairs or 1-1 at the teacher's discretion.

Music lessons will be 1-1 or 1-2 for wind instruments and strings. Recorder lessons for those children in year 4 continuing will be in groups from their class with no more than 15 in the hall. Because the distance for playing indoors is so important, this takes the whole hall. For this reason we are delaying instrument tuition for year 3.

Most music lessons will be in the staff room which is not being used regularly by staff and provides good ventilation. We are not using the small music room.

Mrs Whitham will continue with children in year 4 who showed commitment and interest in learning the recorder last year through practice at home and attention to lessons in school. These lessons will be in class groups of 15 or fewer in the hall. We are delaying year 3 recorder teaching as the distancing measures required make learning in effective for absolute beginners.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find out about Edsential Virtual Ensembles this term.

Key Stage 2 instrument tuition

Year 3 Recorder, this is our first access music tuition and comes at no cost to families. The KFA fund the tutor book and recorder and children are taught in small groups. We expect that most will carry on learning until February after which those have shown an interest (through their participation and attention in lessons and practice at home) carry on and prepare for joining the Orchestra in Year 4.

Year 4 Children who have shown some commitment to practice and made progress are offered the opportunity to learn another instrument:

  • Brass – cornet, trumpet, horn or trombone

  • Strings – violin or cello

  • Woodwind – clarinet or flute

Lessons start October half term and from year 4 are charged to families. Instruments are provided on loan at no charge.

In year 4 children who have enjoyed their recorder lessons and shown a commitment to practice are invited to join the Recorder and String Orchestra.

Most children are keen to continue and we strongly encourage not making a decision to stop lessons until Christmas of year 5, once they’ve had a taste of ensemble playing. Many will want their own instrument and this can be a good Christmas and/or birthday present.

Some children choose to join Edsential ensembles mid way through year 4 or in upper key stage 2.

Year 5 Children join the Wind Band or Recorder and String Orchestra. Because they have a good grounding on their instrument and have prepared over Summer, they make a super start and are soon ready for concert debuts!

From September of year 5, children who do not have their own instrument and wish to continue borrowing one from school will hire one on a termly basis. Hire fees cover servicing and replacing instruments that are defunct through natural wear and tear. They do not cover damage which is the responsibility of the family hiring the instrument.

Children playing recorder in String and Recorder Orchestra are offered a tenor recorder. Some learn new fingering for a treble or sopranino recorder.

Children who have shown an outstanding commitment to their music are offered the opportunity for an endangered instrument scholarship from Edsential, currently on oboe or bassoon.

Year 6 Children take on more complex parts in Band and Orchestra. They also offer some instrument workshops in Summer term to year 3 who aspire to take up an instrument from year 4.

IntrumentTuitionAgreement [Jun2017].pdf


When do children need their instruments?

Monday - Brass with Mr Harper.

Tuesday - Violin with Ms Meagher.

Wednesday - Hen Harrier recorders. Hedgehog, Pine Marten and Red Squirrel wind bands with Mrs Whitham. Piano with Mrs Harper.

Thursday - Clarinet and piano with Mrs Harper.

Friday - Cuckoo recorders with Mrs W. Cello with Mrs Singleton. UKS2 String ensemble with Mrs Whitham.

Practice and paying for lessons

To enjoy making good progress instrument practice should be daily and no less than 5 times a week. A short daily practice will much more effective than a one hour bash once a week). Beginners won't have the stamina for a longer practice and a 5-10 minutes will be enough. As children gain experience, stamina and include public ABRSM exams alongside ensemble playing, practice time should increase.

Cost of lessons 2020-21: £10 for an individual lesson or £6.20 for a paired lesson. This is much more reasonable than private lessons and if financial hardship is a barrier to children learning, please see Ms Stewart, headteacher and subject leader for Music. We can support with some or all of the cost through a bursary; there is an application form for families experiencing genuine financial hardship.

There is no charge for recorder lessons as this is our first access provision for all children.

We have excellent instrumental tutors and teaching your child is not only their profession but also provides their income. Therefore it is important that all lessons are paid for promptly whether this be through a school bursary or from parents who pay for their child's lesson. If children are unwell or otherwise absent from school lessons are charged for. Should the teacher be unwell or children are on a school trip, the lesson is either rearranged or refunded. Invoices are sent out termly and should be paid within seven days of receipt. If anyone is experiencing financial hardship and is finding paying for lessons, please see the headteacher for a confidential chat.

Many current and ex-pupils can be found up at Weaverham High School on a Tuesday evening for Vale Royal Wind Band and Super Strings or at Hartford CE High on a Saturday with the Cheshire Youth Orchestra.

It's very different in our smaller class ensembles and an UKS2 Incredible String Band without recorders. We hope playing along with Ms S, Mrs W and Malina may help you enjoy practice more.

When you learn to read music you are learning another language with symbols for sounds, just like English. Symbols also tell us how long a sound lasts, a measurement like in Maths. We hope these posters help you to learn this beautiful language.

Tunes for different instruments written by Mrs Whitham to keep music alive in lockdown. Don't worry too much about which instrument - just find one you can play!

Edsential Virtual Ensembles Poster.pdf
Edsential Virtual Music Centre Timetable.pdf