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If your state school child has in-school music lessons...

(24 Posts)
SignoraStronza Mon 30-Sep-13 21:35:14

Do you have to pay extra for them?

DC (6) attends local state LEA primary. I remember going to an assembly where they were introduced to a variety of instruments and encouraged to sign up to learning them.

This year, following a reminder text, I hastily asked the office if her name could be put down on the list to start learning.

Today I got a bill for over £80 (nearly £6 for a 10 minute group lesson), which I'm really surprised about. At no point have we received any notification that we'd have to pay for them. They're taken out during normal lesson times to do the instrument lesson and I'd (perhaps naively) assumed that it was a County teacher who did them - as it was when I was at school (I learned to play the sax for free).

I know this isn't aibu, but would it be seen as petty to bring this up with the school? We really can't afford it at the moment and if I'd known, we wouldn't have signed jet up for them.

IsabelleRinging Mon 30-Sep-13 21:38:21

I pay £8 for a 20 minute one to one lesson.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 30-Sep-13 21:38:29

The funding for free instrumental lessons was cut years ago. Some schools are able to subsidise lessons from their general budget but its more usual to have to pay for them.

Waswondering Mon 30-Sep-13 21:40:17

We get a years free lessons on the first instrument, then you have to pay. Sounds similar to the amount you mention.

But we also had to sign reams of paperwork re instrument hire agreements, payment etc.

GrumpyKat Mon 30-Sep-13 21:40:33

I teach in nine different schools a week, and all my kids pay for their lessons. In most LEA's free music went out of the window quite a while ago.

SignoraStronza Tue 01-Oct-13 06:59:11

Oh, ok - Thanks for clarifying that. Just wish I'd been told. It's a shame musical instrument learning is no longer accessible to all.
Anyway, dc refused point blank to practice so tbh am not going to let her continue. Am fed up with the tantrums each time I ask her to, so am afraid it will be lesson learned.sad

Bunbaker Tue 01-Oct-13 07:03:57

It seems odd that you haven't been told. I used to get a reminder letter every half term to pay for DD's guitar lesson.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 01-Oct-13 07:07:33

Its outrageous that you were not first notified about the cost! I would certainly 'discuss' that with the school. But, otherwise, that's pretty much how it works in our primaries, too. Though in Y4 they get one year of whole-class music lessons in an instrument that they do not get o choose. This is free except for about £25 instrument hire for the the year.

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 01-Oct-13 07:14:31

Yes, we pay, but the fees are announced upfront. Our county still has a Music Service, so the younger two go to a Saturday morning music school that's heavily subsidised, but individual or one-to-two music lessons are extra.

Growlithe Tue 01-Oct-13 07:14:55

We pay £4 for a 20 min lesson, and £36 for the year to hire the instrument. Because we pay this, DD is able to also play in a children's orchestra with children from all over the area. She is there all Saturday morning at no extra cost so I think it represents brilliant value for money.

She also did a free class lesson once a week in Y4.

feelthis Tue 01-Oct-13 07:18:49

Are you sure they didn't tell you? Did you miss a letter. I would double check with some other parents first and then if there wasn't I would definitely complain

DeWe Tue 01-Oct-13 10:15:24

Its £11 for a 20 minute 1-2-1 lesson. I think £6 for a group one is about what you'd expect. Here the county standardises cost for any teachers that go into state schools, even ones that do that privately, not through the council.

I think if you're on FSM you can get a subsidy, but I may have been mislead on that one.

When the lessons were free back in my day they picked the nice middle class parents who were more likely to encourage the children to practice and less likely to sell the instrument they'd been lent (happened a few times apparently at my school).... and who could probably have afforded the lessons anyway.
So I'm not totally convinced that free lessons were necessarily better.

UniS Wed 02-Oct-13 23:30:59

we pay about 6 quid for a 15 min piano lesson. List is held by school office but we were e-mailed by the music teacher to tell us cost, confirm contract, what book etc before lessons started, billed direct by teacher each term.

bsc Wed 02-Oct-13 23:34:53

signora- if your children get FSM, ask school about financial help with the cost of instrumental lessons- the pupil premium is meant for situations like this!

valiumredhead Wed 02-Oct-13 23:36:45

I pay 90 a term for a weekly 20 min lesson.

BackforGood Wed 02-Oct-13 23:40:29

Yes, absolutely normal to pay, but like others say I would have expected you to have to sign some sort of a contract before they started lessons. I find it hard to believe parents weren't notified at all though - I would start by assuming that I'd not received a letter rather than it hadn't been sent but still think they should have had your signed consent.

SingySongy Fri 04-Oct-13 10:51:30

They should definitely have made it clear upfront about the fees.

It does sound like a bargain though, and I suspect it may be subsidised by somebody. I pay £15 for a half hour private individual lesson for my son in one instrument, and £24 for a half hour individual lesson through the county music service on another instrument. My daughter's group lessons cost nearly £9 each week.

Music tuition is darn expensive...

JemimaMuddledUp Mon 07-Oct-13 18:23:15

Totally normal to pay, although we were given a rough idea of cost in the letter asking who was interested. DS1 and DD have violin lessons and DS2 has trumpet lessons through school, they cost £35 each per term. Which is considerably cheaper than the £10 per week we pay for DS1's private piano lessons.

They are also able to borrow an instrument for free (you have to pay £10 insurance) for the first year, after which you can buy an instrument through them which is cheaper than it would be normally.

Once they have been playing for a little while some children are invited to the county Wind Band/Strings Ensemble/Orchestra at no extra cost.

loopybear Mon 07-Oct-13 18:30:16

We pay £100 for 30 x 30minute 1:1 lessons £60 this term £20 in January £20 in April. It was all made clear at the beginning of the year. Not sure if we'd have to pay if she gave up in December

TheFallenMadonna Mon 07-Oct-13 18:34:24

I pay £80 a term for DS (20 mins, individual lesson) in secondary, and £10 per half hour individual lesson for DD in primary. DD borrows her cello from school, and we don't pay for that.

They also have piano lessons out of school for which I pay £13.50 per half hour, so it seems a good deal to me.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 08-Oct-13 22:42:12

I also think its a good deal, but if they aren't going to practice there doesn't seem much point.
daren't admit how much we pay for music lessons each week and dh teaches her himself for some of it. grin

JemimaMuddledUp Wed 09-Oct-13 07:25:34

I agree that there isn't much point in carrying on if she doesn't practise, but we would still have to pay for the year's lessons if a child gave up after starting.

lljkk Fri 18-Oct-13 17:08:54

oh dear, that's awful you didn't realise you'd have to pay. Huge admin lapse.

BetsyBell Fri 18-Oct-13 17:13:26

Yes we pay for piano lessons in school hours, but all communications about it have been direct with the piano teacher and a full contract and details supplied by email well in advance of lessons starting.

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