TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Charges T & Cs- Update 2023 -PLEASE READ
Average charges within the M25 is now £38-£50 per hour.
My charges are currently £40 per hour Grades 1-4
Grade 5 Theory and Grade 6 - 8 £40 per hr
Hourly Lessons Only- Children and Adults will benefit more with an hours lesson- 30-minute lessons may not work.A child will not take in everything during a lesson and 30 minutes could waste your time and money.
All bookings must be paid in advance and non refundable
No free lesson or trial lessons given
Terms and Conditions
Updated October 2021
Covid-19- As from March 2020 my lessons were taken online and have been a great success and pupils continued to learn through several Grades.
I have continued online lessons and will await until it is safe and suitable for students to return to face to face lessons. The majority of parents and pupils now prefer online lessons.
Anyone with a cough or high temperature/or family member will not be allowed to enter my home for lessons and the lesson will take place online. Any parent who travels abroad to China will not be allowed in lessons for 2 weeks upon their return. Those working within a hospital environment or School will have their lessons mostly by webcam if a Covid or flu outbreak has been associated in their school or dept. I will however, expect to see all pupils undertaking examinations at least twice before undertaking the exams.I will test you all at least 4 times.
Charges ( Updated 2023)
March 2023 ALL CHARGES Grades 1-4 will be £40 per hour and frozen for 2 years, possibly more.
ALL charges will be frozen until 2025. The Terms and Conditions below are in place for parents and students. You must be 100% fully committed to learning. Thank you for your understanding.
I update on a regular basis. Please always check to see every 6 months if there are any changes to my policy. Charges will change mostly every 2-3 years. Most teachers change their charges every 1-2 yrs.
Please be aware that all parents and pupils MUST understand my Terms and Conditions. There is no negotiation and no bending of the rules.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS AND PUPILS TO READ AND UNDERSTAND MY TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS. I HAVE PUBLICLY ADDRESSED THIS ON MY WEB PAGE SO THAT PROSPECTIVE AND ACTIVE CLIENTS UNDERSTAND AS TO HOW I OPERATE.
Payment for Lessons
As from March 2023 ALL CHARGES of £40 per hour will come into place to meet with the current standard of Music Tuition. I have kept my charges lower than most for as long as I possibly could. I will not be changing this until 2025.
Payment must be made in advance.
1st day of each month.
A £5 charge for missed payments will be added onto the following month. Parents MUST text me when payment has been made. I do not like chasing for payments.
If you book lessons as a starter and then you or the prospective pupil change their mind about lessons, you will NOT be refunded.
Parents/Pupils can pay Monthly in advance - online banking
I do not teach in Groups as Pupils will not benefit from a full hours lesson.
FREE LESSONS ( Restrictions )
I will be introducing other pupils in to the lessons. Thus pupils may gain an extra 1/2 lesson or lesson during exam times to help them all listen to each other. I stopped the whole lessons as some parents were taking advantage of the extra free whole lesson and then cancelling their paid lesson. Sad, that some took advantage of this and destroyed it for others.
I am more than happy to teach International students as long as you understand English and also are older than 6 yrs of age. Parents should also be in attendance whilst webcam lessons are in progress. You will be expected to purchase the correct books for Webcam lessons. My Terms and Conditions are the same for International Students. My charges are £40 (GBP) per hour Slots only held for 48 hrs
Travel to Pupils Homes - Unable as my time scale will not allow this.
Sadly, I will not be able to teach pupils that have more than 4 extracurricular events on as learning music and undertaking exams are extremely important. If your child has too many other classes and can't spend the time on piano practice, please do not contact me.
If your child has drawing classes, ice skating, cricket, horse riding, golf, frisbee, tennis, badminton and football for example you will have to make serious decisions as to what you think is a priority for your Child's future. Academically, ice skating and drawing, photography, chess, etc may not be the right way forward and it certainly would conflict with my expectations.Its about time!
Pupils that talk back cheekily or refuse to learn and or show no wish to learn will clearly be spoken with and parents informed. Sadly, I have in the past terminated lessons for those being extremely rude and or not taking the learning process seriously enough.
I really do not like to cancel pupils lessons but in the past I have had to do so due to absurd expectations of parents on their child and on myself.
It will always be a parents responsibility to make sure that their child is learning and managing their time correctly.
Once you have been given a suitable time slot for lessons please do not change this.Time slots are precious and it can affect other pupils if people turn up late or do not turn up at all. Charges may well apply. Lessons are weekly and those not attending weekly lessons will have their lessons terminated. So please do not waste my time. This would be a shame for you or your child.
Missed Lessons ( New Update April 2022)
I will have to charge for missed lessons if you do not answer at your allocated slot time. I will then text the pupil after to see if they wish to have their lesson in your slot time and you will still be charged for the missed lesson.
It is becoming rather difficult to move pupils to a suitable time slot during holidays because of a missed lesson as you forgot to mention you were going away or you were out for dinner.
Cancellation of Lesson ( Updated April 2022)
Please give me at least 72 hours notice if you need to change your lesson or cancel a lesson.It can be extremely rude if one receives such late notice of not attending. I do not offer refunds if you decide to terminate your lessons or if I decide to terminate lessons
Emergency cancellation of lessons can happen and are accepted but not for headaches, periods, sore foot, sore stomach, runny nose, sore finger or I just forgot. This list is endless. If you are very ill and have not attended school then I will do my best to change your lesson date. You will be charged for cancellation of lessons if it is less than 72 hours notice. Excuses such as going to a party, parents have friends coming round will not be accepted. This list is ever-growing. I do not cancel lessons for Birthday parties that you may wish to attend. Only cancel if you have a very good reason. Family members visiting is NOT a good reasoning It is also not a good enough reason for not studying.
Cancelling the day of your lesson will no longer be acceptable and you will be charged for that missed lesson. Only do so if it is a medical emergency.
Lateness - If you are late, you are late but your lesson will not be extended nor made up.
Homework - All students will have homework as you will need to practice. You must do your best and work your given time such as 45 mins, 1hr, 1hr 15mins etc. No homework without a good reason - 1st Strike
Makeup Lessons - UPDATED May 2019: I will be only offering limited makeup lesson slots. > LATE NOTICE and you will be charged. Emergency late notice - I will only do this on a Sunday or other free day if available. If you do not accept the chosen day given (Makeup) I will have to charge you for that missing lesson. If no dates are available I will no longer be deducting from the following month. If you continue to use emergency notice to change or cancel lessons I will terminate the lessons and there will be no refund. Sundays are my day off and it is precious to myself and family.I will not be texting or listening to exam videos on weekends
TERMINATION OF LESSONS - I require 1 months notice. No refund is given. I also have the right to terminate lessons if pupils do not attend on a regular basis, or are given 3 strikes for lack of study.If you join and you or your child change their minds about learning there will be no refund. You should know in advance if you or your child will wish to learn.
Please read my page on Expectations
If the pupil does not study as suggested it may take several months longer to take their exams and they will fail their 4 tests and not achieve the targets set by myself.
Certificates: Once you have your certificate I will require a photocopy of this and examiners report for my records.
If they continue to do less than instructed without a valid reason I will terminate future lessons and there will be no refund. They will also NOT be allowed to take their Graded Examinations.
I will NOT EVER tolerate lazy, undisciplined pupils or parents - It is the parents that need to motivate their children.
HOLIDAYS - 1 month and 3 months notice required for any holidays you are booking. Including D of E or anything else.
For Summer holidays I will require at least 3 months notice especially if you are going away for more than 4 weeks. If you take more than 4 weeks off for the
Summer your child will NOT be taking their exams in the Winter period.
Please note taking 4-6 weeks your child will certainly forget much of what they were learning. I have seen pupils forget nearly several scales and full pieces.
Any holiday that requires more than 2 weeks I will require at least 1 months notice
and any holiday that is 4 weeks I will require 3 months notice.
2023: HOLIDAYS ( Future)
In 2022 I had numerous parents and or pupils give me less than 2 weeks and 1 weeks notice for holidays that were more than 3-5 weeks. This is and was totally unacceptable and could have caused serious issues within my business.
In future if I am given less that the appropriate holiday notice your lessons will be cancelled with immediate effect and your slot will be given to another on the waiting list.
STRIKES - Strikes are given to pupils/parents that do not comply with the rules. Lack of study or no study. Rudeness and not coming to lessons. 3 strikes and termination of lessons with immediate effect and no refund of charges.
Exams - If parents take their children away for more than 3 weeks and depending on the pupil's performance I may not put them through for their Spring or Winter Exams. All students MUST score 125 with my 4 tests.(ABRSM). With TRINITY, they will need to send several videos of their performance. They will have to make sure they are up to standard before I authorise the video to be sent to Trinity.Failure to achieve this may possibly give cause for me not to allow you to be put forward for your examinations. Once you have gained Grade 3, I will stop the pupil for 6- 9 months to work on other non-examination music.
If I suggest that a pupil is not ready to undertake an examination it means they will not be doing their examination. If a parent disagrees with me then I will terminate the future
lessons. I have to protect the integrity and ethics of my business and of the well-being of my pupil.
All certificates must have Presented By John McCutcheon or John R McCutcheon, certificates without a name must be sent back and replaced. Trinity do not require my name as those teaching Trinity Exams have to have their own certification of Teaching. I am given my Certification by Trinity Yearly.
Outside Concerts - I do not engage my pupils through any outside concert or venue as I believe they have enough to do without wondering if they are good enough to take extra study for something that their parents wish. However, If you really feel the need for your child to perform then please let me know at least 6 weeks in advance so that I can help them. Without help they may not fit your expectations and will obviously make them feel very uncomfortable. It could also affect my reputation by putting your child into a concert when they are not ready.
Free Singing and Breathing Lesson As and when suitable.
Currently charging £40 per hr Grades 1-5
£40 per hr Grade 5 Theory and Grades 6-8 Practical
6 yrs upwards 1 hr Lesson £40 per hr I do not offer discounts on multiple lessons or for family lessons.
Face to Face: 1-2 lessons per month and the rest online depending on Covid
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult Children with ADHD,ADD can benefit from Music Therapy.
However, it will take longer for those children to undertake their examinations.
I do not offer group sessions as I do not believe they work unless it is a motivational breathing/ singing session with all pupils who are currently under my teaching. A Private Music Teacher does not have the time and capacity to teach in group sessions as the pupils will not be given the best opportunity to learn under those circumstances. One to one teaching offers the best education for any pupil.
I do not do commercial requests. Studio, T.V, Film only. Session requirements considered.
No payment - No Lesson
Payment MUST be made monthly in advance. I charge for late payment. The charge rate for late payment is £5 per day.
Trinity exams are marked differently and scored differently from ABRSM. London College of Music is similar to Trinity in scoring of the exams.
Trinity does not require the name of the Teacher on the Certificate. As your teacher I have to contact Trinity to have my own Teaching Certificate that is valid for the Year. I will be applying for a new certificate shortly for 2022 from Trinity.
Currently ALL my pupils are working through the Trinity Exams. They have found this to be more enjoyable and are doing online exams.
Video Recording for Trinity Exams
I spend up to 1.5 hrs depending on the exam that is being taken. This takes up costs of time so please only send me a video that YOU think would pass. Sending me videos with lots of mistakes will just waste my time and be rejected.
Please read through the links in my web page of how to prepare for the exams.
At the front of your Trinity exam books you will find Performance notes about the pieces you will be learning. Please read them as this will help give you an idea as to what the examiner will be looking for during the exam.
ABRSM also offers a small booklet on performance notes.
Please use the ABRSM and TRINITY PDF Examiner Scoring Sheets to help you along with the Slough Piano Teacher Pupil Monthly Sheet.
1-3 You should really only need 6 sheets = 6 months
4-5 You will use between 6-8 sheets= 6-8 months
6-8 You will use between 6-10 sheets = 6-10 months max
Exam Video Reviews: Update April 2023. Charges
Slough Piano Teacher: Exam Video Information. April 2023
Hi Pupils and Parents,
I am making some changes as to how the preparations and instructions for your videos to be sent to me. I’ve thought long and hard over the past few months as to how we can all make sure this works to save time and issues.
Presently, I have requested that students only send me videos that they think is suitable for the Trinity Exam Board to review for the exam. My job is to review the video and comment back listing your mistakes and failures as well as explain if you would gain Fail, Pass, Merit or Distinction. I then would give you advice about either reshooting or send in the particular video.
However, I have ended up spending considerable amount of time and hours on many videos and many students have submitted on average 6-9 videos. I’ve spent nearly 21 hours on videos some weeks taking up precious time. Presently I am spending around 9 hours per week going through videos.
Sadly, many students have found it easy just to shoot a video, not listen back but just send it off for me to review probably knowing full well it will either fail or just pass. This process does not work and is taking up valuable time for all concerned There for I am now introducing new rules. They will take effect from April 8th 2023. They will also ensure that whatever video you send is measurably more secure and at a standard suitable to send to the board.
Each student will be allowed to send 2 videos Free: I will review with feedback and or suggest you send for the examination. This ensures that during actual lessons you work to prove you are capable of the exams and you are understanding your progress. That progress should be monitored by parents. Also, it means if I do not think you're ready to send me a video I won’t be asking. If I do think that you are exam ready, then I will expect videos within 2 weeks. This stops students from procrastinating and slowing the learning process.
Charges will apply for my time if you are sending a third video. That charge will be £20.00 to cover the basic 45 mins-1 hr it takes for me to go through each video. The charge is in place for two main reasons:
My time is valuable: I also have numerous pieces of music to complete by end of year.
Your time is Valuable as is that of the parents paying for lessons. If your child is not committing enough time to practice it has to be dealt with. School exams take priority so only send me exam videos that are of value.
Videos should also be listened to by at least one parent and pupil before sending. You need to review your video before sending it to me.
Evaluating the grades
I have certain stipulations that I follow so that the students video presentation meets with the standards required for the digital exams. Many of those standards are exactly the same as face to face. However, as it is digital, I have to make sure that the video is presented correctly, and that the student has put their best effort into passing the exams.
Not every student will achieve a Distinction nor a Merit. Some students may work harder than others and still only achieve a low merit or a Pass. I have to make sure that those students that struggle will still achieve the best Grade possible.
The following happens when you send me your video. Please do not expect me to be able to give you feedback right away. This week alone and last week I have had 15 videos. You will understand why time is precious.
1) First impressions count, if the first 10 seconds are grained or bad light I will reject and not listen to the video at all. There is no point. Information on my Web page.
2) Sound if the 1st 20 seconds has a bad sound quality or no sound I will reject immediately.
3) If Light and sound is fine, I will listen through the whole video. I will then take the following steps: Break down each section, evaluate. Measure the time/beats. Revaluate compared to examiner notes and then examiner video. In most cases I will also play along with the piece listening out for wrong notes and tone. I will go through each main piece 3-5 times noting where the main issues are. If the main issues are a general concern such as missing dynamics, this is what you will be told If the issues are specific to certain bars, you will also be told. This process can take between 30 mins to 1.5 hrs depending on the Grades.
However, the above process can be much easier if the student works on the issues during the lesson time and their weekly practice.
The biggest issue I am seeing is students NOT reading their sheet music or head down. This could add up to 12 weeks to any exam if that students do not correct the way they sit, time they study or ignore the lesson notes. Many students don’t even read the lesson notes.
If you do this right, there will be no charges and pupils will undertake their exams quicker. It’s a MUST that students also learn other pieces of music that are not exam orientated.
Remember I do award the top pupils.
I am a Tax Registered Piano Teacher and my Accountants are based in Maidenhead