Frequently asked questions
Can I bring my younger/older child to the class?
Yes! Siblings attend all our classes for 0-3s for £1, and siblings under 9 months can come for free. In our fourtissimo classes, we ask that only the children enrolled on the course attend.
I’m tone deaf! Please don’t make me sing!
Don’t worry, we won’t! However, your voice, as someone your child loves most, is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world to them! They will follow your lead if you join in with songs and you don’t need to be a professional singer to inspire them to find their own singing voice. Singing with a parent or carer is worth so much more than just hearing our tutors sing. Enthusiasm and energy are the most important things, so please do give it a go when you feel ready!
When will my child be ready to learn an instrument?
The right time to pick up an instrument depends on both the child and the instrument they choose. Some instruments are made in smaller sizes for children (violins, cellos, guitars) and can be suitable for children as young as 5. Others, like flute clarinet or trumpet, require significant control of lips and breathing, and are better begun when children are a little older.
Most importantly, children need to have established a strong grounding in general music before they take on the technical challenges of an instrument. They need to be able to make music using their voices and percussion instruments with ease, maintaining a steady pulse, singing and recognising different pitches, and understanding and playing different rhythms. They should also have listened to and experienced enough music-making to know what music is all about, so they can aim for expressive, musical playing as soon as they pick up an instrument.
Understanding numbers and the alphabet, and having the fine motor skills to control individual fingers independently are also all important skills to acquire. This ensures that children make sustained progress on their instrument, making it an enjoyable, motivating experience that they will be excited to continue!
My child is approaching 5, what next?
At 5, children are ready to join our Musicianship class for 5-7 year-olds, where we continue to develop core music skills and challenge them further in their music reading, performance, singing and creative composition skills. These classes include termly introductions and tasters in a variety of instruments for the children to start thinking about what they might like to learn. From 6 years old, we offer group or individual tuition in a variety of instruments. Some children may be ready to take up an instrument at 5, combining musicianship classes with individual tuition. We are happy to offer this, following assessment by their musicianship tutor, and the tutor of the instrument they wish to learn.