How much are lessons?
Most students attend a lesson every week during term time. For these students, we charge £36 per hour of tuition, so the cost of a lesson depends on how long you need. We offer lessons between 20 minutes and two hours depending on the needs and level of the student, so the cost of a lesson is between £12 and £72. Fees are payable in advance by monthly Direct Debit, or termly on invoice by cash, PayPal, debit or credit card, or direct bank transfer.
Can you give me lessons in my own home?
Occasionally this can be arranged, though it’s not always possible due to the busy schedule we have here. We love to welcome students to our fantastic studio on Stirchley High Street, and to the well-equipped music room at my home in Selly Park, where we have a wide range of resources for use during lessons. We also offer Online tuition via Zoom, to students anywhere in the world.
Do you give free trial lessons?
All new pupils are offered a consultation, free of charge, before we start lessons. The consultation is a chance for us to get to know one another a little, to answer any questions you might have, and to talk about the best way for us to get you started with music lessons. It might include some playing, particularly if you have had lessons before and can demonstrate what you’ve already learned.
Who will my lessons be with?
Lessons are taught by myself, Kimberley Bartrum (students call me Kim), Principal of KEBMusicTuition, or one of my wonderful team of visiting teachers, depending on the instrument, lesson time and individual student’s needs. I work with every student in the first instance to ensure they get the right “fit” with their teacher. Your teacher will be the same every week, however very occasionally, in cases of illness or planned teacher absence, lessons may be covered by another member of the team – but don’t worry, we are very used to working with one another and will liaise to make sure that continuity is maintained for you. You can find out more about me, and the teachers who work with me here.
Do I need my own instrument before I start?
Piano: not necessarily. A piano is a big investment both in terms of money and space in your home. Many students start off with a keyboard or digital piano, and upgrade to a full-size instrument later on. I would usually recommend that students have at least a keyboard to practice on at home, and that they have a full-size piano or digital piano if they wish to progress beyond Grade 1.
Other Instruments: Yes. Instruments may be purchased relatively cheaply second hand (on eBay, for example), and there are a few fairly inexpensive models on the market that may suit a beginner. We can advise on an individual basis. I have a limited number of student flutes available for hire on a short-term basis.
How much time do I need to spend practising at home?
How long is a piece of string? Any amount of practice is a good thing, if it is effective and meaningful practice; even 5 minutes a day is worthwhile. The more, and the better, you practice, however, the more it will pay off and the more rewarding it will be. I would usually suggest that at Grade 1, 15 minutes would be an appropriate practice time; at Grade 5, 30 minutes; at Grade 8, upwards of an hour.
What maintenance does my instrument need?
Pianos should be tuned regularly – once a year is usually enough for a lightly used home piano, twice if it gets a lot of use or if your house is particularly changeable with regard to temperature and humidity. I can highly recommend Renford Parish at www.rppianoservices.co.uk.
Flutes should be cleaned inside with a dry cotton cloth after every playing, and kept in their cases as much as possible (tempting as it is to leave them out, they do tarnish and the pads suffer). A silver cloth can be used for polishing as and when needed. If the joints are very tarnished or grubby, or your pads are sticky, I can help with more thorough cleaning. Your flute should be professionally serviced every 12-18 months. This involves stripping parts, thorough cleaning and oiling, making sure all the springs and screws are in place, and replacing any pads that are worn. I use, and highly recommend, Matt Sheward at www.sheward-mir.co.uk.