Back to lessons September 2021
Diploma Congratulations 10/7/21
Congratulations to the students who have achieved diplomas this term.
End of this term, and other information 5/7/21
Apologies that this mail is a bit later than usual, it's been a mad couple of weeks.
Anyway, it's time I let you know about the summer holiday etc.
I'll be available for lessons up to and including 23rd July, after which I'm going to take some time off.
I'll be back again for lessons from 6th September. At that point I *HOPE* to be able to offer in-person lessons as well as online ones - it all depends on what the lockdown state is by then.
This time of year is when I always review my fees for the next academic year. They didn't change last year, but with costs going up I'm going to have to increase a bit this time. My new fees will be as follows:
Half hour £22.50 pay as you go, or batch of 10 £202.50
45 minutes £32.50 pay as you go, or batch of 10 £292.50
One hour £42.50 pay as you go, or batch of 10 £382.50
One hour 15 minutes £52.50 pay as you go, or batch of 10 £472.5
As ever, unused lessons from current batches will be carried over to the new term at full value.
And finally, I need to let you know that my bank account has changed for paying fees in. The new account is available on request.
I hope you have a lovely Summer Holiday.
Exam Congratulations 22/3/21
Well done to all my students who took exams this term. I am proud of all your achievements, especially as you were dealing with the challenges of online exams.
Daisy - Grade 8 singing with Merit
Simran - Grade 7 singing with Merit
William - Grade 5 theory with Merit
Georgia - Grade 4 singing
Lucy Grade 3 singing with Merit
Sophia Grade 1 singing
Exam Congratulations 10/12/20
Even though the exam seasons this year have been completely messed up by Covid-19, a number of people have worked their way through the disruption to some awesome results. Congratulations to all of you.
Jemima - Grade 5 Singing and Grade 5 Theory
Oliver - Grade 4 Singing
Neilay - Grade 2 Singing with Merit
Ishaan and Sophia - Singing Prep Test
Online lessons, what we've learned so far 21/3/20
Thank you for your patience and persistence as we've moved to online lessons from in-person ones. I've been impressed at how well you've taken to the new way of working, and I've learned a lot myself in the last few days.
Going forwards, I'm happy to keep people at their usual times and days for lessons on Skype, but if school being out means you'd prefer an earlier lesson time, or to change days, I may well be able to accommodate that. Just let me know what you'd like to do.
One point that's come up a couple of times this week: If you normally pay me cash on the day, I'm afraid that's not going to work any more. These are the practical alternatives:
I can take payment by Paypal or by bank transfer. Please ask me for details.
There are a few things I've noticed about the online set-up that I'd like to share with you all:
1. If you still need to do set-up with me before your first session, please don't leave it until 5 minutes before your session is due - I am likely to be online with the person before you. Earlier in the day or even a previous day is likely to be better.
2. Please wait for me to call you - I may be finishing off something with the person before you, but I will call you as fast as I can.
3. When we go online, if you're using a phone or tablet for Skype, please use it in landscape position - it gives me a better chance of seeing you clearly. Portrait gives me a small narrow view of you.
4. Try to get the camera as high up towards eye level as you can. That way you'll feel more comfortable, and I won't have to stare up your nose. If necessary, we'll do the lesson with you sitting down, though I will still be looking at your seated posture, of course.
5. Please make sure your music is as near eye level as possible too, so that you are playing or singing with good posture. If you don't have a music stand, this may be a good time to order one from Amazon or Musicroom.
6. Please make sure you have clearly readable copies to hand of anything you are going to sing or play. Preferably printed out, or as a fall-back, if you're using a computer for the Skype transmission, up on the computer screen with the Skype window alongside.
7. Please make sure that the gadget playing tracks is further away from the camera than you are, otherwise it'll drown out your sound. This doesn't apply to flautists who are not playing tracks, of course.
8. Also please make sure that if your track-playing gadget has a screensaver, you turn it off, or the music will stop unexpectedly in mid-song....
9. And if it's a phone, please turn the phone/text notification sound to silent so we don't get random pings throughout the lesson.
10. If the internet link falls over (sorry to the person who experienced that) I will finish the lesson off by phone - assuming, of course, that you have given me your phone number.
Other than that, well done everyone, and I'll see you for your next lesson.
Moving to online lessons 16/3/20
Due the fact that one of my students from last week has had contact with someone who now has the virus, I have decided that for the time being, as a precaution, all lessons I will teach will be conducted over Skype.
Your lessons will be at their normal time, but will be at your own home rather than mine.
Apologies to those students I had to cancel today, I will e-mail you separately with available times this week for a catch-up lesson.
How we can do a lesson over Skype
You will need two pieces of kit - a laptop/tablet/phone to transmit the Skype call and a separate laptop/table/phone to play your tracks on. Trying to run both from one machine crashes Skype.
I would suggest that if you are using a phone or tablet to do the Skype bit, you put that on a music stand alongside your music, so that you can stand comfortably to sing or play, and I can see and hear you clearly.
Please make sure you have all the tracks I've sent you recently, and all your books. Please let me know before your lesson if you can't find something and need it re-sent to you.
My Skype account is firstname.lastname@example.org and you will need to set me up as a contact. Please do this well ahead of your lesson time. I will accept any contact requests, and then will call you when it is your lesson time.
I'm sorry to have to do this, but I think it's the safest course of action