News

Back to lessons September 2021


Dear everyone

I hope you’ve had a good Summer, and are feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to make some more music. As usual at this time of year, I’m writing to ask for your lesson preferences.

After a year and a half of purely online lessons, my plan is to be available for face-to-face lessons as well as online ones this term. Because of the ongoing risks from the pandemic, I will have to do things slightly differently for now, to make sure that lessons are as safe as possible:

  • 1. If you are feeling at all unwell, or you test positive for Covid, please let me know straight away, and please don’t come to the house. You can always have an online lesson instead if you feel well enough, or we can look at a reschedule.

  • 2. If I am unwell or test positive, I will move to online lessons straight away. Please make sure I have an up-to-date phone number for you so that I can let you know as soon as possible if a face-to-face lesson is going to need changing.

  • 3. Unless I am teaching siblings in consecutive lessons, there will be a 15 minute gap between sessions to enable me to clean and ventilate my music room. Obviously this is likely to have a knock-on effect on timetabling, which I will discuss further down this e-mail.

  • 4. For the time being, the waiting room will not be available, so please can you wait in your car.


Timetabling is likely to be more of a challenge than usual this year, due to the need for gaps between lessons, and I apologise in advance that I may not be able to give everyone their first choice of times. When you send me your timetabling requests, please can you let me know whether you want face-to-face or online lessons, and, as well as telling me your preferred times, please let me know any times that will be absolutely impossible. The more flexible you can be, the easier it will be to find a suitable time for you.

My available hours will be:

Mondays 4pm to 8pm

Tuesdays 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm

Wednesdays 4pm to 8pm

Thursdays 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm


I will be available for lessons from 6th September. Please let me know whether you would like a lesson in the first week or not.

Fees from 1st September will be as follows:

Half an hour £22.50 or batch of 10 lessons £202.50

Three quarters of an hour £32.50 or batch of 10 lessons £292.50

One hour £42.50 or batch of 10 lessons £382.50

One and a quarter hours £52.50 or batch of 10 lessons £472.50

Unused lessons from last term’s batches will be carried over to the start of this term. Please let me know if you need to confirm how many lessons you have carried over.

My preferred payment method remains bank transfer, but my bank account details have changed. My new account is available upon request.


I think that’s it for now. If you have any queries, please let me know.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Catherine

Diploma Congratulations 10/7/21

Congratulations to the students who have achieved diplomas this term.


Your hard work has been impressive, particularly as the entire diploma journey has been undertaken with online lessons.


Megan - ARSM Flute with Distinction

Alice - ARSM Singing with Merit.


I am incredibly proud of both of you.


Catherine


End of this term, and other information 5/7/21

Hello everyone

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.

Many thanks

I hope you have a lovely Summer Holiday.

Best wishes

Catherine

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

Dear everyone

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.

Best wishes

Catherine

Moving to online lessons 16/3/20

Dear everyone

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 catherine@jennawaymusic.co.uk 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

Best wishes

Catherine