Fees, Terms and Conditions, Insurance
Length of lessons
In terms of lesson time, half-an-hour is fine up to about grade 5. After that 45 minutes, or an hour a week would be more usual.
I offer a second pupil a 10% discount - so, for example, two members of the same family for two 30 minutes lessons would be £32.20, rather than £35.60.
Lessons in school (except where set by the school)
* (years 1 and 2 only)
Terms and Conditions
I issue contracts for teaching, a standard agreement prepared by the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Students sign up for a series of lessons, to which both they and I are committed. Cheques should be made payable to Fergus Black within ten days. Exam and Competition fees, purchase of music, and the provision of pencils and rubbers, are additional.
Please try not to miss lessons: if you are ill or working, please give me notice if you can. I would prefer to re-arrange missed lessons, but if we can’t agree a mutually convenient time, I reserve the right to charge.
If I accompany singers in exams and auditions, I will charge for it, as if it were a lesson.
I teach during Peterborough school terms. If I take other breaks, I’ll let you know as far in advance as I can.
Parents must accompany children 16 and under, and wait through the lesson.
Insurance and Clearance to work with Children
Through my membership of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, I have Public Liability insurance up to £10m in relation to my professional work. My latest Enhanced Disclosure from the CRB is dated August 2011.
It would be best to look on the lessons as a kind of ‘check-up’. The work of learning music is done between lessons, not at them. The student should be practising regularly, preferably daily. Each time there should be a variety of different activities: posture, warm-up exercises, technical work / scales, pieces at different stages of preparation – some new, some well-known. The general rule of practice is that it should be purposeful, not simply dutiful. For example, to get a difficult bit right, slow it down, and take it apart: for pianists, practise hands separately before putting them together; for singers, separate the words and the music. Simply playing through from the beginning each time you make a mistake will not do!
Concerts and performances
From time-to-time I arrange student concerts to give everyone a chance to meet other students and parents. Also, to give students performing experience in front of an audience – so that they are not fazed in exams and performances.
I don’t follow any strict curriculum for students, since we are all individuals. However, I encourage students to take Associated Board exams and to enter the local Competition Music Festival. These provide objective assessments of standards, and help students prepare for performance.
I will, in the course of time, recommend some music to buy for lessons. I need to make an assessment of range and suitability of repertoire before doing that. Any music that I’ve copied or lent is only a temporary measure to get us going. When I ask you to order music, you can get it online, e.g. from
Musicroom or Amazon in many cases
Peterborough Music Shop
4 Cattle Market Road
Tel: 01733 345385