Music Lessons and more with Musiquity

How does it work? 

Simple!  You fill out the form on the website telling us your contact details, what instrument you’d like to learn, where you’d like music lessons, the times you’re available and what your goals are for music lessons and we get to work immediately matching you with a teacher.  When we’ve got a potential match from our music teacher database, we get in touch with them and ask them to contact you for a follow up chat.  A lesson slot is then arranged and we ask for payment for 4 weeks of music lessons.  We check in with you after your first and second lessons to see how things are going and see if you’d like to arrange further lessons.  Should you wish to discontinue music lessons entirely at any point, you just need to give one month’s notice and we will refund any remaining lessons paid in excess of that 4 lesson window.

How do you select your teachers? 

Selection takes place in a number of steps:

  1. Teacher applicants fill on an online application on detailing information including experience, education, ambition. This is reviewed by our team.
  2. Selected teacher applicants are invited for interview with the Musiquity team where we discuss  experience, education, reasons for teaching and philosophy.  We then review a lesson.  We want to make sure that the individual really loves teaching, has a methodology, and can communicate effectively.  If the teacher teaches at home and/or in a studio space, we also visit this to make sure it’s well set up and suitable.
  3. References are contacted and a CRB (now DBS) documentation is checked.  If the teacher has a valid CRB/DBS certificate (within 3 years), this will be checked, otherwise a fresh check will be run.
  4. Successful applicants are offered a place on the Musiquity roster and matched with students based on mutual preferences

This screening is rigorous and is completely different than what “directory” style websites do.  We use our expertise as musicians, businesspeople and parents to make sure you, the parent or student, really are getting the best music teachers out there.

Musiquity instructors must have previous successful teaching experience and have be communicative, positive and inspiring teachers in order to be offered a place on our team.

What happens if I need to cancel?  

Cancellation is one of the most difficult issues in any teacher’s life.  Everyone has illness, everyone has things come up at the last minute.  But we are pretty firm on this – A music teacher is a professional just like a lawyer, doctor or plumber and should be treated as such.  The time your teacher has set aside for you is time that s/he cannot use for anything else, and in economic terms, once that time has passed it cannot be sold again.  The value has been spent.  Therefore we have a 48 hour cancellation policy, that is, unless notice is received by Musiquity 48 hours prior to a scheduled lesson, the teacher is not obligated to make up the lesson, and the fee for that lesson will not be refunded.  The teacher does, however, have discretion to arrange a make-up with you and would of course endeavour to do this in cases of illness or emergency.

A great blog post on this issue can be found here.

The Studio Helper software we use also allows all students to input their planned holidays well in advance and we’d ask you to use that functionality so you and your teacher can plan around your scheduled activities and work lesson planning around those periods.

What if it’s not working out with my teacher?  

If you are just starting with Musiquity, we consider the first two lessons as a trial period.  This means that if you change your mind about music lessons for whatever reason within 48 hours after the second lesson, we will either work to find you another teacher or refund you your remaining two lesson payments.

Always feel free to give us a call with any concerns you have at any time during your lessons.  We are here to offer advice and solutions.  Sometimes that will be a discreet word to your teacher, sometimes that will be reassurance to you, other times that might mean suggesting a new teacher for you.  Our team works hard to ensure that all parents and students have information and support to ensure that your music lessons are working for you.

 Why should I go to you rather than a) the teenager down the street b)the teacher I found on the internet or c) my friend’s teacher? 

We won’t pretend to be the solution for everybody or every situation because it’s true that all those options above can work out wonderfully for people.  Unfortunately, they can work out pretty badly too. We take the guesswork, the risk and the hassle out of the process of finding a great music teacher.

With all of the above options, you have two issues – Quality and Safety.

Quality: We all know people who have taken music lessons during their life and feel “scarred” from the experience.  Often times, they’ve gone to the “qualified” or “well-known” teachers in their area but in fact, real teaching was sadly lacking.  This is why we review teachers in their environment teaching, doing what they do best.  We look for teachers working with the student’s preferences while still imparting strong technique and basic knowledge.  We make sure that the student experience is positive but challenging.  We take the time to understand how the teacher works with students over time to develop them and encourage the love of music.  And, not to begrudge the teenager down the road who may be brilliant, but it’s impossible to build up this standard of teaching at a really young age.

Also, it’s important to remember that the first music teacher is perhaps the most important.  S/he really shapes how the student perceives the instrument and music in general.  Is it a positive experience?  Are correct fundamentals being learned?  Are all facets of music (playing, composing, history, theory) approached in an engaging manner that interests the student and sparks creativity and curiosity?

Do you choose the cheapest carpenter to install your new kitchen?  No, you choose the best, because you have to live with the impact of what that individual does for years.  Musiquity is here to make sure students get the best instruction possible and build an enjoyable lifetime habit.

Safety: Private instruction is an unregulated field and safety is an issue which is often overlooked.  Students are typically alone in the company of the teacher for 30-60 minutes a week.  CRB/DBS and reference checking are steps that Musiquity takes to give you peace of mind regarding the safety and trustworthiness of your teacher.

Do you provide performance opportunities for your students?

Yes.  Our teachers are encouraged to provide several performance opportunities a year to their students.  In future, Musiquity will also be providing formal and informal performance opportunities which will allow students from a variety of teachers to play for and interact with one another.

Where can I buy/rent an appropriate music instrument?

Musiquity is establishing relationships with vendors and will gladly give you advice on obtaining an instrument.  For those of you who are commitment-averse, rental is almost always an option.

Where should I buy music books?

Typically the teacher will advise on what material to buy and where it can be purchased.  Chappell of Bond Street and MusicRoom are good UK sources.

Do teachers prepare students for exams?

Absolutely, yes.  We believe that exam systems provide a strong framework within which to study, valuable feedback, a performance opportunity and most of all, a goal to work towards.  That said, exams are not the only way to structure learning and our teachers are equally happy to teach outside a set curriculum.

 Do you offer instruction for adult beginners?

Of course, and adult returners as well.  Many of our teachers specialise in adult teaching and really enjoy working with students who have made a deliberate choice to study and improve.  If you’ve always wanted to try out an instrument, don’t be afraid.   If you haven’t played in 10, 20, 30+ years, what are you waiting for?  Our teachers are skilled in cutting through the shyness and the fear and seeing through the rustiness to bring out the best in you as a musician.  Be assured, there will be no colouring books and stickers (unless you want them!) and your lesson will be tailored to your interests, personality and goals.

When can children begin private music lessons?  

Children benefit substantially from beginning their musical journey in early age and early childhood is the ideal time to start music lessons.  It is really amazing how quickly children can pick up various musical skills.  There are a number of group music programs available that can be wonderful in instilling a musical foundation in a group environment which are great to start out with (ages 6 mo. to school age).

When it comes to private lessons, as a general rule of thumb, children can begin music lessons around age 4, working with a teacher who specialises in very young beginners.  It really does depend on the child, though, and they need to be able to sit still and listen for 10-15 minutes.  Just get in touch and we will match you with one of our specialised teachers and they can provide further advice and guidance.

How long and how often should music lessons be?  

The average lesson is weekly and runs for one hour.  Music lessons for young children are typically 30 minutes, increasing to 45 as the child matures.  Advanced musicians and adults may prefer to take music lessons once every two weeks and work independently in between lessons.

Music lessons and more with Musiquity