Frequently asked questions


When are lessons payable?

Lessons are payable half-termly, in advance. You will receive a bill via email around 7 days before the start of the half-term, and all sessions should be paid for by the first day back to ensure your child’s lessons resume without delay.

How can I pay?

We recommend you pay by credit/debit card, using the payment link directly from the invoice email. You can also pay by BACS using the bank details on the invoice, or in cash by using the payment box at the front desk at LIPA Primary School.

What happens if I don’t pay on time?

We will send you a reminder email just before payment is due. If we haven’t received payment, we will send you reminder emails after the due date. If for some reason you aren’t able to check or receive emails, we will send out a text reminder.

What if I’m struggling to make payment?

We understand from time to time, cash flow can be an issue for some parents. We take each situation on a case-by-case basis but it may be possible to extend the deadline for payment if there is a genuine reason. Please get in contact at the earliest possible convenience to make an arrangement with us.

I’d like to make changes to my child’s provision/I’d like to cancel my child’s sessions

No problem at all, please let us know at the earliest convenience so we can make the arrangements.

The Piano Course

What is Dogs & Birds?

Dogs & Birds is a fantastic piano course specifically designed for young children. Based in Kodaly principles, D&B is a simple and fun way of getting children started on piano, with amazing results. For more information, check out:

What is Kodaly?

Or rather, who! Zoltan Kodaly is a Hungarian musician & educationalist who developed the Kodaly method, also known as the Kodaly concept. He is well known to have revolutionised music education in Hungary in the 20th Century. Kodaly’s aim was to make music accessible to everyone, by singing and using body percussion before externalising music onto an instrument. There is a focus on logical sequential progression and also utilises special rhythmic syllables, movable-do solfege and hand signs. A quick Google search will unlock a whole world of learning!

How are the lessons taught?

We deliver weekly one-to-one lessons, normally lasting for 20 minutes each. Lessons are fast paced and broken into a number of course elements including pieces, rhythm exercises, aural training, music map/composition and sung finger exercises.

How much are the sessions?

The piano lessons are £8 per 20 minute 1-to-1 lesson, or £12 per 30 minute 1-to-1 lesson.

What keyboard do you recommend for home practice?

Nothing beats a real, in-tune acoustic piano, but we understand that option isn’t possible for many households. If you do have the space for an acoustic upright piano, we recommend searching on Gumtree, eBay or even Freecycle for unwanted pianos that just need a little TLC at a low cost.

The second best option is a hammer-action keyboard/stage piano like this or a Clavinova style digital piano like this.

Even a portable keyboard like this will do the trick, particularly for younger children.

How can I best facilitate practice at home?

Please check out our practice page.

Where can I get hold of the Dogs & Birds teaching materials?

Dogs & Birds Book 1 and Book 2 are available from LIPA Primary as a free loan. Please contact front desk for your copy. We recommend purchasing the Dogs & Birds beginners set which includes all the teaching resources we use in lessons including the animal tiles, music map, the two books (in both editions) and the parent/teacher notes. You can purchase here:

What happens after completing Book 2?

Starting in Year 4, we are offering two discrete pathways for children to take - an exam pathway and a non-exam pathway. The exam pathway increases lesson time to 30 minutes and gears children up for sitting traditional ABRSM exams. The non-exam pathway continues in a similar vein to the piano lessons up to this point, focusing on a holistic music education - including completing pieces, developing rhythm, exploring composition/improvisation, vocalisation and aural skills. The question of which pathway to go down is a not necessarily a simple one. Please get in contact to start the conversation.

How do I monitor my child’s progress for home practice?

You can monitor your child’s progress using our progress tracker here. Please note this is a dynamic spreadsheet which constantly updates, so please bookmark it!

What assessment is involved in the lessons?

In addition to continual formative assessment by your child’s teacher, we also send out a full end-of-year report and a video showing them perform a piece, which is a fantastic keepsake and allows you to monitor progress year-on-year.

After-School Music Sessions

What is the After-School music session?

After-School music is a weekly session, led by two of our music teachers Lily Maketansky and Will Rogers. There is a focus on singing and performance, with additional elements such as percussion.

How long are the sessions?

The sessions are one hour long, lasting from 3.20 til 4.20.

How much are the sessions?

The sessions cost £4 per session per child

When are the sessions?

Starting in September 2018, we will be will be running Y1 and Y2 together on a Wednesday, and Y3 and Y4 together on a Thursday.

Ukulele & Guitar Sessions

What are the Ukulele sessions?

These sessions are designed using a Kodaly-inspired course designed by our teacher Will Rogers. The focus is on self-accompanied singing, developing co-operation within the ensemble and performing sympathetically together, predominantly using chordal & strumming work. The Ukulele course is a 1 year course designed to be a mandatory preparatory course which then progresses onto guitar in Years 4, 5 and 6.

What are the Guitar sessions?

These sessions are designed using a Kodaly-inspired course designed by our teacher Will Rogers. This is a follow-on course from the Ukulele course, and runs from Years 4 to 6. Much like the ukulele sessions, the guitar sessions incorporate chordal work with more technical aspects of guitar playing including single note work, scales and improvisation. Like the Kodaly principle, the guitar course has its foundations in folk music which leads organically onto blues and rock genres.

How long are the sessions?

These are small group sessions are 30 minutes long, with up to 5 children per session.

How much are the sessions?

The sessions are £5 per 30 minute weekly session.

When are the sessions?

Starting in September 2018, we will be will be running Y1 and Y2 together on a Wednesday, and Y3 and Y4 together on a Thursday.