17th December, 2019

Instrumental Tuition Handbook for Parents

Covid 19 update

We are very pleased to be continuing to offer the full spectrum of instrumental lessons. All government health and safety requirements are being followed and PPE is available for all instrumental staff.

  • Instruments will need to be kept with the student throughout the day.
  • Students are allowed to attend instrumental lessons even if it means crossing over a year group bubble.

Please contact the instrumental manager Mr G Cardwell if you have any further questions g.cardwell@trinity.nottingham.sch.uk


Learning to play a musical instrument offers a lot of benefits:

  1. Playing a musical instrument makes you smarter: many studies have been conducted on the effects of music on the brain.
  2. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those that play an instrument, do better in school.
  3. It teaches discipline: learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and it can be challenging. You have to be disciplined in order to master your instrument.
  4. It relieves stress: playing an instrument can relax you.
  5. It gives you a sense of achievement: if you’re a beginner learning to play your first piece, it can be frustrating.  But once you’ve mastered it, the satisfaction you will feel is priceless.
  6. It is fun: it can be a lot of hard work learning an instrument, but it is also a lot of fun. Once you get better, opportunities will arise for you to share your skills and join ensembles.

Peripatetic Staff

Instrumental tuition at Trinity School is provided by a large number of well qualified visiting teachers. They are employed through the school and all payments for tuition are made to the school itself.

Instrumental Manager

Mr G Cardwell

Teacher Day Instrument / family
Richard Smith Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Guitar
Jane Ingram Tuesday & Friday Keyboard & woodwind
Matt Burton Thursday Vocal
Glenn Brailsford Friday (morning) Brass
David Hartland Tuesday Percussion
Lisa Bancroft Thursday (morning) Flute
Des Perkins Monday (morning) Violin
Andrew Mart Monday (4 hours),

Wednesday (6 hours)


Cost of Instrumental Lessons

Lessons cost are £180 for shared lessons and £300 for individual lessons per academic year. The payments can be made by cheque or in 3 instalments through the school’s gateway payment system. Typical private lessons cost around £30 an hour, so this is a very reasonable cost to learn an instrument.  Letters regarding payments are emailed out with specific details and any queries regarding this should be directed to the instrumental manager, Mr Cardwell: g.cardwell@trinity.nottingham.sch.uk or 0115 9296251

How Instrumental Lessons Work

Lessons are normally 20-30 minutes long, dependant on ability and group size, and they take place during the school day in the instrumental teaching rooms.  Lessons start strictly on time, so it is important that pupils arrive promptly with their instrument.  The majority of lessons are individual or paired.  The maximum number of pupils in an instrumental lesson would be three in a singing lesson.


Timetables vary for each teacher and are displayed on the noticeboard outside Room Mu4 on the Kingsbury campus Music Department and outside the practice rooms near the Caretaker’s Office.  Pupils should check these timetables regularly and if they cannot make a lesson they can try to swap with another pupil or leave a note for their teacher in the pigeon holes outside Room Mu4.  Lessons are arranged on a rota system so that a pupil will not miss the same lesson each week.  If a significant difficulty is encountered with clashing lesson times this needs to be brought to the attention of the Instrumental Manager.  Sixth formers may have a fixed lesson time to coincide with free periods.

Failure to Attend Lessons

Persistent absence from lessons will result initially in a letter home.  If absences continue the slot for instrumental lessons will be removed.  No money will be refunded.

Leaving Curriculum Lessons

All pupils have a card in the back of their contact diary on which they should record the times of their lesson each week.  This is then signed by a music teacher and allows the pupil to be excused from their lesson.


It is expected that pupils will practise regularly.  As a guide, pupils should be practising most nights for at least ten minutes.  It is important to understand that the instrumental lesson is only one part of the learning of an instrument – regular practice of scales and arpeggios, as well as pieces of music, together with playing in ensembles, bands or orchestras, are all essential for swift progress.

School Instruments for Loan

In most cases, it is possible for the school to loan instruments from its stock free of charge, although some instruments are less available than others due to popularity.  The school does not loan out guitars other than for use in lesson time.

Security of Instruments

Parents must be aware of their responsibilities in ensuring that any instrument loaned out to their son/daughter is kept safe at all times.  In addition they must undertake to keep the instrument in good working order and carry out routine maintenance, such as replacement of reeds and strings.  If the instrument becomes damaged the Instrumental Manager must be notified immediately.  If the damage is caused by the pupil the school will not bear the cost of repairs.  Under no circumstances should parents take an instrument for repair and invoice the school without prior permission.  In the majority of cases, repairs will be organised through the school and peripatetic staff are always happy to give advice on the care and maintenance of instruments.

It is essential that ALL instruments are covered by your own insurance policy.  School instruments are only insured by us when they are stored in the music storeroom.  Personal instruments are not covered by our insurance at any time.  Household policies often only cover the instrument while it is at home.

It is important that pupils and parents are aware of the need to keep all instruments safe, both on the school premises and elsewhere.  There are instrument cupboards in the Lower School Music Department which are supervised during the day and locked at night.

It is essential that the pupil’s name is displayed on the OUTSIDE of the instrument case so that it is not taken by another pupil mistaking it as theirs.  Pupils are also encouraged to attach other identifying features (e.g. coloured ribbons) to the case to make it easily identifiable.

Exams and Reporting

The school enters pupils for ABRSM practical grade examinations each term and the exams take place in school.  Pupils are entered according to teacher discretion and payments for these need to be made to the office at least a month in advance of the examination.  If a pupil is absent from an exam or is withdrawn a refund cannot be given.

The majority of pupils will be given a free accompanist from within the Music Department who they will rehearse with before the exam date.  For the higher grades (6-8) a payment for a pianist may be required.

Pupils can also be entered for ABRSM theory examinations and there is a theory group in school which offers help with this.  Any pupils taking ABRSM practical exams at grade 6 and above must have passed grade 5 theory.

Some teachers enter pupils for Trinity Guildhall practical exams, which will take place at an external centre.  Where possible, the school will try and organise an accompanist for these exams also.

Instrumental reports are sent home once a year via pupil registers and Schoolcomms.  These will outline your son/daughter’s progress on their instrument and any areas for improvement.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

There are many extra-curricular groups at Trinity catering for all abilities and it is expected that once a pupil reaches an appropriate standard on an instrument that they will become a committed member of at least one ensemble.  These ensembles perform at the whole-school concerts and provide another means of helping pupils progress with their instrumental learning.


All queries regarding instrumental tuition should be directed in the first instance to the Instrumental Manager, Mr Cardwell: g.cardwell@trinity.nottingham.sch.uk  or 0115 9296252