One-to-one Music Lessons
Aside from the time spent learning in classroom music lessons, one-to-one music tuition is perhaps the single most influential factor in students' chances of success at GCSE or IB level in music at Wrotham School. Of all the GCSE/IB music students who were taking private music lessons during their qualification or had taken a significant number of private music lessons previously (at least a year's worth), the overwhelming majority gained a grade 4/5, or above (previously GCSE/A Level grade C) at the end of their qualification.
While this statement above is not borne out of empirical study or detailed data gathering, since we replaced BTEC music qualifications with GCSE in 2013, and considering that we only have one GCSE class per year group and the average class size of 12-17 students at GCSE level alone, it has been easy to see that the number of those who had taken private music lessons and had failed to achieve a grade 4/C at the end of year 11 is reassuringly tiny.
This should come as no surprise. Performing and creating music is a highly specialised skill and having a professional music tutor working one-to-one with a student to guide them can be hugely beneficial, if the student is willing to act upon that guidance. We could say the same for any school-based subject, take maths tutoring for example. However, unlike maths music is not compulsory at primary school age and during primary school the music curriculum is often inconsistent and unstructured so by the time students' start music at secondary school, where it IS a compulsory subject at KS3, their experience varies wildly. It is common to have a year 7 class starting music with one or two students able to play an instrument fluently through having one-to-one tuition while some students have never even touched an instrument! One-to-one music tuition can address these gaps and provide a stable foundation for young musicians.
Tuition can be expensive so there are still a wealth of cheaper options online and elsewhere. While these cannot provide as potentially effective an experience as face-to-face tuition, sites and resources like Justin Guitar, Skoove, Playground Sessions, Flowkey, Drumeo, and so many more really offer some incredible features at cheaper prices. Finally, there is YouTube where lots of FREE lesson content can be found. Navigating these resources, both paid and especially free can be difficult so please get in touch if you want more tailored advice. If cost is an issue, then there is also always the option to book a set number of lessons to give a foundation or 'head-start', rather than over a number of years. A minimum of ten lessons must be booked with the company we use to provide lessons at Wrotham School - see below for more details.
Finally, and here's the disclaimer (!), despite all the above we also have examples of students who have had no peripatetic lessons ever and yet excel on our courses. One of our music teachers gained an A* in music at GCSE when they were at school having had no formal training whatsoever! These students are few and far between, but ultimately all it takes to become a good musician is dedication, focus and lots of good quality practice.
Finally, please take the time to listen to some of the fantastic examples of performances from our students over the years. Many of these are from students who have taken lessons, including some online lessons:
We Teach Music - lessons at Wrotham School
We offer one-to-one music lessons at Wrotham School for the following instruments:
Guitar (electric, electric bass, acoustic, classical and ukulele)
Saxophone and flute
We use an outside company, We Teach Music, and as a result of this we can be flexible in offering lessons for other instruments if demand is high enough or alternatively if the instrument can be offered at We Teach Music's studio in Kemsing.
Lessons are once a week during term time, during school hours on a staggered rota so that students do not consistently miss the same subject each week. If you still wish for your child to not miss any lessons then please contact We Teach Music so they can possibly arrange for lessons to land only during lunchtimes, after school or even off-site at their studio in Kemsing outside of school hours, subject to availability. Contact information is via the letter/form below.
Please use the application form here to apply for music lessons. You can send these to the music department directly, hand them in to your music teacher at school or email We Teach Music directly - details on the form.