Parents

The Conwy Music Service gives all pupils aged 7-18 the opportunity to learn with specialist tutors.

The Conwy Music Service offers:

  • Strings: violin, viola, cello and double bass
  • Brass: cornet, trumpet, trombone, tenor horn, euphonium, French horn and tuba
  • Woodwind: flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe and bassoon
  • Harp
  • Guitar: classical acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass
  • Percussion: drum kit, timpani and tuned percussion
  • Voice
  • Keyboard

Not every instrument is available in every school but why not talk to your child’s school to see if a new instrument can be introduced?

Benefits of learning music

Children learning an instrument:

  • Do better in school
  • Are happier and healthier
  • Meet other children and teachers in new social settings
  • Develop skills – team-work, concentration, self-discipline, memory
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem

Starting lessons

Talk to your school about the music tuition available and make your request to your school’s Headteacher, Head of Music or Music Coordinator.

Your child can have a taster session, meet the tutor and try out an instrument. After the taster session, you can agree a start date for lessons with the school.

Most children start having lessons in September.

Music lessons are usually taught in the pupil’s school during normal school hours. Secondary schools usually organise a rota system so that pupils don’t miss the same subject lesson each week.

Pupils are taught in small groups, pairs or individually depending on the instrument. Often pupils of a similar standard are grouped together.

Instruments

Instruments are loaned free of charge to schools who, in turn, loan them free of charge to pupils. An instrument can be loaned for up to three years.

Once a child’s interest is established, parents are encouraged to buy pupils their own instruments.

AIPS (The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme) supports schools to buy weekly tuition instruments and sell them to parents with no VAT – a real saving.

Instruments are expensive and valuable. We expect learners to treat instruments with respect and in accordance with their tutor’s instructions.

Costs

Each school’s Governing Body sets its own music tuition fees and concessions policy. Fees are payable each term or annually.

Depending on the instrument, you might need to buy a tutor book and small items such as strings, reeds and oils. The tutor will advise you.

Fees are payable to take Music Exams with a recognised music board such as the ABRSM. You may also be asked to contribute to the cost of an accompanist.

County ensembles

Conwy County has a number of ensembles – groups like orchestras, bands or choirs – at junior / senior levels and in different parts of the county.

Once your child has achieved basic competence, they’ll be invited to join one of our ensembles. This is rewarding and fun – it helps their learning progress.

The ensembles perform regularly in Music Service concerts and they’re sometimes invited to play in community events.

Exams

Music Exams with a recognised music board such as the ABRSM are optional. They’re offered after consultation with you and your school.

Exams give your child a specific aim and a sense of further achievement. Exams can also indicate your child’s progress.

Children who don’t take music exams will still receive weekly practice tasks and an annual report so you’ll be kept informed of your child’s development.

In secondary schools tutors can support pupils taking Music / Music Technology / Performing Arts GCSE’s and A Levels.

Next steps to regional and national music ensembles

We support pupils to fulfil their potential as young musicians.

Junior Ensembles lead to membership of the Conwy County Youth Orchestra and/or our Specialist Ensembles including Big Band, Strings, Woodwind and Harp.

Pupils then audition for the regional ensembles, including the North Wales Youth Orchestra, which are managed through a partnership of all six North Wales local authorities.

Nationally, the five Youth Music Ensembles of Wales (Orchestra, Brass Band, Choir, Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Jazz) bring together Wales’ finest young musicians aged 13-21 for intensive courses and superb concerts.

How you can help your child

Learning to play an instrument or to sing is rewarding AND a challenge. You can help your child by reminding them to remember their instrument and music on lesson day, encouraging them to practice, and if they’re in an ensemble, ensuring they attend regularly.

Thank you!

Contact celfacherdd@conwy.gov.uk