Philosophy / Our Responsibilities
The Milton Keynes Music Academy takes music education very seriously. Our primary task is to enable our students to unleash their full potential by building up their confidence and their skills. All lessons are tailored to suit the individual needs, goals, desires and loves of each pianist. We deeply encourage our pupils to consistently build up their musical knowledge and to integrate music in their lives.
Students will prepare a wide range of repertoire and they will be given the opportunity to perform their best pieces in public recitals. Our teachers will share with the pupils their musical knowledge, which comes from a very important lineage of piano masters. Students will be given a very formative experience that will completely suit their level and their goals for the future.
Lessons will be given on a weekly basis according to the academic calendar (which takes into account half terms, bank holidays and standard school holidays).
Students will be assigned a main teacher. It is possible that other teachers will deputise the main teacher when needed.
Please find the Academic Calendar below (click on it for a PDF version of it).
Attendance, Rescheduled & Missed Lessons
Students are responsible for arriving on-time at their lessons. The Milton Keynes Music Academy usually has a long waiting list and students are offered a personal slot only for them each week, and it is their responsibility to attend. No reimbursements will be offered for a missed (or shorter) lesson.
Because specific times are reserved for individual students, a pupil who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of it. For the same reason, late arrival times will not be made up as there are often other students or commitments immediately around lesson times.
Students who are ill SHOULD NOT attend lessons. If they are too sick to attend school, they are too sick to attend their lesson. Students must notify their teacher or the school if they cannot attend.
Students are allowed to reschedule/cancel ONE lesson per academic semester (September/February – March/August) in the event of illness, family emergency or school events. Students should provide 48 hour notice if possible. Reschedules are not for students who miss lessons due to play dates, games and non-emergency appointments.
During the summer teaching weeks (yellow weeks in the calendar), students are allowed ONE extra week of absence, to be notified to the school office before the monthly invoice is sent over to you.
If a teacher, for any valid reason, will need to reschedule a lesson, another teacher will cover the slot. In case no other teacher is available for that particular slot, a make up lesson will be fixed.
Tuition & Payments
The Milton Keynes Music Academy accepts Credit/Debit payments. Students will be asked to provide their credit card details, which will be processed by our secure third party platform, and agree to monthly direct debit charges. Invoices will be sent out on the first day of each month.
Tuition does not only cover the actual lesson time spent with the pupils, but includes the time our teachers spend preparing for each student as well and the ongoing business costs, including:
- Tailored lesson planning and repertoire selection
- Studio hire
- Piano tuning and maintenance
- Recital venues and programs
- Professional studio memberships
- Incentive programs and game materials
Tuition does not include the cost of music. Teachers will try, whenever possible, to provide links to free online sheet music. However sometimes, because of copyright restrictions, buying scores will be inevitable.
Tuition fees are automatically deducted at the beginning of each month, taking into account the number of teaching weeks that will take place on that month. This monthly payment guarantees the student’s place in the school and covers all the expenses indicated above and is not refundable.
Lessons are scheduled at a mutually agreed time when the student begins lessons, and at the commencement of each academic year thereafter.
If a student/parent wishes to change their lesson time mid-year this can be discussed on a case by case basis, however this is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.
Group workshops are a very important way for students to share their progress with other learners and might be held instead of the regularly scheduled lessons in discretion of the Director.
Practice Expectations & Instrument Requirements
During the lessons, teachers will set realistic goals for the following lesson, in order to ensure a constant progress. The way students will obtain these goals will be through a steady dedicated practice. Ideally, students should practice at least 4-5 days a week. Specific amounts of practice time are not assigned to each student. Instead, students should practice long enough to complete their weekly assignments. Practice time is not as important as the quality of the time pianists spend at the instrument. Motivation, commitment levels, and a general positive attitude towards playing piano fluctuate over time. This is completely normal. Especially with younger students, it is essential to have a strong parental support. All three people – students, parents, and teachers – work together to help get through the bumpy times and to ensure a happy and successful experience. Throughout the year, students will be presented the opportunity to perform at recitals and other public events, and may also be invited to participate in formal assessments and competitions. These occasions are essential to maintain the motivation at its highest and to build up a strong self confidence which will be immensely beneficial in every aspect of a student’s life.
In order to be able to practice daily, students will need to have access to an instrument. In case their instrument is the piano, a full size (88-key) acoustic grand or upright is preferred, however a digital piano with weighted action could also be an option. The staff of the Milton Keynes Music Academy is happy to help students with finding a suitable first instrument or with upgrading their current one.
Students who want to discontinue their lessons must provide notice by email at least three weeks in advance. This will give the Milton Keynes Music Academy enough time to replace the student’s slot with another student from the waiting list. Students will continue to receive the lessons they have paid for until the end of the monthly cycle, when the termination will take effect. Refunds will not be issued.
Mutual respect is a key goal in our school. The Milton Keynes Music Academy reserves the right to remove students from the schedule if they have poor attendance, poor practice habits, bad behaviour or if they repeatedly break any school policies.