Student Resource Centre

As we receive a high volume of emails, please check here for an answer to your query. The most common questions relate to the timetable for lessons; readiness for exams; the scholarship process and rescheduling lessons.

When Do Lessons Start/Finish?
Our timetable is always viewable on our web site. In addition to this, printed copies are available from you teacher. We also attach the timetable to every group email sent at least once each half-term.
[Click to View Timetable] [Click to View Summer 2017 Newsletter]

Why Can’t I Reschedule My Lesson?
We are unable to accommodate requests to reschedule weekly lessons if you are unable to attend. However we will do our best to inform you of any cancellations that may be coming up and you are welcome to come at those times although we do not often get much notice when a student is absent. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to let your teacher know if you are unable to attend a lesson.
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Why Can’t I Change My Lesson Time Mid-Year?
The timetable takes many hours to put together. For the 2017/2018 timetable, it took us nearly a month of changes and over 100 emails back and forth between students and teachers to accommodate the requests for lesson time changes. As a small business, we can only cope with this huge administrative burden once a year when we offer all students the chance to request a new lesson time. The new timetable is published in July and your lesson time remains unchanged for 2017/2018. If you schedule another activity in your lesson time, there is no guarantee that we are able to find you a suitable lesson time so please do not presume we can rearrange the timetable. Each teacher works on a set day and not all teachers live locally so they are not available 7 days a week.

How Long Until I Can Sit Grade 1 Piano?
There is no simple answer to this question. Each student learns at a different pace and shows a different level of commitment to learning the piano. Generally, students that are able to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to practising the piano on a frequent basis and have the support of their parents, will see the greatest amount of progress. Some of the things that will hinder progress include: Missing lots of lessons; forgetting to bring books to lessons; not buying the required books; not completing the set tasks each week; lack of a regular practice routine. This list is not exhaustive!
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Can I Get a Music Scholarship?
Many of our pianists will be working towards music scholarships for state secondary schools such as Habs, Prendergast and Kingsdale. These schools use either a Music Aptitude two-stage test or an audition. Music Scholarships, as the name imply, are for musicians that display a a passion and enthusiasm for music above and beyond the basic level. With the pressure for school places in Dulwich being extremely high, the schools are fortunate to receive a large volume of applications. The musicians that are most successful are the ones that have a track record of performing in youth initiatives such as Animate Orchestra, singing with the Multi-Story Orchestra, just to name a few of the local opportunities. The latter requires no formal music training and is a great opportunity to get involved with local music making in Peckham. The system for private school music scholarships is more focussed on levels of attainment and musicians hoping to be considered for these would require two instruments, one at least Grade 3, the other around Grade 5 as a minimum, but most candidates offer a much higher standard. It would be expected that you are playing at least at Merit level, if not Distinction level on both instruments.
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When Can I Sit My Exam?

Preparing for an exam is like preparing for a marathon – there is lots of focussed preparation to be done over a long period of time, you can’t leave it all to the last minute and hope for the best on the exam day! We expect our musicians to have a committed regular (ideally daily) practice routine that allows them to make significant progress from week-to-week. Students that are taking over 4 terms to learn their graded exam requirements may be struggling to keep up with the demands of the exam and your teacher may suggest having a break until ready to tackle the exam. Your teacher is always monitoring your progress and attainment during lessons and we meet each term to discuss which students are showing readiness for exams. All students must be able to pass a mock exam in order to be entered for the exam. This ensures that you have all areas of the exam to a good degree of fluency and can spend the few weeks between the exam entry deadline and the actual exam refining and polishing the requirements. We believe it is better to be well-prepared and achieve the best mark that you can than rushing through from grade to grade and achieving a lower mark. A great sense of confidence and self-satisfaction is achieved by knowing you have prepared thoroughly, performed several times in public and have given the best performance that you can on exam day.
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Author: Lorraine Liyanage

Owner of the SE22 Piano School in East Dulwich. Founder and Director of the Dulwich Music Festival. Piano teacher based in East Dulwich since 2007.

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