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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Questions about Da Capo Academy

Questions about practise

Questions about my tuition

Questions about the examination process

Questions about concerts

Questions about billing

Questions about cancellations

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Questions about Da Capo Academy

Q: How do you say 'Da Capo Academy'?

English Phonetic: Da Capo Academy (🔊 /dá kápo əkǽdəmi/)

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Q: What is Da Capo Academy?

Da Capo Academy is an independent music tuition service, founded in 2010 by Samantha and Dylan Christopher, graduates of Colchester Institute: Centre for Music and Performing Arts (CMPA).

Lessons are taught from Samantha and Dylan's residence in Colchester with a comprehensive method constantly revised to meet the needs of their students and current standards.

Specialising in the teaching of beginner method, ‘Da Capo’ - which literally means ‘From the beginning’ - seemed like a fitting name. Together, the name Da Capo Academy, implying: "An Academy for beginners".

For more information visit: dacapoacademy.co.uk/about/.

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Q: Why should I chose you over a competitor?

We offer high-quality teaching with workshops and performance opportunities to all of our students.

For more information, view previous concerts and past examination results.

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Questions about practise

Q: How often should I practise?

It is misunderstood that practise should take place for hours at a time everyday. When you first start taking music lessons, short but focused practise sessions are more beneficial. As you progress your practise time and practise frequency should increase. Discussing your own personal practise schedule with your tutor is encouraged.

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Q: How do I know what to practise?

In your first lesson you are given a Tuition Logbook; In this, your tutor will write what is needed to be worked on for the next lesson.

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Questions about my tuition

Q: How frequent will my lessons be?

Lessons are scheduled on a weekly basis.

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Q: Where will the lessons take place?

Lessons are arranged to take place at the tutor's residence.

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Q: How long will my lessons be?

We offer lessons in 30, 45 and 60 minute sessions

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Q: How do I know when to extend my lesson duration?

Generally speaking, we try to make the experience of learning as organic as possible.  However, simply put, "it's time to extend" when we have reached the end of a lesson with tasks still to complete.  

Often, particularly with ‘tiny-tots’, an indicator is when we have an extended lesson without issue.  For example, if the lesson is usually 15 minutes in length, but we reach 30 minutes because the student was completely absorbed in the learning process and subject to ‘flow’.

Please note: this is subject to availability.

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Q: How much do lessons cost?

If you are interested in music lessons contact us for more information on prices.

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Q: Parent(s): Can you teach my four-year-old child?

Learning to play music is a very difficult process that takes time and patience (the latter being a trait that most children lack). The only requirements we have for teaching music are: the ability to understand spoken language; the ability to communicate; and good behavior. If you are interested in music lessons for your child aged four or five please contact us for a consultation lesson.

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Q: Parent(s): Is my child is too small to play the clarinet? If so, do you offer an alternative?

Students are taught clarinet lessons from the age of seven-years. An alternative instrument for a smaller child who would eventually like to play the clarinet, is the clarineo. This is a popular alternative for children who would like to learn the clarinet - nonetheless lacking the hand-span to do so.  

If you are interested in clarineo lessons please contact us for more information.

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Q: Parent(s): Can we leave our child with you, or do we stay during the lesson?

It is preferred that minors under the age of twelve are accompanied by an adult.

Please Note: You may choose to waive this right at any time, however it might hinder the progress of very young students without parental support, if only emotionally.

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Q: Do I have to take exams?

Exams are not compulsory, the option to take them is at the discretion of the pupil.  We do however encourage students to enter for theory and practical examinations for unbiased external assessment.

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Q: Do I have to be able to read music for my first lesson?

There are no prerequisites required to receive tuition.

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Q: What do you provide for the first lesson?

A Tuition Logbook with important information will be provided at the cost of £4.75. Instrument specific music books will be provided by your tutor (reimbursement is to be discussed with them). Da Capo Academy or our tutors DO NOT provide learners with instruments but can advise you where to purchase or rent an instrument to help you with your tuition.

For those readers local to Colchester, we recommend a visit to Mann's Music; their excellent customer service team will help you select the right instrument for your needs and/or budget.

Mann's Music, 123 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1SZ [Google Maps]

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Q: Is music theory part of lessons or is it separate?

Music theory is a part of every lesson applied either practically or discussed and put into writting. We offer theory tuition separately if needed.

For those students who prefer a practical alternative, ABRSM practical musicianship is offered to students on piano or their first-study solo instrument.

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Q: What happens if I do not want to continue lessons?

Should you wish to suspend your tuition either temporarily or indefinitely, please do so in writing giving one month's notice.  Visit contracted agreement summary for more information; please, also read below.

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Q: Do lessons take place during school holidays?

Lessons do not take place during half-terms or holiday-breaks; these include: Christmas, Easter and Summer (two-weeks break for each).  You will be notified with holiday specific dates in due course.  This will also be reflected on your invoice.

Please note: Lessons take place during the ‘Summer-Holiday’ break with exception to the final two-weeks in August.

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Q: Do you teach at the weekend?

Lessons can be booked to take place on Saturdays; there are no lessons on Sundays.

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Q: I damaged, misplaced or lost my achievement award! Can I get a new one?

Yes, you can purchase a replacement achievement award directly from us.

Please see below for specifications:

  • Da Capo Academy: 'Achievement Pin' - £8
  • Da Capo Academy: 'Achievement Medal' - £20
  • Da Capo Academy: 'Achievement Trophy' - £300

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Questions about the examination process

Q: How does the exam system work?

The music examination system can be confusing to the uninitiated, below is a brief explanation to help:

Entries are made to the examination-board via their registration-website. Once the entry-deadline date has passed, the board will start to compile the exam timetable. After all dates are allocated, times are issued to the registered teachers/entrants (us; who then inform you).

If an exam-time is received the candidate must be present for the exam otherwise it is classified absent and no mark is issued to that candidate; this is with exception  to a previously cancelled exam sitting. After a minimum of two-weeks have passed from the date of exam sitting, results are then published via the registration-site to the registered teacher/entrant (us; who then inform you).

The Preparatory-test (Prep-test) or Initial Grade is not an exam, but rather a performance-assessment. The examiner will write comments and give feedback on what is needed to be worked on before Grade 1 is pursued; these are often received immediately after the exam has taken place.

Please visit the following sites for more information:

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Questions about concerts

Q: What should I wear for my concert performance?

A classical concert performance is considered a formal engagement.  As such, all participants are expected to dress smartly.  Please see below for details on specific types of engagements:

Informal-concert dress:

Males

  • Shirt, trousers with shoes.

Females

  • Smart blouse, with smart trousers or skirt; or, a smart dress; with shoes.

 

Formal-concert dress:

Males

  • White dress-shirt, black neck-tie; black or charcoal trousers; with black dress-shoes.

Females

  • Black or white blouse, with black trousers or skirt; or, a smart black-dress; with black shoes.

General no-nos:

  • No sports t-shirts, or shirts with designer logos.
  • No sports trouser-bottoms, or trousers with designer logos.
  • No dresses with large-slits on the leg.
  • No trainers, sneakers, or high-heels over six-inches.

Generally, when deciding on what to wear, ask: “Would this outfit be appropriate for a business conference, interview, luncheon or dinner?”; if the answer is "No!", reconsider.

Your audience deserves your respect, they have paid to see you perform, they will appreciate your efforts and choices in attire.

If you are still uncertain, please contact us.

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Questions about billing

Q: How do I pay for the lessons?

You can pay in cash, cheque, bank transfer or online via PayPal.

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Q: When do I pay for lessons?

Invoices are sent by email on the first day of every month for that months’ tuition. It is stated on the invoice that payment is to be made within SEVEN-DAYS of receiving the invoice.

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Questions about cancellations

Q: What happens if I need to cancel a lesson?

If you need to cancel a lesson contact your tutor directly via email below. If you need to do so at short notice then contact via phone call or text as the message will be received immediately with evidence of 'notice-time'.

Email: contact@dacapoacademy.co.uk
Call: 01206 563 583

Please note: If your telephone call is not answered, please leave a message as it gives a date and time for cancellation.

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Q: How much notice do I need to give to cancel a lesson?

If a cancelation is made 24-HOURS before a lesson is to take place, the lesson fee will be refunded or the lesson rescheduled. Lessons cancelled within the 24-hour period before it is to take place will not be refunded or rescheduled as a late notice fee.

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Q: What should I do if I want to cancel my tuition indefinitely?

We are sorry that you feel this way, however we ask that you honour the agreed ONE-MONTH notice period, outlined in the contracted agreement.  Sessions within this time should be attended as per-usual to allow for informal discussions regarding current attainment with references given-out for any potential new teachers.

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