Guide for Parents
In accepting a student into The Music School, The City of Edinburgh Council is making a major commitment to resources, both in material terms and in terms of the dedication of the specialist teachers involved.
If the School is to be of maximum benefit to its students this commitment must be matched by that of students and parents. This guide is intended to help parents play their part in the process. Obviously, music school students must not have private teachers outwith school, and should not be part of any other specialist music programme. Regional and National ensembles can be of great benefit to students – but these should be discussed and agreed with music school staff before applying.
It is expected that students will attend for the complete school year except for unavoidable reasons such as illness. Parents are asked not to make family holiday arrangements during term time.
In the case of absence the normal school procedure will apply, but in addition, parents are asked to notify The Music School as early as possible. With prior knowledge the schedule of visiting teachers can often be rearranged to make the best use of time in school.
Performing is an important aspect of musical training and we try to provide as much performing experience as possible. Concert dates are usually known and published well in advance. Occasionally an invitation to perform will arrive at short notice.
In all reasonable circumstances we do expect that students will be available to take part in concerts as required. To avoid possible conflicts of interest it is important to know of any musical commitment outwith The Music School either regular or occasional, which a student wishes to undertake. The Director of The Music School or the Primary Music Specialist should be consulted about any possible performances (especially of a solo nature) and auditions.
Some practice time is provided in school but more must be done at home. Parents are asked to give all possible help in seeing that opportunity for serious, undisturbed practice is available at home. Instrumental teachers are happy to advise on the organisation of practice time. Parents of younger students are encouraged to attend some instrumental lessons so that they are better prepared to supervise practice at home.
Students will be expected to provide much of their own music, The City of Edinburgh Music School finances generally being used for ensemble rather than solo work.
Please note that privately-owned instruments are not covered by any Council insurance. Instruments owned by The City of Edinburgh Council should of course be treated with the utmost care whilst on loan. It is wise to discuss with our instrumental specialists any proposed purchase of an instrument.
Music is a physically-demanding activity and parents should ensure a good diet and adequate physical exercise. A selection of good sporting activities is wise in order to avoid the kind of injury which could impede musical progress for a long time. In the case of even minor injuries make sure that the doctor is aware of the implications for a practising musician. If serious discomfort arises as a direct result of instrumental playing, seek advice. Practice is hard work but it should not hurt.
Parents will be aware of a child’s progress through formal processes such as the regular school report and informal communication whenever appropriate. Students’ progress is constantly monitored and we are happy to discuss such matters with parents at any time. Appointments to see any of the music staff can easily be made by contacting the Director of The Music School or the Assistant Director.
The first year of any student’s time at The Music School should be viewed as a probationary period. If there are serious doubts on any side about a student’s future at The Music School they should be discussed fully by all parties concerned. Such discussions should normally take place during the spring term and no student should be withdrawn from the scheme other than at the end of the school year, due notice having been given.