FAQ       

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that people starting lessons often want to know about.  

Hopefully you'll find it useful. If you want to know more,

contact me on Facebook,

email me at alison@mcauslandmusic.com

or call me on (+44) 7793 112 713

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Frequently asked questions

Do I have to have my own instrument?


If you want to see if saxophone or clarinet suit you, I can let you try out the Nuvo jSAX or Clarineo. They're lightweight instruments designed for younger players, but adults can play them too. I don't have saxophones or clarinets for hire, so you would need to get your own if you wanted to learn. However, I can point you toward hire companies if you want. Just get in touch!




What happens if I'm on holiday?


I'll send you an invoice at the start of each month for the following month's lessons. If you've got any queries, just get in touch. In general, if it's a Tamworth school holiday I don't automatically schedule lessons. If you don't turn up to a lesson and you haven't given me the required notice, you'll forfeit the cost of the lesson.




If I want to do exams, can you help me find an accompanist?


Yes, I know a good accompanist in the Tamworth area who is happy to help you as you are heading towards exams.




Can I choose my own music to play, or will you tell me what to do?


I will work with you towards your own musical goals. If you're hoping to do grades, I'll help you select the most suitable pieces. If you have a particular aim (such as a surprise for someone on their birthday!) then of course I'll help you work toward that.




What are Clarinéo and jSAX?


They're lightweight instruments produced by the Nuvo Instrumental group to make music more accessible. Younger children often start on them because they're cheaper, easier to play and more resilient than the traditional instruments. The jSAX can be adapted to be even simpler through the addition of pad covers. It's got a smaller range than a real saxophone, and it's tuned in C. The Clarineo is quite similar to a real clarinet, and like the jSAX it's tuned in C so that you can play along to a piano, guitar or any other concert-pitch instrument. I'm a Nuvo Ambassador. I don't get paid for this, or get special deals from them - I really do think the instruments allow people to get into music who otherwise wouldn't.




I've bought my child an Alphasax. Will you teach that too?


Yes, I will teach someone who has an Alphasax. They're a good starter instrument, weighing a third less than a traditional alto saxophone, and younger students can play them more easily. Students may want to progress to a traditional saxophone within a couple of years, but an Alphasax is a good place to begin.




I want to play in a band. Can you help me?


I run ensemble sessions to get students used to listening while they're playing. Many of my students also enjoy playing along to jazz standards from the Real Book, and I am happy to do the same with you.




What are your terms of cancellation?


Visit the terms and conditions page for the latest information. Terms are reviewed annually, updating in January each year.




Are you a 'real' teacher?


Yes, I am. I have a PGCE from Cambridge University, and I was a secondary school teacher for seven years before setting up my School of Music. My DBS and safeguarding certificates are up to date and are available to inspect.




How do I pay for lessons?


If you sign up for regular lessons, I'll email you an invoice a month in advance, and you then have about two weeks (until the 15th) to pay by bank transfer. Often, students will want me to source them reeds or mouthpieces and it's easier to add them onto the invoice.




Can I buy lessons on a gift card for somebody?


Certainly! Visit this page to buy a gift voucher, which the recipient can then redeem when they book in with me.





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