FAQs

How much do you charge?

One-to-one lessons (until further notice): 

20 mins: £12.00 
30 mins: £17.00
45 mins: £25.50
1 hour:   £34.00
For other lesson lengths please ask.

May I come and meet you first to discuss lessons? 
Yes, I like to meet prospective pupils before starting lessons. This inital meeting is non-tutorial but is free of charge with no obligation to book any lessons. 
 
Do you offer a trial lesson?
Yes, charged at my usual rate.
 
Where do lessons take place?
Face-to-face at my home in Droitwich or online, via Skype, Zoom or other online platform. 
 
How often are lessons? 
Childrens lessons are weekly in term time; they are also usually available in school holidays if required.
Adults often have weekly lessons but these can be more flexible depending on pupils’ requirements. 
 
What ages of pupils do you teach?
Piano: Ages 4 to adult. Very young children can learn piano using a method which doesn’t require the child to have any knowledge of the alphabet or to know which is their right or left hand: www.dogsandbirds.co.uk
 
Flute: Ages 6 to adult. Young children can initially learn on a fife (a small instrument which looks a bit like the recorder but held sideways and blown like a flute) or with a flute which has a curved headjoint (the section of the flute which the player blows across) making the distance between left hand and lips several inches shorter without shortening the length of the tube of the flute, thereby making it easier to hold but without affecting the sound. Non-metal flutes also now exist which are lighter to hold than metal ones.
 
Do you have a clear enhanced DBS check? (Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly CRB)
Yes, I do have this and I subscribe to the DBS Update service which means that my DBS check is automatically updated weekly.
 
May I sit in on my child’s lessons?
Yes. I find with young children that it is better for them to have a parent in the lesson room with them. 
 
Are there any extras to pay for?
Yes. For example: 
• Sheet music, tutor books, theory workbooks, notebook etc.
• Any exam / festival entry fees (if applicable).
• A metronome may also be useful but there are free online metronomes and apps available.
• Flute players will need a music stand, and flute cleaning cloths and cleaning rod if these are not supplied with the flute.
 
Tip: It’s worth checking your local charity shops for sheet music – it’s possible to buy sheet music and music books, often in very good condition, at very reasonable prices and support your local charity at the same time. In Worcester St. Richard’s Hospice ‘Snowdrops’ Bookshop (St. Swithin’s St) has a selection of sheet music and music books.
The Daisychain Benevolent Fund bookshop in St. John’s, Worcester also usually has some sheet music for sale. 
Further afield, the Cotswold Canal Trust bookshop in Brimscombe Corner, Stroud, stocks second-hand sheet music (you may need to ask as it’s housed separately). When I was there, there were two big boxes stuffed with piano music and there was also a big box of flute music as well as other boxes of music for other instruments / voices, all very reasonably priced and in very good condition. 
 
Do you enter pupils for exams? 
Yes, if the pupil, parent and I (or adult pupil and I) agree to this. I have experience of preparing pupils for ABRSM exams, I now also have pupils working towards MTB exams and I am open to using other exam boards depending on pupils’ requirements. Some schools allow their pupils to take music exams in school even if they have lessons privately. If a pupil wants to learn without taking exams, that’s fine with me – I want pupils to enjoy their music-making, not be stressed by it. 
 
Am I too old to learn an instrument?
No! I’ve taught a number of adults over the years, including some who are retired and were total beginners. Provided you practise your instrument, you can learn and improve.
 
May pupils make exam recordings in lessons? 
Yes. I have a tripod here with an attachment for a mobile which pupils are welcome to use but pupils / parents will need to bring their own recording device. 
 
What pianos do you have? I have an acoustic Yamaha U3 upright piano and also a Technics digital piano (88-note, touch sensitive).
 
Do you have a favourite piano tutor book? 
I have used a lot of tutor books over the years but now I prefer to use the Piano Adventures series of books by Nancy and Randall Faber, for child pupils (other than Dogs And Birds for the youngest children) and for adults, as I think these books are very good and better than the other books I have used.
If I have a pupil who has previously had lessons with another teacher then I usually stick with the book which that pupil is already using. 
 
Where are you?
By car or on foot:
I am about half a mile from Droitwich town centre, 7 miles from Worcester, 6 miles from Bromsgrove, 3 and a half miles from Fernhill Heath, 3 miles from Wychbold and 4 and a half miles from Ombersley. Redditch and Kidderminster are both approximately 12 miles away from Droitwich; Evesham 18 miles and Pershore about 12 and a half miles. 

Trains:Droitwich Spa train station is about half a mile away. There are regular trains from the south of Droitwich from Worcester and Malvern, and from the north, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster and Birmingham. 

Buses: Stops for 144 buses, which run between Worcester and Catshill via Droitwich and Bromsgrove, are only a few minutes’ walk away.

What do I call you? 
Deborah, Miss Deborah or Miss Johns, whichever you are comfortable with. 

Do you offer gift vouchers for lessons? 

No, I’m sorry, I don’t. I have never offered gift vouchers, partly because I like to meet people before they start lessons (the initial meeting is non-tutorial but free of charge with no obligation to book any lessons), partly because I have a contract which needs to be completed and signed by the pupil before lessons commence and also because I haven’t been able to work out the legal side of gift vouchers – I’m sure there must be legal information that relates to them but I don’t know what it would be. Offering gift vouchers would mean agreeing to teach that person without knowing if I am the right teacher for them and before they’d seen or agreed to my terms & conditions. However, I have occasionally had people pay me for lessons for another adult as a gift but without a gift voucher.

I have sheet music which I no longer want, what can I do with it?
I suggest you 
– sell it – there are some secondhand sheet music sellers in the UK 
– donate it to a charity shop – charity bookshops eg. Oxfam Bookshops or Books For Amnesty are more likely to sell sheet music than general charity shops. 
– use it for craft projects, for example a decoupage table, or maybe use it as wrapping paper if it’s only the spine which has worn out. 
– recycle it – if your music very old, brittle and falling apart and possibly incomplete then this could be the best option unless it is rare. 
 
Where can I leave a review? 
If you would like to leave me a review, please click here.