Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register my child?

From the information in the Introduction to TVMS leaflet you can register and pay for 5 week taster tuition online. Once there is a viable taster group tuition will start.

How will I know when lessons will start?

Lessons usually start in the week following our receipt of your completed registration and payment, given sufficient registrations. A letter will be emailed to you confirming lesson details. Your child should contact the Head of Music/Music Coordinator in school for timetable details. Registrations can be delayed if there are not enough registrations to start a viable group, in which case we will contact you. Lessons will also be delayed if evidence is not received to support a remission claim.

Do you provide a lesson every week?

While we endeavour to provide a lesson every week this is not always possible due to teacher absences, school closures etc. We do aim to offer the minimum number of lessons guaranteed.  

How will I be advised of teacher absences?

In the event of our teacher being absent we contact each affected school as soon as possible and ask them to pass the message onto pupils/parents. If the tuition is not during the school day we will use the contact information held on record to send a text message cancelling tuition.

Is there a discount of fees?

We offer a 50% discount for those pupils eligible for remission of fees. Please see the remission application form. We offer a 25% discount of fees for siblings who register for activities while another sibling is registered with us. We also offer a 25% discount of fees for any pupil who receives tuition on a second instrument with us. If there is a third instrumental or vocal lesson there will be no discount available. The above discounts are capped at 50%.

Are there any additional costs?

You will be asked to buy music books as and when you child needs them. These are usually available from music shops or online. Items of equipment may be additionally required, such as reeds for woodwind instruments or strings for stringed instruments. Teachers try to keep costs to a minimum.

When do I pay?

Your child’s music fees are paid by 11 monthly instalments from September to July each year. Payments are due by the 1st working day of each month. We will send you an instalment schedule in August advising you of the payments for the academic year. If you are joining part way through the year your instalments will be split over the remaining months up to and including July. Instalments will be due and invoiced each year until you confirm in writing your intention to cancel membership with TVMS. See Charging, Cancellation and Refund Policy for full dates and policy.

How do I pay?

We recommend instalments by monthly Direct Debit (See below). Payments can also be made by debit of credit card:

  • Online payments available 24 hours a day by visiting WWW.TVMS.org.uk/get-involved. Select ‘Pay Current Fees’. From the new screen click on Tees Valley Music Service.’ This will bring a drop down menu. Select ‘Instrumental Tuition and Instrument Hire’. You will need to know your invoice number from your annual schedule and the amount you wish to pay.
  • Exact cash can be brought into TVMS in person during office hours where a receipt will be issued.
  • Cheques and postal orders can be sent to TVMS office. Please ensure you put your child’s name and school in the rear of the payment.
  • Over the phone during office hours with a debit or credit card on 01642 603600.

Instalments must be received at TVMS by the first working day of each instalment month. DO NOT HAND PAYMENTS TO YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL OR TEACHER AS THEY ARE NOT OFFICE BASED AND LESSONS MAY BE SUSPENDED.

How do I set up a Direct Debit for future payments?

Complete and return the Direct Debit Instruction once you have completed your registration and payment. The form should be returned to TVMS Office as soon as possible. Unfortunately initial registration payments cannot be paid by Direct Debit. We will send you a payment schedule at least 10 working days before your payments commence. Direct Debits are claimed on the first working day each month. An instalment is NOT collected in August. Direct Debits will remain in place until such time that we receive your written notice to cancel or you cancel with your bank.

What happens after a year of tuition has been offered?

After your child has received their first year of tuition you will be advised in writing that the lesson will increase to 30 minutes in length and the monthly instalment will increase. A new payment schedule will be issued at this point. See Charging Policy on our website for further information.

What happens if my child ends up being taught in a one to one lesson?

If your child ends up as the only pupil left from a small group and is therefore in a one to one setting, the individual tuition rate will apply one month from the TVMS office being informed of this change. It may be possible to offer group tuition at the group rate at an alternative time/venue or date depending on group viability and availability.

Can my child be taught a second instrument?

There is a 25% discount offered for pupils wishing to take tuition on a second instrument, subject to teacher availability.

What if my child has an ongoing illness or is sitting a GCSE or A level exam?

If your child’s unable to make a lesson due to an ongoing illness or external exam please contact TVMS giving at least 48 hours’ notice. The lesson can then be classed as pre-arranged absence and not included in the lesson count. Do I have to insure the hired instrument? You are responsible for arranging ‘all-risks’ insurance cover for your child’s hired instrument. If the instrument is exchanged by TVMS we will advise you of the replacement value of the instrument to enable you to update your insurance policy.

Am I responsible if the instrument is damaged, lost or stolen?

Parents are responsible for the safe care of any instrument belonging to TVMS and will be charged for any loss or damage to it. If the instrument is damaged it must be returned to the instrumental teacher to be repaired. Repairs must not be attempted by unauthorised persons. If the instrument is stolen from school premises, or damaged while at school, parents will be responsible for the replacement or repair of the instrument.

Do you have an Assisted Purchase Scheme?

TVMS runs an Assisted Purchase Scheme, which enables parents to buy new instruments VAT free. A 5% administration charge, which is liable for VAT, is charged for this service. For more information please contact TVMS or your child’s instrumental teacher.

How do I cancel any part of my child’s tuition or instrument hire?

See Cancellation Policy for further details.