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Visiting Music Teachers (VMTs)

Currently, we have a team of 9 VMTs. There are over 120 pupils learning, meaning that nearly one in 6 pupils at Farringtons School have individual instrumental or singing lessons across both the Junior and Senior Schools.

We teach the Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Cornet, Trombone, Violin, ‘Cello, Guitar (Classical, Electric and Bass), Drums and Singing. Other instruments can be catered for if a current teacher has the expertise or there is sufficient demand. Please contact the Director of Music, Mr Rayner nrayner@farringtons.kent.sch.uk if you would like to know any more information or whether we can accommodate an instrument not named above.

All lessons last 30 minutes and take place in one of our suite of practice rooms. Practice rooms are equipped with pianos and are available for student practice when not in use for teaching. Students in year 3 and below are collected and taken back to their class lessons by the VMT. Students in year 4 through to year 13 are expected to arrive at their lessons. Timetables are all published in advance and are displayed in the music department and elsewhere in the school. They are also emailed to each parent individually. These lesson take place during the normal school day and pupils leave their class lesson to attend. It is expected that students find out their class homework and catch up any work that has been missed. Lessons are on a carousel, so the same class lesson is not missed every week. If this were not the case, lessons would have to take place significantly outside normal school hours.

Practice diaries are used for communication between parents and teachers both ways. Details of how to improve lesson by lesson are included week by week and we would expect parents to check the practice diaries and confirm that regular practice has taken place. We would recommend 10 to 15 minutes, 5 days a week for lower grades and beginners, 20-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for medium grades and 30 to 60 minutes, every day for higher grades.

We expect every student learning with a VMT to be part of the music clubs and activities we offer. It is an integral part of learning an instrument or singing to be part of group music. The clubs range from large choirs, such as at our school carol services to small groups of 2 or 3 for a chamber performance. There are regular termly music concerts in both the Junior and Senior schools. Details are published on the school calendar.

We would like students to gain recognition for their musical success. Teachers may enter students for the exams of Trinity, Guildhall or Associate Board as appropriate and with parental consultation. This can be as a school or via the teacher. There is always an entry fee charged by the exam board which is passed on to parents. Grades 1 to 5 count towards the points scores at GCSE level and grades 6 to 8 for A levels and are therefore used as extra points to access university courses, whether music or not. Many employers see music as a transferable skill for a wide variety of jobs and skills.

An application for instrumental lessons can be found by clicking this link

Our current VMTs are:                                                                                                

Mr A Davies (Guitars) : ADavies@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mr BKnowles (Piano and upper strings): bknowles@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mr D Burrowes (‘Cello): DBurrowes@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mrs G Budds (Singing): GBudds@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Miss N Elliott (Singing): NElliott@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mr J Buckle (Brass): JBuckle@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Miss P Fry (Piano and Flute): PFry@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mr S Hill (Woodwind): SHill@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mr W Cunningham (Drums and percussion): WCunningham@farringtons.kent.sch.uk