- FAQ -

Is London Youth Conservatoire open during the week?
We rent fantastic music facilities from Lady Margaret School on Saturdays during term time.  We do organise some instrumental lessons for our more advanced pupils in the evenings where necessary for timetabling reasons. However all pupils attend group classes on Saturdays.

Courses & Instruments

Can I enrol for an instrument lessons only?
We firmly believe that for a pupil to thrive musically they should not only have instrumental lesson but should partake in group music and attend musicianship classes. This is why we do not offer standalone instrumental lessons.

Is there a minimum level required? Is there an entrance exam to join London Youth Conservatoire?
There is no minimum level required and we are non-selective. We welcome all students from beginners to Grade 8 and above. Our philosophy is that everybody should be able to enjoy music regardless of their experience and level.

Can I try a class before I sign up?
Yes: you can do a trial session of a choir, ensemble or First Steps class. Just contact us

Not sure which instrument to play? Join our Instrument taster programme
We offer a taster course in the Autumn term.  Children will try different instruments every week in small groups. At the end of the term parents are invited to discuss instrument choices with the teachers.
The taster program for 5 year olds (First Steps 2) includes: violin, cello, guitar and recorder. The taster program for 6+ includes most woodwind, string and brass instruments on offer at the school.

Do I need to rent/buy an instrument?
Yes: you will need to provide your own instrument rented or purchased. The teacher can advise you on the size of instrument for your child. We have a few instruments available to hire, usually reserved for our Bursary pupils.
For the Taster Programme in the first term only, we supply the instruments.

How often and for how long does my child will need to practise? I am not sure he/she will have the time
Little and often. Better 15 minutes 5 days a week than once a week for an hour.  As your child progresses so will the duration of practice. Practice is a necessary part of learning an instrument. The more you practise, the faster you progress, the more enjoyable it is. London Music Conservatoire runs a practice workshop for parents at the start of the year to help you set up a stress free practice routine at home.

Not sure your 6 years old can do the whole course? Talk to us

Which ensemble should your child/teenager join?
Your child's music standard will be assessed by our Director of Music who will advise on the type of ensembles and determine which level is right for them. Please note beginners must start with choir and can then continue it and/or join an instrumental ensemble when their level is good enough to enjoy playing together. This happens quickly as we have tailor-made groups for most levels.

Can I enrol for orchestra/choir only?
Yes:  If you learn your instrument outside of London Youth Conservatoire you can still join one of our ensembles. We have several different levels, from Grade 1 to Diploma.  Please email us stating which instrument you play and at what grade/level.  Our Director of Music will look at the best fit for you.  Similarly we have many choirs including our audition choir. Auditions are held at the start of the academic year.

Do you do concerts?
Yes: We have a range of performance opportunities throughout the year. Presently we run whole school concerts at Christmas and in the summer term. We also have weekly platform concerts, termly showcase concerts and our Awards.

Do you prepare grade exams?
Yes we do. We run ABRSM exams every term and can organise Trinity exams too.  Go to our Exams page for more information.

Do you prepare for Music Scholarships?
Yes. If you would like your child to prepare for a music scholarship at an independent school or one of the music conservatoires please let us know. In the past we have had innumerable music scholarships including to St Paul’s, Putney High, Oratory Junior House, Woldingham.  Many of our pupils play active parts in their school music departments whilst having their lessons with us on Saturdays, so avoiding missing school lessons during the week.
We have also had pupils successfully audition for both the Royal College of Music Junior Department and the Guildhall. Indeed one of our pupils who started with us age 10, went onto the Royal College of Music and is now an undergraduate at the Royal College and working as an accompanist with us, his original music school!

- First Steps -

Is it possible to start London Youth Conservatoire before 4 years old?
We know maturity and motivation can vary from one child to another but these sessions take place without the parents. In order to make the most of our sessions, your little one will need to reach 4 years old (Reception level) before joining us. At this age, they are best able to integrate the musical concepts covered in the class.

Is it possible to start an instrument before age 5?
Not normally: Younger than this we find children often do not have the physical dexterity necessary for learning an instrument and will become frustrated. Instead, we encourage children to experience Kodaly-based musicianship first in order to develop vital skills that will support better instrumental learning afterwards, such as tuneful singing, the development of the inner ear, a strong sense of pulse & rhythms, etc...

- Musicianship & Theory -

Why must my children follow this class as part of the Core or Conservatoire Course?
Musicianship-Music theory is an essential part of music learning. Understanding the way music is structured is key to allow musicians to progress.
In addition ABRSM Grade V Theory is compulsory for pupils who want to go beyond instrument grade V.
Students on our Core or Conservatoire Courses who have passed their Grade V Theory can either continue with Advanced Musicianship or stop this class.

I am fairly advanced on my instrument but I have never done any musicianship-theory what can you do for me?
We run classes adapted to this kind of situation. The best thing is to contact us and we will find the best option for you.

- Admin -

How do I enrol?
See our page How to Join us

How do your terms work?
We run on a school academic year and base our holidays on a mix of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham term dates and local private schools. Typically we have a 33 to 34 week year.  Term dates are published 6 months in advance. See our Term Dates.

How are you funded?
We are a charity. We work hard to price our courses as reasonably as possible whilst correctly remunerating our talented professional teachers. We receive no funding from local authorities or grant. Our bursary scheme is funded from our annual fund-raising activities and not from our fees.

How am I invoiced for the lessons?
You enrol for the academic year. Invoices are sent billed termly in advance. See Terms & Conditions.

I would love my child to join London Youth Conservatoire but we have a very limited budget?
We have a Bursary programme as we firmly believe as many children as possible should have access to music education. Bursary places are means tested only and not given according to the child’s music ability. There are limited places. Contact us and we will send you the relevant information on our criteria and process.

Do you have music scholarships?
No: We are non-selective, unlike the music colleges. Our bursary foundation provides financial support to low-income households wishing to access music education.

What is the process if we need to leave London Youth Conservatoire?
When you enrol with us you enrol for a year and you billed per term. If you need to leave the school before the end of the year, you must tell us in writing with the requested notice before the start of the following term. The procedure is explained in the Terms & Conditions you have agreed upon when you have enrolled. If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact us.

Where do your pupils come from?
All over the place! Although the majority are local (Hammersmith & Fulham, Chelsea, Kensington, Putney) as the largest non-selective music-school in West London we attract pupils from far and wide: From Catford to Hampstead to Wimbledon. Pupils come from both the state-school sector and the private school sector.

Are you part of the Tri-Borough Hub
No: We are an independent charity. We have worked with other organisations such as Sparks, Nucleo. To us individual instrumental teaching is fundamental in music development alongside musicianship and ensemble playing. We are always happy to explore educational opportunities with schools and Boroughs.

We are always happy to answer any question or provide further information please do not hesitate to contact us.