Music Service - frequently asked questions

Common questions relating to the Music Service, including paying invoices.

Paying for music lessons

In receipt of certain benefits

If you are in receipt of some benefits, you may be eligible for free or reduced fees for music lessons. Send your full name, date of birth and national insurance number to music.service@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Serious temporary financial difficulties

If you do not qualify for free music lessons but are having serious temporary financial difficulties, contact the Principal Finance Officer music.service@oxfordshire.gov.uk or write to the address below (mark the envelope ‘Strictly Confidential').

Principal Finance Officer
The Centre for Music
Bayswater Road
Oxford
OX3 9FF

How to pay an invoice

The easiest way is to pay online (at least 24 hours after you received the invoice). You will need to quote your invoice number and postcode as shown on the invoice. You cannot pay the music teacher.

Pay online

What if I disagree with the amount charged?

Please raise your query by completing the form below before submitting your payment. Please do not make deductions for missed lessons without contacting the Music Service.

Music Service invoice enquiry

What if my child’s group size changes?

Charges will not increase termly if the group size reduces. Upward changes will be made annually at the end of the summer term. If the group size increases, charges will be changed to the lower rate from the date of the change. The Music Service contacts its customers in August to advise the new charge from September.

How to contact your child's teacher

Please contact your child’s teacher through the record book, which has the space to write notes and comments. The record book also has all of the teaching week dates of the current school year located on the back cover. Teachers can also be contacted via their Oxfordshire email address usually set up as 'firstname.lastname@oxfordshire.gov.uk' or call the office for more precise details.

Missed lessons

You will still need to pay for a missed lesson in the following circumstances.

  • School Inset
  • Exams
  • Trips
  • Controlled assessments
  • Other pupil absence

Where possible teachers will try to reschedule lessons if you contact the teacher in advance.

A reduction will be considered if long-term sickness means your child cannot attend lessons.

Teacher absence

Oxfordshire County Music Service will offer 34 lessons during the academic year. If a teacher misses a lesson, they will try to make it up before the end of the academic year. If this has not been possible, you will receive a refund after the end of the academic year (not at the end of each term), either as a cheque or a reduction on your next invoice. Cheque refunds of less than £5 cannot be issued.

How to return instruments

Instruments should be handed personally to the instrumental teacher at the end of the final lesson. They should not be left in school unless by arrangement.

Ensembles and Area Music Centres

There are a number of ensembles and Area Music Centres across the county for pupils of all standards.  There is a list of these activities in the Record Book or details can be found on our music groups pages. There is a charge for these activities. 

How to cancel lessons

Read our page on how to cancel music lessons or ensembles.

Transferring schools

For children transferring from primary to secondary school, the transfer will generally be automatic. Notice and re-enrolment is not required. Unless advised to the contrary, the Music Service will assume that lessons or group memberships will continue. When starting secondary school, students need to check the music department notice boards to find out when and where their lessons will be.

Other transfers

Notify us at the earliest opportunity, and preferably before the appropriate cancellation date. We may be able to make alternative arrangements so that tuition can continue.

Moving house

For moves within Oxfordshire, efforts will be made to transfer lessons, but this cannot be guaranteed.  Please let us know if you’re moving home as soon as you know and tell us your new address. Your child’s school will not pass on changes in personal details to us. If moving out of the area, normal notice to cancel lessons will apply (apart from Forces families).

Continuing lessons and ensemble memberships after year 13

Lessons and ensemble memberships will be cancelled at the end of year 13. If you wish tuition or group membership to continue, for example if the pupil is remaining in Oxfordshire for a gap year, please contact the Music Service office to arrange this.