Here are a few questions that we are commonly asked. If you can't find the information that you are after, please contact us.

Regulations and Conditions from September 2017

Why will there now be 33 lessons?

Providing more lessons through the year will, we believe, enable greater continuity and offer pupils the best possible chance to progress. The standard teaching course of 31 lessons rises to 33 in 2017/18. Families paying termly will be invoiced for 11 per term.

Why have some lesson fees been raised?

Group lessons remain unchanged at £8 per lesson. In order to keep pace with increased operating costs we will make a small increase to Individual lesson fees. We have put 15p on an Individual 20 minute lesson and 20p on an Individual 30 minute lesson.

Why has the instrument hire price changed after the first year of lessons?

Hire instruments are intended for pupils in their first year of learning. In this first year the price is £20 per term. To reflect the pressure on our instrument stocks and encourage pupils to source their own instrument the instrument hire price will be £30 per term for pupils hiring for an additional year.

Has the Music Centre membership subscription changed?

In order to keep pace with increased operating costs we need to make a small increase to Music Centre membership subscription. This has been raised by £5 [50p per week] and will now be £45 per term.

Why have some music centre activity fees changed?

Most music centre activities will remain at just 50p or £1 per session. Some smaller enrichment activities will increase to £1.50 per session to cover the higher adult/pupil ratio costs.

Can I Gift Aid my music centre fees?

Music Centre subscription fees can be gift aided! Please help West Sussex Music Trust (Charity No 1152703) to maximise your Music Centre membership by agreeing to Gift Aid your termly subscription. If you are a UK taxpayer you could increase the value of your subscription at no cost to you.

By agreeing to Gift Aid we can claim 25p for every £1 of the membership from HM Revenue and Customs. This will enable us to provide even more music-making opportunities for young musicians in West Sussex.

How do I opt to pay by monthly payment plan?

Please contact the finance team on 


When will my child’s lessons start?

Once your child is on the teacher’s waiting list the teacher will contact you to give you lesson start details. If you do not hear from a teacher within two weeks of making your application, please email the West Sussex Music office    Please be aware that it may not be possible to start lessons immediately.

How many children will be in Group lesson?

A Group lesson is classed as two pupils or more. The teachers use their experience and judgment to group the pupils in the most effective way possible so as to maximise the educational outcomes for the pupils.

A group of two receives a lesson length of 20 minutes. A group of three, or more, receives 30 minutes.

How many lessons will my child be offered?

Across the academic year they will be offered 33 lessons. Schools have a 39 week academic year and our teachers work closely with the Head of Music or Headteacher to accommodate the music lessons within the school’s academic programme. This will mean that there will be some non-teaching weeks during the school year.

How will my child know when & where their lesson is?

Before the first lesson the teacher will contact you to let you know when and where the lesson will take place and advise you what your child should bring.

What happens if my child does not attend an offered lesson?

If the lesson has been offered and the child does not attend you will still be charged.

What happens if the teacher does not attend the lesson?

If the teacher does not attend one of their 33 planned lesson visits they will communicate with the parent/carer to make up the lesson.

How can I contact my child's teacher?

You can email the teacher or contact the music office by phone 08452 082 182 or 01798 343361

How will I be informed of my child’s progress?

There are four ways throughout the year:

  1. The weekly Practice Diary – please help your child make a record of their practice between lessons, read the teacher’s comments and make your own.
  2. Record of Achievement booklets record your child’s progress through each stage of learning. Once the Stage had been completed a Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to celebrate.
  3. A Progress Summary will be written by the teacher at the end of the autumn term and spring term.
  4. An Annual Report will be completed in June.

If you have any concerns regarding progress you can also email the teacher

How to pay

How will I be invoiced?

Invoices are sent via email. It is important that we have your correct contact details on file, please update us with any changes

How do I pay my invoice?

There are four ways in which to pay:

1. Online via the West Sussex Music website.
The quickest and easiest way to pay an invoice is to make the payment via our secure online payment facility.
Payments can be made with a credit or debit card and all you need are your invoice and customer numbers, found at the top of the invoice, and an email address to receive your receipt.

2. BACS/Bank transfer
To make payments via BACS or bank transfer you will need to quote our sort code: 16-14-24 and our account number: 11316709. If you use online banking you may wish to make West Sussex Music one of your payees. You should use your invoice number, found at the top of your invoice, as your payment reference details.

3. Monthly payment plan
We can calculate an annual invoice and spread your fees across 12 monthly payments direct from your bank account. Please contact the finance team if you would like this facility to be set up.

4. Telephone payment
You can make card payments by telephone on 08452 082 182 or 01798 343361 between 8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please have your credit or debit card and invoice details ready. You will find your invoice reference number at the top of your invoice.

Do I qualify for help with the fees?

Providing your child attends a West Sussex maintained school (local authority, academy or free school), there is a scheme to help with the fees for your child’s music education with West Sussex Music:

  • 100% reduction for group lessons [one instrument only], music centre fees and the provision of a hire instrument, without charge to the parent / carer, for Children in Care for the duration of the West Sussex Music lessons.  Parents / Carers will be asked to confirm the eligibility of children from the appropriate local authority.

Individual lesson pupils are not eligible for financial help under the “Help with paying fees scheme”.


How do I hire an instrument?

Click here to apply for low cost instrument hire and complete the online form. 

We have a stock of instruments that, subject to availability, can be hired at a low cost. We will give priority to families who would otherwise find it hard to buy or hire an instrument commercially.

When will my child get their instrument?

Once the start date for lessons has been confirmed by the teacher we will process your instrument hire application. The instruments are usually delivered by the schools' courier to your child’s school (which can take up to two school weeks), alternatively you can arrange to collect it from West Sussex Music in Petworth by calling 08452 082 182 or 01798 343361.

What happens if the instrument is damaged?

If the instrument is damaged please contact West Sussex Music 08452 082 182 or immediately.
If the instrument requires repair you will need to complete the Repair Returns Form (click here to download) which should be left together with the instrument at your child’s school office for the courier to return to us. Alternatively you can arrange to take it back to West Sussex Music in Petworth. There will be a charge for any damage (click here to view our standard repair charges).
Subject to availability we may organise a replacement instrument so that your child’s music-making is not disrupted.
Please do not leave the instrument with the teacher or leave it at a music centre.

What happens if the instrument is lost or stolen?

If the instrument is lost or stolen please contact West Sussex Music 08452 082 182 / 01798 343361 or immediately. 

How do I return the instrument?

Should you no longer need the instrument or your child ceases lessons with West Sussex Music you must return the instrument. Please complete the Instrument Returns Form (click here to download) which should be left together with the instrument at your child’s school office for the courier to return. Alternatively you can arrange to take it back to West Sussex Music in Petworth.
Please do not leave the instrument with the teacher or leave it at a music centre.
It is the hirer’s responsibility to return the instrument in good working order.

Music Centre

What is Music Centre?

Every week during term time West Sussex Music runs music activities for children. These are based in Music Centres at Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Shoreham and Worthing. Whether it is a percussion ensemble, string orchestra, concert band, choir or guitar ensemble you will be able to find a group to suit your child’s interest. We usually end each term with a series of concerts.

Click here to apply for Music Centre activities.

Can my child go and visit a Music Centre?

You may accompany your child to visit a Music Centre to see that range of exciting activities that take place before you make the decision to sing up.

Children may not be left unaccompanied until a successful application to West Sussex Music has been made.

When can my child start at Music Centre?

We aim to have your child starting within two weeks of your application being received (during term time).