Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for please get in touch with us directly: learn@musicskills.co.uk​​​​​​​
Learning FAQs

What makes learning to play with Music Skills so different?

People often ask what makes learning with the Music Skills System™ so different and by asking this question it usually shows you are already keen to learn more. Many people come to us having already seen and heard the effect that our system has had on students progress or having read about our successes.
Our guiding principle is ‘Learning to play better, faster’. Everything we do is driven by this, ensuring that we keep you session up-to-date, meaningful and fun!
Of course the best way to find out is to try us out for yourself.
What is it like learning the different instruments with Music Skills?

All of our individual instrumental systems are based mainly around modern rock and pop styles, though we do make sure that you give a good grounding in all styles and their associated techniques including blues, latin, reggae, jazz, metal etc.
As with all of our instrumental tuition your tutors have been trained to use the Music Skills System™. This is a highly specialised accelerated learning system. What this means to you, the end user, is that you learn faster than you would expect and have a lot of fun while you do it!
You shouldn’t just take our word for it come along and try us out for yourself? Most people come along for a tryout session to see what makes learning using the Music Skills System™ so different.
What instruments can I learn using the Music Skills System™

Drums, Guitar & Bass Guitar (all the fun stuff!)
Why don’t you teach violin, trumpet, flugelhorn etc?

We have chosen to specialise. Like any successful organisation we want to offer the very best service. To do this we have chosen to specialise in the musical instruments that we love and are passionate about; Drums, Guitar & Bass Guitar.
How long are my lessons?

Your lessons are 1 hour one-to-one, for more information please read this article: Why One Hour?
How often are my lessons?

You can choose either a weekly or fortnightly session slot.
Where are my lessons held?

We currently teach from our academy in Somerton, Somerset. 
What ages can learn to play a musical instrument at Music Skills?

It very much depends on the individual student, but as a rule of thumb we teach from about the age of 6 or 7, with no upper limit!
Do I have to bring my own instrument?

Most people choose to bring their own Guitar, Bass, Drums sticks etc. though we should usually have spare instruments around for your sessions if needs be.
Will I need to wear hearing protection?

We will insist on you wearing hearing protection for all acoustic drum sessions and some other amplified sessions. You are welcome to bring your own though we do provide ‘ear muff’ style ear defenders.
When will I be able to play x, y, or z?

Never heard of that song!
How long it takes to learn to play a particular technique or get to a particular level varies. The one thing we guarantee is that using the Music Skills System you will learn better and faster than you expect.
Will I always have the same tutor?

We are very aware that students develop great rapport with their tutors which is why wherever possible you will have the same tutor for each of your sessions.
Of course from time-to-time your regular tutor needs to be away. In this case another of our excellent tutors will cover your session. Rest assured that all our tutors highly trained so you can continue to learn at pace!
How much do I need to practice?

Simply put; the more you put in the more you will get out. But why not just think of it as play instead!? In fact just changing the way we think about 'practicing' can make all the difference. Thankfully with our system, the old fashioned notion of slogging away at an instrument for hours on end playing bah, bah, black sheep or tapping out meaningless drum rudiments is a thing of the past.
During your sessions you will get focussed time developing your playing ability under the guidance of your Music Skills tutor, this allows for good progression. However, if you can play, even a little here and there, with the techniques between sessions you will notice a difference.. And let’s face it; it’s fun!
Can I learn to play more than one instrument?

Absolutely. Many students choose to learn more than one instrument, and this tends to have a huge impact on your overall ability to learn and is a great advantage as a musician. In fact, if they don’t already, your tutors are also encouraged to learn another instrument when they begin their tutor training.
Do I have to read music?

No and Yes. We only teach what is useful, and our emphasis is always on helping you develop your playing ability. As part of this you may be shown the techniques you learn as written notation, chord charts and/or tablature. This develops a useful skill, being able to quickly interpret the music you need to play in tandem with developing your playing ability without just focussing on 'boring old music theory'.
Why don't you teach Rock School, or Trinity Guildhall Grades et al?

It would have been easier to have used an existing grading structure but unfortunately not one grading system that we have encountered thus far is based around the way that you learn. This is why we have developed the Music Skill Level System™, to accurately chart your progress at each stage of your development.
Do colleges and universities recognise the Music Skills Level System?

We have a number of students who are currently studying music courses at degree level. Please ask us to provide you with a written reference.
Does your grading system attract UCAS points?

Not currently. Our levels are designed around the way we teach music, and the way people learn best, rather than as a third party add on. Although they don't attract UCAS points like grades 7 and 8 with the older exam boards, we have on many occasions used them as supporting evidence for successful entry to University. 

Our Levels are designed as a great motivator for students and to give them something specific and tangible to work towards, and achieve.
Are all of your tutors CRB/DBS checked?

Yes. You are quite welcome to ask to see their up-to-date credentials.
My existing non Music Skills tutor says that he/she can teach me using your system?

Ah, bless 'em! Only licensed Music Skills tutors are able to help you learn using the Music Skills System™ this is so that we can guarantee the quality of tuition and that they are up-to-date with the latest techniques and developments.
How do you manage to keep the cost of sessions affordable?

By automating and cutting down on unnecessary admin processes. This allows us to focus on doing what we do best; providing you with, what we consider to be, the very best in music tuition. You’re welcome!
What’s the difference between weekly and fortnightly sessions?

One takes place weekly the other fortnightly!
You will do brilliantly with either, some people find that fortnightly sessions fit better with their schedule but of course there’s an undeniable advantage to having regular weekly contact with your tutor, providing new material and direction to help you learn even faster.
Can I book one session a month?

We have trialled this but have found that it does not provide the desired rate of progression for the student, and certainly doesn't fit with our ethos of learning to play better, faster.
Can I book an occasional one off booster session from time-to-time?

Yes, although as you can see from the paragraph above a more regular session is far better for your skill development.
Can I learn with a non Music Skills tutor at the same time?

It’s your choice, but ideally not.
In our experience we have tended to find that students who have continued lessons with their old tutor as well as getting up and running at Music Skills don’t progress as quickly as we would like. We suggest you just choose one.
Do you have any famous students?

We have a number of students who have gone on to be successful professional, and even world famous, musicians. Getting famous is great, but our emphasis is always on keeping learning music fun, because it is!
How often are Level Assessments taken?

We hold level assessments once or twice a year. Your tutor will guide you with what to do at each level and will support you and celebrate in the glory of your shiny new certificate and achievements.
How much do Level Assessments cost?

Currently Levels 1-3 costs £20, Level 4-7 costs £30. Master Level certification is currently included in the cost of your master level seminars.
Can I become a tutor?

Some of the best Music Skills students go on to train with us a tutors once they’ve passed their Master Level 1 this gives them a great advantage as they have experienced first hand what it is to learn rapidly using our system.
Why won’t my tutor accept my friend request on facebook, follow me on twitter, give me their mobile number.....?

We take our professionalism very seriously and want you to be confident of our standards and codes of practice. To this end we do not interact directly with students via social networking.
The only notable exception is via any official Music Skills company social media channel, although we are not currently active on any of these... Less Spammin' - More Jammin' !
Can I sit in on my child's lessons?

Ideally not. We have found that students tend to feel inhibited and distracted when being observed by a parent/guardian whilst learning. This can cause them to progress at a much slower rate and ultimately lose interest. Of course you're more than welcome to pop in at the end of the session to see what they've achieved.

Booking/Payment FAQs

Do you offer a free first session?

No. (the short answer)
We are aware that some small one-man-band type tutors occasionally offer a free first session as an incentive. We trialled this some years ago and tended to find a significant numbers of no shows, sadly wasting tutors' precious time.
We believe that the cost of our sessions are amazing value and we are happy to prove that to you. So if you want a guarantee, how about this one? If you come along for your first session and don’t learn more than you expect then we’ll give you your money back.
How do I book my try-out or regular session?

You can book your introductory session here
How can I pay for my sessions?

All sessions are paid by direct debit on or just after the 1st of the month for the month ahead using GoCardless. Introductory sessions booked online can be paid for using a credit/debit card.
What happens if I miss a session?

Because your tutors time is booked for you in advance unfortunately we are only able to reschedule missed sessions if we can find a space.
What happens if I’m unwell or need to be away?

Sessions can be rescheduled, subject to availability, given at least one week's notice.
If you are unwell or unable to attend a session for whatever reason please let us know as soon as possible.
Can i reschedule a session with less than the week's notice my tutor needs?

Unfortunately due to schedules being so tight we are not always able to reschedule with less than a week's notice.
Can my tutor change my booking for me?

All of our bookings are handled centrally, you can contact us here.
What happens if my direct debit payment fails?

It will automatically re-present the amount for collection. Unfortunately as we are unable to offer credit, sessions will be put on hold until payment is processed.
How do I give notice to discontinue sessions?

We’d be sorry to see you go.
Please send confirmation in writing, giving notice until the end of the following calendar month, to: Music Skills Ltd, Unit 2 Wessex Park, Somerton Business Park, Somerton, Somerset, TA11 6SB.
How do I change/update my contact details?

I book the sessions but someone else pays the bill how do we set that up online?

When you book, a confirmation email will be sent to you with a link to complete your payment details. Please forward this to whoever will be paying the bill.
Can I book sessions for more than one instrument?

Yes. In fact we tend to find that students learning more than one instrument using the Music Skills System learn even faster.
Can I book sessions for multiple people at the same time?

Yes, and many people do for partners, husbands, wives, siblings etc. Please contact us we’ll be happy to help.
What happens if I manually cancel the direct debit with my bank?

It is always best to change/update your details via your GoCardless control panel. If a cancellation does happen for some reason you will be sent an email requesting you to re-setup your direct debit. All sessions not currently paid for will be placed on hold until this is done and payment is processed, though you will still be liable to cover the cost of this time as it is already booked with your tutor.
Putting sessions on hold?

This can be done given notice up and until the end of the following calendar month. Please contact us to make arrangements.