The PJC 'Fast Track' Programme

Monday, August 24, 2020 | Progress

The PJC 'Fast Track' Programme 

One of the most frequently asked questions from our parents is how best to support their child with their practice. At PJC, we are so committed to providing outstanding progress for our students at fantastic value for money, and are always looking for ways to further increase the rate at which our students improve. After 6 months of trial runs with selected students and parents, we are delighted to announce that from September 2020, we are officially launching our PJC 'Fast Track' Programme. This package works in addition to our Young Beginners Programme, and is designed to provide an opportunity to accelerate the progress of our Young Beginners at an even quicker rate by providing bi-weekly support for students and their parents to help with their practice at home!

How Will the Fast Track Programme Improve Progress?

The PJC Fast Track Programme improves student progress in three different ways:
1) It provides expert support and feedback twice weekly. 
Students can send audio or video recordings of their practice up to twice a week, and receive feedback on these pieces within two days. Specific areas of weakness or any errors can be addressed, and PJC can use this to inform their planning for the student's next lesson.
2) It allows students to move through pieces at home. 
If a student sends a recording of a piece played well, they can have their pieces 'ticked off' at home, meaning they can move quicker through their books because they are not having to wait till their next lesson to get their pieces approved and stamped. This means they can spend their subsequent lesson learning next steps instead of spending time demonstrating what they have practiced.
3) It encourages regular and consistent practice in our students.
Students are motivated by the frequent deadlines, and by the regular encouragement they receive with their practice. Students and parents alike can ask for specific and focused help on any areas they are struggling on. 

How much quicker is the progress they will make?

In the sixth month trial run, students progressed up to three times quicker than those on the Young Beginners Programme alone. 

How much is it?

The fast track is paid monthly on the 1st and costs £16.50 per month.

Who should be joining the Fast Track Programme?

Any student who has already reached their Initial Grade, Grade 1 or higher in either singing or piano, and any student who wishes to progress through their first two piano books and reach their ABRSM even quicker. 

How does this help students who are working towards ABRSM Exams?

Our Fast Track Programme applies to both Singing and Piano Grades. As the pieces get more difficult, students have the opportunity to check in twice during the week with any queries, or ask for help with any difficult passages. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase what I have asked them to work on in the previous lesson, and the feedback can then include instructions to tackle further specific sections of the piece. It also provides the ability for the student to demonstrate anything they have been working on that they do not get time to show during lesson time. 

For Singers specifically, students would need to be able to record themselves singing both unaccompanied and with the backing tracks I have recorded on the online portal. 

I am working on ABRSM Grades in both Singing and Piano, how will that work for me? 

Students have two opportunities for feedback weekly and can decide how they wish to use them (e.g. one for signing, one for piano, or two for singing and none for piano, or different each week depending on their need). Alternatively, you could sign up for twice weekly for both singing and piano.

Is there anyone that isn't suitable for the Fast Track Programme?

The Fast Track Programme will likely not be value for money for any student who:

1) will not be able to practice at least twice a week on most weeks. 

2) does not have the ability to record their playing or singing and send it each time. 

3) is under the age of seven and does not have a parent sitting and helping them when practising. 

If I don't sign up, does this mean you don't want me to send videos of my child playing or singing?

It most definitely does not mean that!! I love nothing more than seeing snippets of our students practicing at home and I want this to continue! It just means I won't be able to provide the level of feedback as those on the fast track programme. 

Logistically, how will this work? 

You or your child will send me their audio or video recording either via WhatsApp. PJC will respond within two days. The format the feedback takes will change depending on how best to help the student, it may be written, audio, video or may include a photo or link to something external. 

Can I do a trial?

If you want to take part in the Fast Track Programme, you must commit to paying for the month ahead, but you can cancel this service at any time, there is no notice period. 

How do I Sign Up?

Just send us an email and we can add them to the Fast Track Students list and adjust your invoices. 

As always, any questions at all please don't hesitate to get in touch. ❤️🎹🎤 

Happy Practising! 
Phillippa 🎶

Welcome Information for Young Beginners!

Monday, August 24, 2020 | Welcome Information

Hello and welcome to our PJC Family! 

Please read the information below before your child's trial lesson. Due to Covid-19, we also ask parents to familiarise themselves with our Risk Assessment (click here to read) in order to keep all our students and their families safe. 

Terms and Conditions
Please sign the terms and conditions before your child attends their trial lesson.  Please click this link to be directed to the form.
Using the Calendar
You should have received an email to set up your password for our online portal.
Your child is now signed up for their chosen lesson slot and you should be able to see this on the calendar once you sign in. 
Watch out for the different locations- Green is for lessons in Baildon BD17 6SZ and Lilac is for Horsforth LS18 5RF. 
If you need to cancel a lesson for whatever reason, you will be issued a 'make up credit'. You can use this credit to sign up for any other group lesson that has an available space.  Please note, as in the policy, lessons cancelled within 24 hours notice will receive no makeup credit.  
We have a full blog post on how to use our make up credits here.
Horsforth Venue Information
Mondays and Wednesdays
Horsforth School, Lee Lane East, LS18 5RF

Your entrance is around the back of the school. You can walk or drive through the green gate at the top of the drive (with the school on your right and tge AstroTurf on your left). Feel free to park by that back entrance. Please note- that gate doesn't open till 3:55pm.
Your child will be met by PJC and brought down to the Music Room.
Baildon Venue Information
Tuesdays and Sundays
11 Bramham Drive, Baildon, BD17 6SZ

There is on street parking at our Baildon Venue as it is a home studio. Please arrive at the blue front door and give a nice firm knock.
Your child will be met by PJC and brought into to the Music Room. (Please don't arrive early)
On the first day, please feel free to drop your child off quickly, or come in to see the room, say hello and introduce yourself.
Can Parents Stay?
Parents are not allowed in the music rooms during lesson time. From my experience, children focus better, relax easier and have much more of a good time when their parents are not there, even if that means that the first few minutes are a little bit scary.
Please don't worry if you child is upset when you leave them, we are completely experienced in handling this, and students are always happy in no time at all.
Don't worry about purchasing anything before the lesson. Students will receive their Starter Park at their trial lesson. This includes:
First Piano Book
PJC Book Bag
PJC Pencil
PJC Laminated Flowchat and Cheat Sheet (to help parents support their children at home)

You can also order PJC Uniform for an additional price.
The T Shirts are available to order for £10 each in our PJC colours blue, pink, and orange and have the PJC Music School Logo on the back. They are available in black, white or RAINBOW GLITTER text (which most of our students go for!) Our Hoodies are available in blue or pink with either white matt or rainbow glitter text and are £20. As an extra, you could also get your child's name on the front for £2.
Just send PJC an email to order yours today.
Practice at Home
As well as our PJC Flowcharts, we have lots of video guides in our online portal to support you with your child's practice at home. Just go to: 'Online Resources', then 'The PJC Piano Practice Guide for Parents'.
If you already have a piano or a keyboard to practise at home then fantastic! If not, please don't feel that you need to go out and buy a piano! It would be great if you could purchase or borrow a keyboard so that your child can practise all the wonderful things they will learn in the lessons. I have written a detailed blog post here helping parents with the daunting task of finding the right keyboard or piano.

We also have our PJC 'Fast Track' programme for an extra £16.50 per month, which provides bi-weekly support for practice at home.
This programme allows pupils to move through their first two piano books at an even quicker rate, and results in superior progress in ABRSM Exams. Please get in touch or read our blog post to enquire whether your child is suitable for our Fast Track Programme.

Please get in touch if there are any questions about using the first lesson or about using the online portal.

Many thanks, looking forward to meeting you!

Phillippa ♪

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Covid-19

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have put the following measures in place to ensure our students and their families are as safe as possible on our return to face to face lessons. Please could you take the time to read the information below as there are several big changes:

♩ Both our Horsforth and Baildon Rooms now have keyboards around the edge of the room, facing the walls instead of each other, with 1m+ between keyboards.

♩ This has created a large space in the centre of each room, allowing students to sit/stand socially distanced for any group discussion or activity.

♩ There will be compulsory hand sanitising on entry and exit for all students.

♩ Students' temperature will be checked on arrival using a no-touch infrared thermometer.

♩ We will not be asking our students to wear masks, however please feel free to send your child in one if you wish.

♩ All keyboards, headphones, stools, door handles etc. will be sterilised between lessons.
♩ Students must bring their current music book, a pencil and an eraser to each lesson in a bag. Unless parents have specifically requested not to, special PJC equipment has been provided for our students and charged to parent's accounts to cover the cost of these.

♩ In order to enable social distancing and allow time for cleaning between lessons, our Young Beginners Lessons will reduce from 55 minutes to 50 minutes. We ask parents not to arrive early, and to ensure their children are picked up on time in order to assist with this. 

♩ Due its higher chance of spreading Covid-19, group singing will not take place inside for the time being. If the weather is nice, an occasional outdoor singing session may take place.

♩ In order to ensure our student's singing needs are met, (including the musical theory we embed through singing), as well as compensating for the reduction in lesson time, one longer weekly lesson will be held on Zoom which will include singing repertoire, technique, sight-singing and any singing-related Composer of the Month activities. We feel this will more than ensure our parents receive value for money. 

♩ Parents are asked NOT to bring their children to lesson if they display any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19. Any student who shows signs will be sent home immediately and asked to get a test ASAP. 

♩ During this pandemic, we are waiving our 24 notice requirement for receiving make-up credits for anyone who cancels because of Covid-19 Symptoms. Please just cancel as normal on the system and send me a text or email to explain why and I will add the make up credit back to your account. Please note, your child will need a negative test result if they wish to return before the 14 days isolation period. 


♩ Shoes will now be left on, and coats/bags will be brought direct to the students' keyboard station to avoid crowding around the hall way. 

♩ Students will be asked to remain in their keyboard seat at the end of the lesson, and will be called one at a time to exit when PJC can see their parents have arrived. 

♩ We ask parents NOT to enter the garden unless necessary, and instead ask them to send their children in one at a time (or one set of siblings), to socially distance them. 

♩ Parents can either either wait in the car, or if students are younger they can watch their child's entry and exit from behind the hedge. We ask parents to keep 2m between households where possible.


♩ We ask parents to keep as socially distanced as possible while waiting in the foyer. If you arrive early, please wait outside/in the car. 

♩ As soon as PJC or an assistant arrives, please leave your children with us while we wait for the whole class to arrive.

♩ We will be ensuring all our students keep their distance on our journey from the foyer down to the music rooms.

I am so excited to get started back again face to face and I want to thank you in advance for all of your help and support to make our return a success.

Phillippa ♪