East Sussex Music Terms and Conditions

Parents, carers and pupils must follow the East Sussex Music terms and conditions. East Sussex Music has the right to make changes to the terms and conditions.

We have a three term academic year – autumn, spring and summer.


1. Weekly lessons


A) Registration fee

There is a one-off fee to register with East Sussex Music Service. We can’t refund the registration fee.

B) Fees

Your first invoice will be for an introductory course of 10 lessons. This is non-refundable in part or in full. If the course starts mid-term, the lessons carry on to the next term.

After the introduction, lessons will continue automatically and we will send an invoice every term until you tell us you want to stop (see below).

There are 30 lessons in the school year. You will get an invoice for 10 lessons and hire fees three times a year. This is usually in September, January and April. Depending on the length of each term, more or less than 10 lessons in each term may be offered but they will total 30 per year.

See our page for lesson costs.

You must pay your invoice on time or lessons will be cancelled. If lessons are cancelled because you haven’t paid your invoice, lessons for all pupils on your account(s) will be stopped.

Lessons will continue until you ask them to stop. You must pay fees until the end of the term.

C) Ending your contract

You can only end the contract for lessons at the end of a term. Tell the East Sussex Music office in writing to by the date below:

  • 1st December to stop at the end of the autumn term (late December)

  • 1st March to stop at the end of the spring term (late March/early April)

  • 1st August to stop at the end of the summer term (late July)

If you miss these dates, you will need to pay the full term’s fees. This applies even if your child is changing schools. Lessons continue from one academic year to the next.

We can’t accept verbal notification. You must put it in writing and send/email your request to the music service office, not the teacher or your school.

When the lessons stop you must return hired instruments to the teacher.

D) Discount fee scheme

Some families on low incomes may be eligible for a fees discount.

The discounted fee scheme is only available to qualifying students in full time education in an East Sussex school. The student will need to be in reception year to year 13 and in full time education. Pupils at independent schools or schools outside East Sussex are not eligible for the scheme.

We review eligibility for the scheme periodically. You must tell the office immediately if your entitlement to benefit changes.

Discounted fees are only available for one set of instrumental lessons, music centre and hire charges per child. If your child takes up a second instrument, you will need to pay full fees on the lessons and hire.

E) Missed lessons – credits and refunds

There are 38 weeks in the school year within which we offer a minimum of 30 lessons. We will give a credit or refund at the end of the school year if there were less. If possible, make-up sessions will be arranged but cannot be guaranteed.

We give credits:

  • if you have not been offered 30 lessons in the school year (eg teacher illness).

We don’t give credits:

  • for situations outside our control, like when the venue is closed for safety reasons (severe weather etc.).

  • when a student misses a lesson, for example school trips, school exams, illness or they forgot

We may give a credit (for a continuing pupil) or refund for long-term illness. This is when they miss four or more consecutive lessons. We will need a letter from your doctor.

F) Payments

We will use any money you send us to clear the oldest invoice first

G) Changing instrument

Your child cannot usually change lessons during a term. To stop learning one instrument and start another, you need to:

  • end the contract for the old instrument (see Ending your contract above).

  • request lessons for the new instrument in writing.

Our terms and conditions apply for the new music lessons.

H) Group lessons

East Sussex Music offers 30 minute group lessons, for groups of 3 to 6 pupils. When there are too few pupils of a similar standard we offer a 20 minute lesson for a group of 2. These lessons cost the same.

Lesson groups can change (from 30 to 20 minutes or vice versa) at any time without notice. We make changes to best group pupils. This is based on learning need and timetabling efficiency.

2. Weekly area music centre and ensemble activities


Terms and conditions are as for weekly lessons (see section 1 above) plus the following:

A) The Area Music Centre membership charge is an all-inclusive charge for multiple classes. We don’t give credits if a class is unattended or cancelled and the other activities continue as normal.

B) Conduct

The teaching staff and the area manager will ask a pupil to leave if:

  • they feel a pupil is often disruptive, or

  • their attendance is poor.

C) Free taster sessions: Pupils playing in an ensemble for the first time

We offer 2 free taster sessions. Your child can try before you commit to a full term. This offer is only available the first time a pupil joins an East Sussex Music Area Music Centre.

You will then get an invoice for the term minus the cost of the first 2 lessons.

If your child doesn’t want to continue after the free sessions, you must tell us. If you write to us at email within 5 days of the second taster session you won’t be charged.

If you don’t contact us, we’ll know your child is continuing and you will be charged for the normal membership fee.

D) Auditioned ensembles

The 2 free taster sessions offer doesn’t apply to auditioned ensembles. New members who want a taster of auditioned ensembles can contact the ensemble manager to discuss a trial period.

3. Workshops, short courses, events and summer school


These terms and conditions apply unless you get different terms and conditions with your application form.

A) East Sussex Music can refuse applications if you owe money for other services.

B) Cancellation

To cancel your place for a 50% refund:

  • you must write to the East Sussex Music office, and

  • we must get it within 21 days of the course or event start date.

We can’t refund after this time without a very good reason, like severe illness or injury. We may need a doctor’s note.

C) Conduct

We want everyone to enjoy the course and be safe. The Course Director can ask a disruptive student to leave. We would ask parents to collect the child immediately. There is no refund and the decision is final.

D) Absence from school

If the activity takes place during school hours, you must get permission for your child to be absent from school.

4. Instrument hire


A) Discount fee scheme

Please see the terms and conditions for weekly lessons above for details of our discount fee scheme


B) Caring for your instrument

Your child must look after the instrument. You are responsible if it is lost or damaged, by them or someone else.
You must tell us if you lose or damage it. Return a damaged instrument to East Sussex Music to assess and repair.

Never try to repair the instrument yourself – always tell us.

You are responsible for the full cost of repairs. You should include instruments you hire from us in your home contents insurance in case of loss or damage.

You must replace and pay for parts which wear out, like strings, reeds, valve oil, cleaning and materials.

At any time we may need to exchange the hired instrument for:

  • a comparable one, or

  • a larger size (for a stringed instrument).

This does not affect the general terms and conditions of this agreement.


C) Ending the hire service

East Sussex Music may give you four weeks’ notice to cancel this agreement. If you return the instrument to us by the end date, we will refund any hire fees you already paid to cover after the end date.

To cancel this agreement:

  • return the instrument before the end of term, and

  • pay any hire and/or repairs costs you owe.

You will have to pay hire charges until you return the instrument to us and get a receipt.

Return instruments either to your teacher or to East Sussex Music, Performing Arts Centre, Mountfield Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2XH. You will receive a signed pink ‘Return of Instrument’ form. This is your proof that you returned the instrument.

If you don’t pay your fees or follow the terms and conditions we may cancel the agreement and end lessons. You must then return the instrument immediately.

If you don’t return the instrument we will invoice you for the cost of a replacement instrument.

5. Queries


You may find the answer to your question on our East Sussex Music webpages

Our office is open term time only. Contact us on:


East Sussex Music, Performing Arts Centre, Mountfield Rd, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2XH


Tel: 01273 261540