Ruth Birchall. Anchorsholme School of Music, company logo epta logo ISM-Fellow Hands on a keyboard

Call Ruth today in Thornton-Cleveleys to discuss any of her studio policies or procedures further.

Piano and materials

All students are required to have a piano at home for daily practice. A digital piano with a minimum of five octaves and full-sized keys (preferably fully weighted) is acceptable for beginners. A regularly tuned, acoustic piano is highly recommended for intermediate to advanced level students. The Pro Metronome App is a useful tool which students can download from the Apple Store free of charge to help with practice at home. I normally order the required books for you or your child, and I issue an invoice prior to ordering the materials. These can be paid for by cash, cheque or bank transfer.

Enrolment and tuition

A trial lesson is available without further obligation. On enrolment each parent/student is expected to complete a registration form, and sign the Incorporated Society of Musicians' tuition agreement, a copy of which is given to them to keep.


For beginners and early grades a half-hour lesson is usually sufficient. This increases to forty-five minutes for the intermediate grades and one hour for the more advanced students. Extra lessons may be necessary if a student requires more preparation for examinations or a recital.


My teaching schedule is based on a forty-three week year. There are two weeks' holiday at Christmas, Easter and summer (normally the last two weeks in July), plus the three half-term weeks. A special timetable operates throughout August; students are also allowed up to two weeks' holiday during this time.


Tuition fees are due on the first day of each calendar month. Rates are available on request. Payment is collected by standing order. This is calculated by taking the yearly amount and dividing it into twelve equal payments. If the student has taken holidays in August, up to two weeks is refunded before the end of September by cheque or bank transfer. Some parents/students prefer to use their credit for extra lessons or books. If the standing order is unpaid by the first lesson of the month, I reserve the right to terminate the tuition, unless prior arrangement has been made.

Tuition may be terminated so long as a reasonable amount of notice is given in writing, normally one month. No refunds are given for pre-paid lessons, but the student is entitled to attend the lessons that have been paid for.


I expect my students to adhere to a regular practice schedule at least five days a week. Beginners should practise from ten to twenty minutes a day, depending upon age and amount of homework assigned. Intermediate level students should practise for thirty to forty-five minutes, and advanced level students should practise for at least an hour.


As a teacher, I expect to see some improvement from one lesson to the next. Assigned pieces should be showing gradual improvement, and theory homework should be completed on time. It is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is practising for the recommended time.

Students are expected to attend each scheduled week of the term. When you enrol for lessons, your time slot is reserved for you for the teaching year. Please understand that the studio operates at full capacity and make-up lessons or refunds for missed lessons are not given (except for extenuating circumstances such as urgent hospital admission or bereavement).


In the event that the student needs to miss a lesson, please contact me by phone, text or email as soon as possible.


Any lessons missed by the teacher due to illness or emergency will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Please arrive promptly for the lesson with clean hands and short fingernails. Lesson times cannot be extended for students who arrive late. Students should be picked up on time at the end of their lesson.

A timetable for August is prepared by the end of the summer term. The student's summer holidays should be notified to the teacher no later than the end of June. Students are expected to attend at least two lessons during August to maintain the skills they develop throughout the year.


Two grand pianos in a white room with a large bay window

Staying in touch

Please keep in mind that running a home-based business comes with necessary boundaries. You can help by following these simple requests:


* Email or text: These are the best ways to contact me. If I receive a work-related email or text on Saturday or Sunday, I will get back to you on Monday.


* Telephone: If you need to speak to me, I can take calls on my mobile between 2pm and 4pm on weekdays. I am unable to take phone calls while I am teaching, after hours or at weekends.


* Keeping in touch: I use email to send out studio information and newsletters from time to time; please make sure that I have a current email address.