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We follow our own curriculum for private tutoring and offer lessons for students of all ages and standards accepting them without audition at all levels, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced. Every student’s tuition pattern is therefore unique. It may comprise of only 1 to 1 lessons, group lessons or any combination of the many opportunities we offer. Students can work towards any objective agreed with their teacher, for example, the attainment of a certain standard, a concert or an examination. 

As part of instrumental tuition, optional theory lessons and aural skills workshops are offered free of charge as part of their musical learning. They are included in the price for tuition but are not compulsory. However, Grade 5 theory is required to advance to any grades above Grade 5 so learning theory throughout your time at the school is recommended. Exams are not necessary but most students choose to enter exams as they progress through their pieces and as an indicator of progress.


The school timetable is designed for the benefit of the school as a whole and cannot be changed to satisfy individual requirements. The school cannot guarantee that any particular teacher will, or will not, teach any particular pupil. 


We enter students into all the major examination boards for their examinations and fill in and prepare all the necessary paperwork on their behalf. The exam boards that we use are:

  • Trinity College London 

  • The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)

  • London College of Music Examinations (LCM)


For graded examinations, we recommend those of Trinity College London because of its carefully composed syllabus, thorough administration and ongoing moderation of standards. St. Columb's School of Music is also the exam centre of Derry-Londonderry so all face-to-face exams will take place in St. Columb's School of Music. Nevertheless, when students wish to use another examining system for various reasons, we are happy to give advice and support. Please note that students entering into exams will be notified of their specific dates and times approx. 4 weeks before the exam is due to take place.

  • The teacher will determine when the student is ready to take an exam.

  • The student must commit to putting in the practice suggested by the teacher.

  • Students that have been entered into an exam but fail to sufficiently prepare may be pulled out of an exam and if this is the case, fees will not be refunded.

  • The exam entry fee must be paid by the deadline set by the School to secure entry. This fee is non refundable.

  • Accompanists are provided if required. 

  • Exam times/days are assigned by exam boards and are usually during school time. Please be aware that these dates cannot be changed by the School and is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to liaise with the examination board should and exam need to be rescheduled. 

  • You may enter your child for an exam yourself at any point if you wish.

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