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Fees 2020-21 and FAQs

Berkshire Maestros fees for the academic year 2020-21 can be viewed here.

We have rationalised our fees and discounts this year to make them clearer and more transparent. In light of current events, we have had to make some difficult decisions to ensure we can continue to support the children and young people across Berkshire to experience inspirational, high-quality musical education.

Q1 Why raise fees under the current circumstances?
A We are facing huge financial challenges at the moment. We moved lessons online very quickly however we have had an understandable loss of income from this as well as all the other activities we run such as concerts, ensembles and courses. As a charity, we are not seeking to make a profit and so increases are purely to cover our business costs.
   
Q2 Why have some lesson fees risen more than others?
A We have endeavoured to maintain accessibility to our lessons by not increasing the cost of the two lowest lesson options as much as our other options.
   
Q3 Explain the family discount, how does it work?
A The aim of this discount is to encourage more children from families into our ensemble groups, including parents/carers, as we want to grow our offer for adults over the next few years. We have a huge variety of ensembles that cater for different tastes and give students experience with different kinds of music making from chamber music to rock music to our large county groups. We want to encourage students to be in more than one group so that they are benefitting from a well-rounded music education.

The discount is a multi-activity discount that applies to both multiple groups and multiple members of the family. An example:

FAMILY A
Child A attends one ensemble – no discount
Child A attends two ensembles – 10% off the lowest cost group
FAMILY B
Child B attends one ensemble and one county group
Child B1 attends two ensembles
Parent B attends adult choir

10% off applied to all but the highest cost group

   
Q4 Has the lesson discount to ensemble fees been removed altogether?
A Yes, we are unable to continue to discount in this way, at this time.
   
Q5 Why are the ensemble now categorised as Junior and Senior?
A This is the first part of taking a refreshed look at our ensembles to ensure they are accessible and promote progression from the very beginner groups up to our senior groups and then county level. As it stands at the moment, Junior and Senior ensembles will be the equivalent of what you are currently paying so all those paying for an extended ensemble will fall under the Senior category.
   
Q6 Why have the instrument hire costs been increased?
A

We have historically offered extremely heavily subsidised rates for our hire instruments. The income from this is insufficient to cover even the ongoing cost of maintenance and staffing. Many of our instruments are reaching the end of their useful lives and, if we are to continue offering this valuable service to our pupils, we must invest in replacing these instruments and servicing many others.

We too felt that doubling the hire charge instantly was unacceptable and consequently it was decided on the gradual increase throughout the coming year so that the full hire charge will not be made until the Summer Term 2021. We hope that this will help to reduce the immediate impact on instrument hirers.

   
Q7 Why have the adult lesson and ensemble prices increased?
A We have had to increase these as previously they have been in line with student prices which are subsidised by the funding we receive.
   
Q8 There is no longer a membership charge for Academy membership, why is this?
A This is the first part of taking a refreshed look at our Academy programme and so we decided initially to base costs on the provision we can offer next year so as not to hold parents/carers to a fixed price. If your child is an existing Academy member, more details will follow about what the offer will be for next year.
   
Q9 Is there any other financial support we can access at this time?
A Yes, please do get in touch with finance@berkshiremaestros.org.uk who will be able to advise on the financial support you can access.
   
Q10 I have a question that isn’t answered here. How can I get in touch with you?
A Please email us and we will do our best to help you.
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