Heather Birt

School for Strings

HEATHER BIRT School for Strings offers lessons on violin, viola, baroque violin and baroque viola, and is open to students of all ages, from five to ninety-five, from beginners to advanced, with a flexible approach tailored to the needs and interests of each student.

The School attracts pupils who wish to have fun and explore the wider possibilities of their playing, looking at jazz improvisation, historically informed playing, folk, pop and other genres.

For those who want to take ABRSM examinations, all aspects of the syllabus are taught, from Grade 1 to Grade 8 and Diploma level, and ‘mock’ exams will be offered as part of the preparation. Heather Birt’s students have a 51% distinction rate (compared with the UK 16% rate).

Above all, the Heather Birt School for Strings seeks to inspire students to reach their own full musical potential, whatever their learning style, and unlock a life-long enjoyment of music-making.

Violin and viola lessons take place in the teaching studio at the home of Heather Birt in Marlborough Road, St Albans. Timing can be flexible to fit around school or work commitments.

Heather Birt was Head of Strings at School of St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon for 11 years, where she has taught at all levels, up to and including diploma. Since then she taught violin and viola at Wycombe Abbey School. She is a music graduate from Oxford University, and holds two postgraduate diplomas from Trinity College of Music. She is a freelance violin and viola player, working with ensembles such as the Academy of Ancient Music, the Gabrieli Consort and the English Concert. She also plays jazz bass in clubs and festivals around the UK and abroad.



30 minutes – £25
45 minutes – £35
60 minutes – £45

Terms and Conditions

1. Notwithstanding the other points in the Terms and Conditions, you are very welcome to discuss your particular needs with the Heather Birt School for Strings. The School will always try to accommodate each particular student.
2. Students attending weekly lessons will receive about five lessons in each half term. The student is to provide a notebook to record the work that is to be prepared between these lessons. Occasional and one-off lessons may also be available by special arrangement.
3. Fees at the rate agreed with the School are payable each half term in advance. Invoices are due when they are issued and payment is required before tuition commences. Charges for lessons from February 2017 will be based on the rate of £25 per half hour, and £45 per hour. These will be revised each year at the end of the summer term.
4. Should a lesson be cancelled by the teacher, efforts will be made to find a mutually convenient alternative time within the same half term. Otherwise the lesson fee will be deducted from the following half term’s bill as a refund for the missed lesson.
5. If a student chooses to cease tuition, then one half term’s notice is required, or fees will be due in lieu; a letter should be written to the teacher.
6. It is the responsibility of the student to give at least 24 hours’ notice of non-attendance; in these circumstances the school will make reasonable efforts to offer an alternative time for the lesson. If the student is unable to give such notice, the lesson will still be charged for.
7. The teacher may suggest termination of lessons if a student is not sufficiently committed for progress to be made.
8. The teacher will not enter the student for any examination, external competition or public performance without the consent of the student or the parent of the student. The student or parent of the student will in turn consult the teacher before they or any third party enters the student for any examination, competition or public performance. Fees, if they are accrued, will be billed to the student or the parent of the student for all examinations and competitions.
Rates and Terms and Conditions are correct as of 21st February 2017. These Rates are subject to change at the end of the summer term each year; the Terms and Conditions will be reviewed periodically.

Heather Birt MA (Oxon) PGDip PGDip