Most of my piano pupils follow pathways towards attaining grades from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music with whom I am registered as a teacher. I have experience of teaching pupils between the ages of 6 and 18 including those starting out on the instrument.
Younger pupils with smaller hands will have a year or so of elementary pieces, the emphasis being firmly on fun whilst learning skills. Correct fingering is always paramount but encouragement and positivity is the key to having a longer relationship with the instrument. With all pupils I like to keep the lessons engaging, teaching theory, correct posture, hand position, fingering, scales, sight-reading, set pieces, duets and always encouraging students to develop their ear by means of improvisation and aural tests in order to retain the freedom of self-expression on the instrument which often disappears somewhat with many reader musicians. It is my aim to develop a fully rounded musician.
I have a wide experience of teaching people of all ages (7 - 64) the guitar, especially those just starting out. My lessons combine three main elements, these being tablature, chords and reading notation. I combine tutor books with hand-written sheets and often create sheets for students to use to learn to play their favourites. This combines use of ear training and tab. I teach fingerpicking techniques, theory and always encourage elements of improvisation. I teach left and handed guitarists, electric guitar technique with effect pedals as well as classical and steel strung guitar styles.
My students have differing goals, some want to learn songs which involves chord practise and moving from chord to chord whilst others are more keen to learn through music notation or tab. Fingering, muscle control, muscle memory and various teaching methods are practised to facilitate a smooth playing style.
My lessons in teaching bass predominantly involve teaching students to play along with guitar or piano chords and melodies, picking out the root notes and making decisions around which relevant notes and runs might be employed. This involves teaching of theoretical elements like intervals, relative majors / minors, inversions etc. and I utilize elements of written music in the bass clef as well as tablature to illustrate these. The bulk of the sessions however involves playing by ear and feeling the music. The bass is a crucial part of any band and ear development is paramount in its role of keeping the melody lines in harmony with the rhythms.
I provide audio of chords for students to practise with at home to develop the 'ear' along with finger strength and tempo control.
Sheet music is also used and students are encouraged to learn set pieces to play to accompaniment.
Woodwind (saxophone / oboe / recorder):
Students learning woodwind may choose to go do ABRSM grades, which is a recommended way of achieving milestones in the field. Posture, embouchure, breathing, tone control are all elements which require constant attention in the quest to master the instrument. Regular practise is required to develop the requisite muscles and I keep a close eye on the areas which may be in need of extra attention. The physicality in mastering woodwind instruments can't be underestimated and the rewards of practise speak for themselves as it becomes easier and the tone fuller.
Reading notation, practise exercises, theory, transposing and playing to accompaniment are all aspects of these lessons.
I encourage ensemble playing (joining bands, orchestras etc) and I am more than happy to take two students per session. See Prices section for rates.
Singing / voice / vocal performance:
I taught vocal performance at Chichester University on the BA Performing Arts course and now offer private vocal tuition. Lessons involve vocal warm-up exercises, accompanied as well as accapella singing, singing from musical scores, some theory, tuning, intervals and singing in harmony, exploring the vocal range and singing differing styles and moods of songs. Experimenting with the voice to imitate sounds and making voices with changing emphasis on different muscles and airwaves may also occur. Different pupils have different ways of loosening up in order to perform and elements of the psychology of performance are discussed. I record backing tracks on the piano to be sung over and when songs are complete I am may record the vocal on top and add other elements with the student such as harmonies (backing vocals) for the student to keep.
Ensemble groups (up to four students) are welcome. See prices for details.