All About Lessons - Frequently Asked Questions
How long are lessons? Between 20 and 60 minutes, depending on the student.
When are lessons? Monday – Saturday between 9am and 8pm.
Where are lessons? Mickleover, Derby. Home visits available in Ashbourne area.
Is my child too young? I will accept children from the age of 5, but only if I think they are ready. Usually with very young children, I teach singing and rhythmic games (including elements of Kodály and Dalcroze Eurhythmics) to develop the musical, coordination, memory and concentration skills necessary for being able to play an instrument.
Am I too old? No! There is no upper age limit for students. The most important factor is commitment. All students including adults, need to be happy to practise several times per week.
Do I need a piano or will a keyboard do? I only accept students who have a piano at home, be it an acoustic (‘normal’) one or a digital (electric) one. Acoustic pianos are best, but digital pianos provide a cheaper, slightly more portable compromise for beginners. Piano keys are weighted: the harder the key is played, the louder the sound. So piano students develop strength in their fingers and learn to use their wrists and arms to control the sound and create the desired effect.
Do I have to take exams? No. But you can if you want to.
What subjects do you teach?
Piano: beginner to Grade 7
Style: I teach a combination of classical, blues, jazz and pop genres. The type of music and style of lessons is tailored to suit the student, taking into account the student’s own preferences, previous playing experience and technical ability. I teach students how to read music, how to work pieces out by ear, how to memorise music and how to improvise.
Theory: beginner to University level
Style: It is important not to separate the written music from the sound. I help students to work towards exams if that is their aim, but ultimately my goal is for theory students to be better able to read and understand the music they play. I ask all non- pianists to bring their instruments to theory lessons, to play through examples where appropriate. I will teach musical notation to students aged 7 and upwards, but only if they are also learning an instrument. For my own piano students, theory is integrated into practical lessons, but extra theory lessons are advisable at more advanced levels.
Composition and Song writing
I provide tuition for students working towards composition elements in GCSE and A-level or BTEC courses. I also tutor singer songwriters from beginner to advanced level.
GCSE and A- Level
I tutor students who are taking music courses at school or college. I will help you find enjoyable and memorable ways of understanding all elements required including aural perception, harmony, Anthology, essay-writing, musical history.
Aural Perception (listening skills)
Level: beginner to advanced
I provide techniques and solutions for musicians of all backgrounds who want to improve their listening skills. Students do not have to be studying for an exam to benefit from lessons but I may include work towards the ‘aural’ section of instrumental exams or the Associated Board’s ‘Musicianship in Practice’ syllabus where appropriate.
Any further questions? Just ask!