New Year’s resolutions

As 2015 begins, why not turn over a new leaf and learn a new skill?

Several people have said to me that they might be looking for music tuition in the New Year. This does not surprise me. What better time is there to start learning and developing a new skill?

Why not set aside half an hour a week to learn to play the piano, the guitar, or singing with the ukulele? Of course you will also have to set aside time at home each week to practise, and I would strongly recommend you do so twice a day. You will then find that you are learning and applying the skills you have acquired in our one-to-one sessions.

Can anybody learn a new instrument? I strongly believe they can, whatever their age or previous experience. It is simply a question of working hard at it. I may be able to show you how to play several chords on a guitar. But it is only you who can practise this skill at home every day until it becomes automatic.guitar

Similarly with the piano. I can show you how to play a simple tune with both hands. I can comment on your first attempt and give you helpful suggestions. But it is only you who can practise this at home and be proud of what you have achieved when you play the same tune for me again next week.

I look forward to hearing from you if you think you might be interested. Please fill in the contact form on the front page, or call my mobile number which is also listed on the front. Good luck in 2015!

Guitar: How I can help

Have you thought about taking up the guitar?

Playing the guitar is a relaxing and enjoyable past-time. Singing with your guitar is even more fun. I can help you with both.

I don’t promise to be the greatest guitarist in the world, but I do have plenty of experience in teaching beginners, both on a one-to-one basis, in small groups at schools, and even whole classes of 30 children!

I will introduce you to your guitar and help you to tune it. I will tell you about the different strings, how to play tunes and how to read music. This is the ‘classical’ part of the lesson.

I will also introduce you to playing chords (collections of notes played together). We will look at the simpler chords first, and then try to sing along with them. It is amazing how many songs you can sing by just knowing two or three of the most popular chords. This is the ‘folk’ part of the lesson.

Your part of the deal is to promise to play your guitar at least twice a day. This may sound demanding, but to learn a new skill, you have to work at it!

I think anyone from age 5 to 105 can learn to play the guitar. If you are interested, please contact me on the form on the front of the website.

Lessons last for 30 minutes and cost £15 each. They take place in Hillmorton, Rugby at my home.

Good luck!

Piano: How I can help

Have you ever considered taking up the piano or keyboard? I knew from a very early age that I wished to play the piano. I began lessons at about five years and continued with them until I was about 16 or 17. I managed to complete the Grade system of examinations, passing my Grade 8 in piano, and Grade 5 in theory.

This is the piano you will be learning on. It is very pleasant to play!

I was never that interested in the exam system, and have always thought that the piano is an instrument to enjoy, have fun with, and not to worry too much about passing tests. So the philosophy of my teaching is to ENJOY making music.

From the very first lesson, I will be encouraging students to play recognisable tunes from a range of sources – some classical, some popular songs, some folk songs and so on. Of course, I will also teach musical theory, and the basic techniques of playing – including the dreaded scales!

Most important of all, I will encourage my students to play the piano at least twice a day. This is really, really key and will result in considerable progress in a short time. It is very obvious from lessons when a student hasn’t touched the piano or guitar since the last lesson. This is disappointing and a bit of a waste of time. So, play regularly and don’t keep the lid on your piano or the case on your guitar. And enjoy it! That is what music is about. It should not be a drudge.

I am open to teaching anyone from 4 to 104. Please contact me for advice if you are unsure. You will need a keyboard (either electronic or a traditional piano), and an enthusiasm to learn, and a willingness to play twice a day. I will help you with the rest.

If you wish to take piano exams, I can support you with this. We will go through the scales, sightreading and aural tests together. We will prepare your selected pieces. So far, my students have a 100 per cent success rate!.

Lessons cost £15 for half an hour and take place weekly. To get in touch, please use the contact form on the front of my website. Good luck!