Anyone can learn to play an instrument. All it takes is a little regular practice, access to music you enjoy, and effective guidance from a professional who tailors lessons to your needs.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I teach guitar (classical, acoustic, folk, spanish, finger style), piano/keyboard, violin, ukulele, recorder and music theory. Lessons are offered in person from my home in Caerau, Maesteg, or online via SKYPE.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
I am a graduate of the University of Wales Trinity St. DavidRoyal College of Music, where I achieved an MA with Distinction. I am also a graduate f the Royal College of Music, where I was the first guitarist to achieve the G.R.S.M. honours degree. I then went on to gain a PGCE in music teaching from the London University Institute of Education.
RGT Registered Tutor.
- How much do you charge?
My rates are £25 per hour / £12.50 per half hour lesson, payable per lesson. I do not ask for payment for a block of lessons in advance, but i do ask that if you need to cancel a lesson you give 24 hours' notice.
For lessons by Skype payment is required via bank transfer 48 hours in advance of the lesson.
- Where do you teach?
I offer one-to-one tuition from my home in Caerau, Maesteg, (Mid Glamorgan). I do not travel to students' homes since I have a full range of resources available at my home and I feel I can provide a better service if I have access to everything I may need during a lesson.
I also offer tuition in real time online via SKYPE.
- When are you available?
I teach during the daytime and in the evenings on weekdays, as well as on Saturdays. As many of my students are adults I teach throughout the school holidays, though I understand that many families may make other arrangements during the holidays and may need to cancel some lessons. This is fine providing adequate notice is given.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I teach all ages and all abilities. My youngest student is currently 4 years old, and the oldest is 74, and standards range from complete beginners to accomplished players.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
Students may choose to take music examinations if they wish, though they are not required to do so if they prefer to play just for pleasure. For those that wish to pursue the more formal path I use a range of music examinations offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and Trinity College London, depending on the instrument.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I am happy to teach all elements of my music teaching offering online, via Skype. I have a comprehensive music studio which is fully equipped to offer Skype tuition, and students take lessons in this way from all over the world. Payment can be made via direct bank transfer and is required 48 hours in advance of the lesson. Precise arrangements can be discussed as appropriate.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
In addition to the well-known advantages of learning any musical instrument (improved co-ordination, fine motor skills, problem solving skills, patience etc.) there are additional benefits to choosing an experienced and qualified teacher:
* Make continuous progress at your own rate – Lessons are tailored to your needs, gently moving you forward at a pace which is comfortable and right for you.
* Learn from a friendly, experienced, and qualified teacher – I am a graduate of the Royal College of Music and a qualified class teacher, with experience of teaching music and instruments at primary, secondary and adult education levels, in class, group and one-to-one tuition. With over 35 years of success in teaching you can rest assured you are in good hands.
* Play the kind of music you enjoy – Although originally classically trained, my tastes are varied and my approach is to teach a technique that will enable you to play whatever style of music you most enjoy. Once you have learned the basic techniques you choose the music you want to learn.
* Explore a wide range of musical styles – If you aren't sure what style of music you prefer, or just want some variety, we can try music from a range styles and cultures – again, you choose!
* Develop skills that will enable you to play any music you want – You will learn a technique that is not specific to one particular style. Once you have learned the basics that technique can be applied to any style of music you want to explore.
* Have fun through success! – Everyone enjoys doing things they are good at. The skills I will teach you will ensure your continued success and enjoyment â€¦ providing you practise regularly!
About the lessons:
I teach essential technical skills that will provide a solid grounding in playing the instrument (for the Guitar the technique is variously known as acoustic / finger style / Spanish / classical etc. - N.B. not electric or playing with a pick). For all instruments this involves learning the basic notes and techniques relating to the instrument and will enable you to play whatever style of music you want – in fact many of the best rock and pop musicians trained this way!
All lessons cover:
* Reading music notation
* Right-hand and left-hand instrumental techniques
* Basic musical knowledge and understanding
* Correct positioning
* How to practise effectively
Other (optional) elements include:
* Advanced instrumental techniques
* Music theory
* Ear training
* Preparation for more serious study (examinations, G.C.S.E and A' Levels etc.)
For complete beginners we will follow a specific course that is designed to introduce you to all the key techniques required to master the instrument. This will be supplemented with additional music as needed, giving you a truly individual and tailored approach.
For those who have mastered the basic techniques music will be chosen in consultation with you, based on the styles of music you prefer, the playing standard required and the technical elements that feature in the music. This may include:
Published music of any style
Music you enjoy from a CD, MP3, YouTube video etc. – I can transcribe and arrange them to suit your technical ability
Folk and other song arrangements
Accompaniments to songs you enjoy
Performance preparation for GCSE and A' Level examinations
Preparation for graded examinations
The main aim is that your lessons are fun, you are motivated and inspired by the music, and that (with a little regular practise!) you continue to make steady progress.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have been playing musical instruments for most of my life, having come from a musical family, and have been teaching for over 35 years both in class, ensemble, small group and one-to-one situations.
I am a graduate of the Royal College of Music, one of the top institutions for music education in the country. Though my specialism was the classical guitar, I also studied the piano and violin, and was the first guitarist to be awarded the G.R.S.M.(hons) degree. I have since delved into other styles (banjo tunes, jazz, rock, Celtic folk music, alternate tunings etc.) and other instruments (banjo, melodeon, small-pipes, ukulele, steel pans, flute, saxophone, etc.). I am also a qualified teacher (P.G.C.E. London University Institute of Education) and have held the post of Head of Music at both primary and secondary school level. I am currently writing a Masters thesis on the Bagpipe tradition during the Scottish Enlightenment.
As a musician I have performed throughout England and abroad: as a soloist, in a duo, as part of a small chamber group and in larger choirs and orchestras. I have also published a range of music repertoire and arranged music professionally for a varied range of instruments, for example Paul Brett's 'The Compleat Angler' for 6- and 12-string guitar and chamber group (see YouTube), and my work has been published in respected music magazines such as 'Melody Maker.
In addition to being active in the music world with arranging and publishing, I continue to perform, not only in formal musical ensembles but also in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of open mic venues.
I have been an instrumental teacher for 35 years, providing individual, paired, or group tuition as a private teacher, a peripatetic instrumental teacher and a school class teacher.
In addition to specific instrumental lessons, I have run a number of school holiday masterclasses, whereby groups of children work all day to perfect a group of ensemble pieces, which are performed to parents at the end of the day. I have also run extra curricular music classes (guitar, string groups, recorder, choir, orchestra, and various other instrumental combinations) and have organised numerous full-length concerts and other shorter performance opportunities for my students in both primary and secondary schools.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I have had numerous CRB / DBS checks in the past when teaching in schools, though the latest is currently expired.
- Where and with whom did you train?
I have studied with many well-respected professors from renowned music institutions. For example Gordon Crosskey, (RNCM), Charles Ramirez (RCM), Carlos Bonnell (RAM), Patrick Bashford (RCM), Edwin Roxburgh (RCM), David Wilcox (RCM)
• M.A. University of Wales Trinity St. David; G.R.S.M. (Hons) Royal College of Music London
• P.G.C.E. London University Institute of Education
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