I have taught drums for twelve years basing my teaching on playing a drum kit in really pleasant surroundings with an emphasis on playing to selected music tracks of all rock and pop styles. I love teaching all age ranges, including adults and am particularly good with youngsters, being of an encouraging and kind and gentle disposition. I have a nice sense of humour and do not rely on sarcasm or anything that would put a student off being with me.
There is a choice of taking examinations based on the "Rock School" method (affiliated and accredited by the Trinity School of music, London,Grades Debut and 1-8. These give a choice of two pieces from a selection of six as well as aural and technical exercises which increase skills in a carefully graded stepwise progression. The pieces give good scope for learning different styles of pop and rock, snare drum rudiments and notation and are very clearly set out with each tutor containing a CD. Tracks are recorded both with and without drum parts, so the student can listen to the music as it should sound, can read the part and ultimately play along to an instrumental track where the drum part has been excluded.
As well as teaching at home, I teach students in their own homes up to a radius of about ten miles. Extra charges for this service will be included in the final price, but would be 40p per mile of my journey from my home to you and back.
I can also offer the opportunity to play along to live keyboards played by myself and I like to play percussion with the student playing the kit, so as to create a live music experience, as that is often missing from a drummer's experience when they are learning.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
Drumming using a drum kit. Styles vary according to what the student likes or wants, as this motivates or de-motivates. So I like to listen and observe what sparks a student's enthusiasm.
I personally enjoy pop and rock, can play traditional jazz styles like swing, soul, funk, acoustic music, country, hip-hop, reggae. I will try anything a student would care to try too.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
I learned jazz drumming from Kenny Leitch of Kitchen's Bradford and The Musician's Centre in Keighley (where I recently taught myself for a brief period). I just learned over a period of forty five years from playing in pop and rock covers bands, playing original songs, playing in a traditional dance band in many different types of music venues...church dances, pub gigs, college support band gigs (I supported Steeleye Span at Hammersmith Odeon when they had their number 1 hit "All Around My Hat), as well as supporting bands like Barclay James Harvest and Strider in concert. I have played in two musical shows. "Return to the Forbidden Planet" and "From a Jack to a King" and an amateur religious production organised by the group who did these other musicals. Numbers included "Sand and Water" by Beth Nielsen-Chapman, "Sway", "Prince Charming" (Adam and the Ants). "Smooth Operator" by Sade. My greatest thrill was to play songs like "Wipe-out" (tom-tom based fast drums solo) and "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, ""Only the Lonely", "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee-Lewis, "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, "She's Not There" by the Zombies...all great classic pop songs.
I have spent much time in recording studios and wrote the music for and co-directed a musical "Poor Man Francis" which involved recording all the parts on keyboards and drums on my own home studio as well as rehearsing musicians including a drummer and performing it live at the Theatre in the Mill, at Bradford University.
- How much do you charge?
£20 per hour, £15 per 45 minutes, £10 per half hour. The majority of my lessons last half an hour which is sufficient in anybody's book. 45 minutes allows more in-depth coverage and may be more satisfying for someone who is really keen. An hour would be useful if it needs to be more intense or if you love it so much, you can't get enough of it. The first lesson is always a trial lesson and is free of charge to see whether a student will want to continue.
Payment by cash or cheque is monthly in advance. (either for four or five lessons depending on the month). I do not accept debit or credit cards.
To travel, I charge 40p per mile of my return journey to my home. I do not take my kit to a person's house, but can take a snare drum if required. This is to keep time and costs down. A student needs a kit to operate really, otherwise they will not gain the full benefit of my lessons. But a snare drum or practice pad and sticks is a good starting point!
- Where do you teach?
I live and teach in West Yorkshire and my house is within 400 metres of Bradford Royal Infirmary on the West side of the city, about two miles from Bradford City Centre. It's detached with a pleasant, secluded garden and is very peaceful until we start! Areas covered are Bradford and surrounding suburbs, Halifax, Keighley, Shipley, Baildon, Bingley, Ilkley, Harden, Burley, East Morton, Brighouse, Leeds and Huddersfield. I am available to travel to your house or wherever you have your drum kit to give a lesson. I would charge 40p per mile travelled on the round trip.
- When are you available?
I am available to teach on a Saturday and other days of the week by negotiation. I have to consider my parents, whose house it is, so cannot guarantee days outside of this, but after school and up to 6.30pm are good times too. I expect pupils to want holidays and this is negotiable.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I teach to pupils from the age of about seven and above. Any younger and it can be too much for them. One pupil I had who was five really could not cope, so I think seven is about the youngest I would teach. I won't stipulate an age however, but I may recommend someone waits for a period before starting. It is best to tell your child that if they are very young. I will be gentle with them.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
Rock School, grades 1-5. I am prepared to teach higher grades, but would probably recommend a more qualified tutor in those instances. I need to learn too despite my long experience.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
You can do it! Always, always play something first time far slower than you want to so that you can speed it up when you are confident with the drums and sticking required. When you make a mistake, it's over with and you are best focusing on the next bar of music without spending time regretting your mistake. If you can learn that, you are well on your way!
If you don't enjoy something, discuss it with me. That's the last thing I want, but you need to be ready for some effort in practice, which will give you satisfaction and enjoyment in the end. See it all as a challenge you can take on...
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have taught at least ten pupils on a regular basis and got them through the Rock School exams, some with distinction, others with merits. I have worked up to grade 5, so would not consider myself experienced to teach above grade 6, but I don't want to make claims I can't substantiate.Grade 5 is no easy challenge, so please don't be put off that I have no experience of a higher grade unless you are drumming at grade 7 or 8 level already.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Mine was last done in October 2008 in order to become a chaplaincy volunteer visitor at Bradford Royal Infirmary on the cancer ward. I intend to have another done soon and if it is important to you would ask you to bear this in mind. I have no criminal convictions, but you need to be happy with me. I don't mind parents accompanying their children if that makes things easier. My parents are usually in the house, so your child would not be alone with me.
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I currently teach a pupil from Bradford Grammar School who has a drum kit and is a neighbour. She shows a real promise and natural talent and loves coming to the lesson. Recent students have included three adult women in their forties and fifties. A young boy of seven, two brothers (who I taught together and who shared the cost of the lesson). A Grammar School pupil who I worked on grade 5 with and went through several grades some with distinction and some with merits. A friend and his son who love drumming and suddenly decided to buy a cheap drum kit and take proper lessons. A young bakery worker who got distinctions at every level she attempted but gave up as she didn't always feel confident. She was actually my best student, but I didn't do more than encourage and persuade her when she wanted to go. I would not want to go over the top to make someone do it. They have a right to be pressure free!
• University of Surrey 1977. B.Sc.Honours (2:1) German Linguistic amd Regional Studies with French and International Relations
• HLTA status, 2005
• latest CRB check October 2008, completed to enable me to be a voluntary hospital visitor at Bradford Royal Infirmary
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