Fun, energy and passion are the fundamentals of my teaching, and over 22 years of experience has enabled me to finely tune this recipe for successful and enjoyable learning. My lessons are far from formulaic, but instead are based on getting the best out of each individual and their natural learning style.
I have a first class BMus Honours degree and an A* in Music A-Level. I specialized in Jazz performance in America in my final year of my degree and also have a wealth of experience performing Jazz; playing lead saxophone in several jazz bands, and leading my own jazz trio on piano. Additionally, I have a strong classical music background. I hold an ABRSM Diploma in Piano Performance, as well as a distinction in grade 8 piano, saxophone and singing. I currently run a 16-strong vocal group who meet weekly, and I am part of a 3-piece, 3-part-vocal-harmony band locally.
I live by the sea in beautiful Cornwall where I work in primary and secondary schools, both private and state. I teach classroom and instrumental music to all levels and abilities. I also teach privately online (very popular at the moment), at home or at my pupils’ houses. I am a classically trained teacher of jazz, classical and pop music, and have taught piano, keyboard, saxophone, clarinet, flute, recorder, guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, singing and drums in both individual and group lesson settings. I love to teach all genres of music to all ages. I have also taught in the classroom (Key Stage 2 to A-Level) over the last 12 years.
I was nearly put off music at a young age by a piano teacher who was rigid and allowed for little creativity or input from myself. My approach to learning is very different! If your aim is to learn your favourite songs then I will transcribe for you and get you rocking for your next family get together. If you want to achieve success in your music grades then the focus will switch. I well understand what it takes to achieve fast and sustained progress, and not just musically. I played for the Great Britain Ultimate Frisbee team for 10 years and competed in the World Games in Taiwan. A big part of it is, of course, relentless effort and deliberate practice. But having fun and enjoying yourself is also super important and will make the hard work much easier!
Above all else, my number one priority during my lessons is that my pupils are thoroughly enjoying themselves and making excellent progress. Music should be nothing but fun, first and foremost, or children just won’t want to practice and therefore won’t progress. I’ve known far too many children and adults over the years who have had such negative experiences with traditional, ridged and non-bending teachers that they have simply given up and have had no desire to ever come back to music. This is nothing short of a tragedy. I know I provide the polar opposite experience to this. I ensure that I enthuse and inspire each and every one of my pupils, and that my lessons are full of fun and enjoyment, encouragement and positivity, whilst being jam-packed with progress, development and rewarding learningat the same time. This combination ensures that each and every one of my pupils is eager to continue their musical journey with me, can’t wait to get home and practice, and thus make huge leaps forwards in their progress week by week. I believe I am an excellent teacher. I have always established great working relationships with my pupils and parents alike, which I believe to be one of the most important aspects of great teaching practice.
I love to get my pupils involved in choosing some of the pieces they want to learn, and produce bespoke sheet music for each child, at any level, on any instrument. One week they could be playing Ed Sheeran, the next it could be the Pokemon theme! There are no limits. Regardless of their level and ability, I will write out music to suit each child’s very specific needs. I also can create backing tracks for my pupils to play along to at home. I believe in strong relationships, clear communication and high levels of organization, whilst incorporating a variety of wider aspects of music in my lessons too: Duet sight-reading together, classical, pop and jazz music, improvisation, piano accompaniment, singing, song writing, play-along backing tracks, group collaboration with other instrumentalists, playing by ear, ad libing and composition, to name but a few.
For the last 22 years, I have been a full-time music teacher and musician, mostly in and around London, and more recently down here in Cornwall, since 2016.
I teach up to diploma level on piano, saxophone, clarinet and flute, from both the classical and jazz exam syllabuses, as well as guitars (including ukulele and bass), drums and singing up to grade 5. I have a 100% career success pass-rate of a merit or above for all exams my pupils have entered. I can teach to any exam syllabus, classical or jazz, but particularly like using Trinity, ABRSM, Rock School and Trinity Rock and Pop.
For the last 12 years, in schools, I have been teaching whole-class instrumental lessons on recorder, clarinet, flute, keyboard and ukulele. This has included teaching whole-class samba band and singing, and running weekly whole-school singing assemblies and termly music concerts, as well as planning whole-school music curriculum. Previously I have taught song-writing, harmony and music theory to GCSE and A-Level students.
I run or have had experience running many different ensembles over the years, including jazz ensemble, woodwind ensemble, flute choir, clarinet ensemble, recorder club, samba band, guitar ensemble, junior and senior orchestra and junior choir and a community youth choir. For many of these groups I have arranged the music myself to suit and accommodate the varied abilities and playing levels of the players.
What I Can Teach:
Piano and Keyboard
Saxophone, clarinet, flute, recorder
Guitar, bass guitar, ukulele
Music notation using Sibelius
Much technology using Garageband and Logic
Songwriting and Composition
GCSE and A-Level Music
Grade 5 Theory Preparation
Grade Exam Aural Test Preparation
Janey taught me the clarinet for 5 years, helping me achieve a distinction in all of my clarinet grades 1-8. She is the most bubbly, personable and enthusiastic teacher I have ever had and I look back on our lessons as some of my favourite memories from school. Before I met Janey I had only ever played classical music on the clarinet. By the end of our time together she had encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and I was playing anything from classical to jazz to pop; we also did some improvisation together which I had always found nerve-wracking. I particularly loved playing along with Janey on the piano during our lessons, and was always amazed by her ability to sight read perfectly any piano music that was put in front of her. As well as being extremely motivating, Janey was also very patient and understanding. I appreciated this a lot, particularly during my A level year when I had less time to practice.
I cannot recommend Janey anymore, and hope that if you do go ahead with lessons you enjoy them as much as I did!
First-class teacher that brings out the best in each of her students. Janey is able to fill even the most technical lesson with fun, giving her students the confidence to strive for improvement in all areas of their playing.
Over two years, Janey taught me saxophone, clarinet, and piano and I was staggered by the amount of progress I made. Her joy of music is infectious and has given me a life-long passion for playing. I could not recommend her more.
Janey is an excellent and very talented music teacher. She has been teaching my daughters violin and piano for a number of years now. Janey is so passionate about music and passing on her knowledge. She is encouraging, enthusiastic, patient, great fun and we couldn’t wish for a better music teacher. We highly recommend Janey!
Janey has taught my son for the past 3 years- he always looks forward to his lessons! She is so passionate about her work, dedicated to her students, tailors the lessons to just what they need and ensures they are always fun! He has made excellent progress and enjoys the flexibility of exploring different styles of music. I honestly can’t recommend Janey highly enough.
I had clarinet lessons with her for a year and enjoyed playing in her clarinet ensemble for 4 years at school. She is an amazing teacher and manages to energize every lesson and make it enjoyable for everyone. It was truly a feat to make the clarinet ensemble as much fun as it was with the wide range of abilities on offer whilst making memorable performances for all the concerts. Anyone would be lucky to have Janey as a teacher.
Janey Whatley taught me Jazz Clarinet for 3 amazing Years all the way to Grade 8 with Merit. The way Janey influenced my musical development was unbelievable and the confidence she gave me to continue to advance my musical capabilities was personal and invaluable. Janey is an exceptionally friendly, personable and supportive teacher who made every lesson with her thoroughly enjoyable. If you are looking to start a new instrument or continue your musical learning, there is no better teacher than Janey Whatley!
Janey taught me saxophone for several years in school and is the most fantastic music teacher. She teaches with so much passion and adapts her teaching style to each pupil. She is friendly, patient and incredibly talented. I would highly recommend Janey to anybody.
I had a clarinet lesson with her for several years in the past. She has always been a great teacher by being cheerful, always encourages students, and knows how to teach individuals very well. I really enjoyed having a lesson with her. If anyone is planning to learn some instruments, Janey would be your best choice!
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