I am a young author and Cambridge music graduate who wants to change the world one mind at a time. I think the best one-on-one tutors become mentors as well, and I love guiding people to question and refine their own thinking and learning processes.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I have two job descriptions: academic mentor, and music tutor:
I have always been interested in how we use our brains and also by the curious lack of discussion around this topic as part of standard education. With plenty of research to prove how well and how easily humans can attain new skills, it is my passion to discover how to change the limiting beliefs so many of us hold about our own abilities.
- Mind maps are my main thinking tool. They use a simple set of rules which, when practised, can harness all of the brain's abilities and reveal how our ideas form.
- As a budding author, I first learnt discipline by writing essays. I train students to become editors of their own work, using mind maps to clearly plan the structure.
- Exam preparation is an art in itself and can be easily improved with some simple strategies.
- Since the ancient Greeks, humans have known a host of clever memory tricks, which are unbelievably effective but for some reason are not taught in school (or even university).
- Thinking clearly is a major skill and can be practised like anything else. I combine logic and psychology to explain how to use our brain's resources better - for learning, but also for life.
- My main area of music tuition is music theory. This includes coaching for the ABRSM Grade 5 theory exam. It can also mean anything from developing basic music literacy (reading and writing notes) to advanced harmony and score analysis (extremely useful to support improvisation, composition, sight-reading and music for A-level or as a degree).
- General musicianship is the foundation, not a supplement, for playing an instrument. I train aural (listening) skills alongside theory, using solfa (Do Re Mi, as made famous in 'The Sound of Music') and ideas from the Kodaly and Dalcroze methods. Most people find aural difficult because they have never tackled it directly. Doing so can be a lot of fun!
- The history of music and composers is fascinating, and deserves some lessons to itself. It can provide the cultural context to make classical music meaningful.
I believe there is something wrong with a system of learning classical music which involves endless drills and exams. I learnt violin and piano from an early age, but unfortunately experienced a lot of dread and stress while I did so. There is such an old tradition driving the way music tutors teach that it has become hard to break the 'powerful master-obedient pupil' dynamic. Classical music is not so different from popular music, in that at its heart its purpose should be to enjoy yourself and have fun! I reflect this in my teaching by encouraging the student to choose our direction, and I see my role as providing the support and expertise to help them get there. I never get annoyed about lack of homework or practice, and trust that if a student loves making music, their enthusiasm will translate into action in the long-term.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
In 2013, I graduated from Cambridge University with a high 2:1 in Music. I have Grade 8 in violin and piano, and performed for three years as an alto in St Catharine's College chapel choir. I grew up in Leeds and was an active member of the youth music community, including three years as a first violin in the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra and two years intensive tuition with Yorkshire Young Musicians at the Leeds College of Music every Sunday.
I was home educated during my GCSE's and received all A stars. I took what I had learnt about learning back with me to St Mary's, Menston for sixth form and got all A's at A-levels (the final year without A stars).
- How much do you charge?
I charge £30 per hour.
Unless the pupil is particularly young, my lessons last for a minimum of one hour.
I can also provide 90 minute lessons or two sessions a week.
- Where do you teach?
I am based in Leeds, in Yorkshire, but I teach online. I use Skype and share documents through the cloud to create our virtual learning space.
- When are you available?
From Tuesday to Friday I am available after school.
Please contact me if you cannot do these times, as we may be able to work out daytime or weekend tuition.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Any age, but particularly A-level or university students.
Really, the main thing is that the pupil really wants to learn.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
I can offer specific coaching for:
- Grade 5 music theory (ABRSM)
- Entrance interviews for Cambridge and Oxford universities.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I offer tuition via Skype - please contact me to arrange a lesson and I will let you know my Skype name.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
If you've ever had an inkling that learning stuff could or should be easier than school makes it out to be, then I feel sure we'll get along just fine. :)
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have had private pupils since I was 18. I have taught pupils from age nine up to retired adults.
During my gap year in 2010, I spent a month each in India and South Africa and taught mind mapping and study skills to underprivileged teenagers. For this I was awarded second place in the 2012 Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year award.
I spent three years as a volunteer on Cambridge University's nightline 'Linkline', which provided anonymous active listening overnight for students in need. Since then I have taken my interest in helping people further by studying a Certificate in Interpersonal and Counselling Skills at Leeds Beckett university.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
- Where and with whom did you train?
I have had several great teachers and mentors, and I'd like to mention three in particular:
- Dougie Scarfe, conductor of the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra, who has such a nice manner that people left their holidays early to be back in time for rehearsals.
- Penny Stirling, who runs YYM (Yorkshire Youth Music), is a fabulous lady with enough will to inspire teenage musicians across the region.
- Philip Fowke, professor of piano at a prestigious London conservatoire, showed me the most about how easy and fun playing music should be.
• BA Hons (Cantab): Music, 2:1, 2013
• PgCert Interpersonal and Counselling Skills (ongoing)
• Enhanced DBS check
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