What styles of guitar can I learn with you?
I teach classical guitar for beginners to advanced students. Many of them will play a mix of styles and may end up with several guitars. Classical guitar was my first study at music college and I have performed on that professionally more than anything else. From the first steps, to musical interpretation, stave reading, tone production, advanced technique and fretboard craft. My own playing draws from a range of influences, taking in the music of Spain, the British Isles, South America, blues, my own compositions, and pieces that cross over to the acoustic guitar.
My experience varies across styles of electric and steel string playing. I tend to take on beginner and intermediate electric guitar students who would like some breadth and structure in developing their skills, with an introduction to creative aspects. If we're doing electric guitar, we plug in, we explore real tones, equipment and electric guitar music. For further info, please get in touch. In any case, your playing is not limited to one guitar, and ex-students have developed and continued in a range of fields.
What are your fees and when do you teach?
40 minute lessons are currently £20, which tends to be the right sort of duration for everyone except the very youngest students (usually below Year 3 in school) and the most advanced, who tend have 30 or 60 minute lessons (£15 and £30) respectively. I teach privately during weekday evenings, Saturday mornings, and within office hours around my school/college visits. Evening students are asked to commit to each month ahead on a rolling agreement for weekly lessons, once we're up and running. Daytime students book just for the week ahead and I can offer some flexibility for those with changing shifts or other commitments.
Is it always best to start on the classical guitar?
I think it is best to explore the styles you want to play, from the start, on the appropriate types of guitar. There are physical differences in the instruments themselves, and differences in the musical pathways, techniques and repertoire along the way. Nylon strings and the particularly comprehensive range of progressive material for the classical guitar have their advantages for beginners, but I wouldn't delay getting another type of guitar if a student already has a passion for something else.
Will I learn to read music?
If you want to, yes. Stave notation offers the fastest written access to the music that we have. The main alternative, TAB offers one fixed way of playing a particular line, but with less integration of rhythm, visualisation of pitch, and fingerings. There are many, many, tremendous musicians who don't read any form of musical notation, but it's still an advantage to be able to read 'the dots'.
Do you teach group tuition?
Due to the nature of teaching at home, I offer individual lessons only.
Can I sit in my child's lessons?
I always make sure everyone is well informed, with a good idea of what the student is learning and how they are doing. It is not uncommon for them to join us for the last few minutes. Some do choose to sit in beyond the first lesson or two, for the duration, and they are welcome. An 'observed' lesson will have a slightly different dynamic; please bear this is in mind if you do sit in, and either way, make sure your child gets plenty of independent practice at home.
I have a clear enhanced DBS disclosure, which forms part of my registration with the Incorporated Society of Musicians as a Registered Private Teacher. See here (click)
I just want to play for fun. Will I be expected to perform or enter grade exams?
Only if you want to! Your music is no less valid if you don't happen to perform. If you're enjoying your lessons and getting better, I'm happy either way, and very experienced in guiding students with various aspirations. I organise at least one opportunity to perform each year in addition to any exams taken, and support those who do much more.
Thanks for reading.