BA Hons Music (Durham University)
PGCE (Teaching qualification specializing in music)
Grade 8 distinctions in all instruments, achieved as a teenager.
Piano (teaching & accompanying)
Recorder (teaching only)
Organ (accompanying / playing for services only)
Theory of Music
Academic Music - GCSE and A level tuition.
Classical and light/jazz on piano.
Classical on recorder/organ.
All areas of syllabus except Music Technology, for GCSE and A level.
Beginners to Advanced
*Who do I teach?*
I teach children, teenagers and adults, and am comfortable with the different approaches which work best with each different group.
I am happy to teach beginners, and more experienced pupils, up to and beyond Grade 8.
I have taught pupils who take their studies very seriously and are aiming for careers in music, and those who simply want to enjoy playing for fun, and design lessons individually so that they are well suited to the learner's aims and abilities.
*Why choose me to teach you?*
First of all, don't choose me! Well, do, but have a few trial lessons. It's really important for the pupil to feel that they have a teacher with whom they feel comfortable, and whose approach they enjoy and understand well.
Whilst I haven't yet had a 'trial pupil' who decided not to continue, it's important to know that the option is there, and that if you decide that you prefer a different teacher, I am happy to help you find the right person, with no embarrassment or offence.
As a teacher, of course I'm proud of the good examination results which my pupils have achieved, and I feel a bit like a proud mum when I hear them play well in a concert! However, what really makes me feel that I've done a good job is when pupils have loved playing the piano, and have achieved what they set out to do - whether it's getting Grade 8 Distinction or simply being able to play their favourite songs at family get-togethers.
This level of tailored teaching means that it’s not unusual for me to arrange music for pupils, so that they can learn to play a piece they have always loved, or even to write them some music designed to give them extra practice at a particular technique. These are not lessons where plod through a book; these are bespoke lessons.
In addition to this flexible approach, based around each individual pupil, there are a few other advantages I can offer:
I have been teaching piano and music theory for over ten years, and have been accompanying for much longer. Whilst I haven't taught you or your son or daughter before, those years of experience have taught me how to best to help with whichever aspects of piano they find tricky.
I have taught GCSE and A level for 6 years - including plenty of A* pupils as well as a few whom another music teacher was certain wouldn't pass... and they did! I can help not only with the understanding the syllabus and practicing the listening tests, but also give you advice about coursework (strictly within the rules, so you will need to declare the coursework help to your class teacher).
2) Highly qualified
Whether you decide on me, or another teacher, I strongly recommend choosing someone with either a diploma, or a music degree.
My music degree included performance modules, in which I played the piano and gained a 1:1.
In addition to this, I have a teaching qualification, specializing in music teaching, also from Durham University, where I was Senior Organ Scholar at University College.
The teaching qualification really matters - it's lovely to have a teacher who is an excellent musician, but what really matters is that they can also explain things in a simple way... and that's how you learn to be an excellent musician!
The quickest way to plough through the first few books, and even grades, is to just learn the notes, and move on as soon as a pupil can get to the end of a piece. Please don’t stick with a teacher who has this approach!
Like any really good teacher, I will help you to develop good technique. This matters whether you want to get seriously good, or whether you just fancy learning a few favourite songs. You’ll always progress quicker, and play better, when you have good technique.
Learning good technique doesn’t have to be boring – in fact for younger pupils we play piano games to help with this and with learning to read music – and it’s the main reason why nobody ever learnt to play well by teaching themselves from Youtube!
4) Friendly, calm and approachable
Nearly everyone feels slightly nervous playing in front of someone else, when they’re learning new pieces. I understand how important it is to make pupils feel at ease – and that’s almost as important for the octogenarians as for the eight year-olds.
I never, ever, shout, and I don’t get cross – it’s not a good way of motivating pupils to practice. I strongly feel that having a happy, productive atmosphere in lessons not only maximises pupils’ enjoyment, but also their progress.
Having recently moved to the area from Durham (my pupils liked me, but weren’t keen to travel 300 miles for a lesson!), I have no waiting list at the moment, and can be more flexible with lesson times than at any time since I started teaching.
*Where and when do I teach*
I am based in Cranleigh.
Whilst I keep all my fees as reasonable, my cheapest fees are for those who come to my house for lessons. I have a good-quality Broadwood piano, not to mention enough room to park in the drive! Parents, please note that I am CRB(DSB) checked, and that the music room is visible from the driveway/road.
In addition to the lower fees, a major advantage of learning at your teacher’s house is that you get used to playing on different pianos. Examinations and concerts will very rarely, if ever, be on the piano you are used to, so having lessons away from home can help prepare you for this.
I also travel to pupils’ houses to give lessons in Cranleigh, Guildford, Camberley, and areas in between.
For more than one pupil in the same house, I am happy to negotiate a discount, somewhere between my ‘at-home’ fee and my ‘visiting’ fee. In addition, I will give a free lesson to you, for every pupil who starts lessons with me at your recommendation, to thank you for passing on my name.
Fee (30 minutes): £14.00
Fee (30 minutes): £17.00
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