Having studied for an A at Music A-Level and achieved Grade 8 on Clarinet and Piano while at school, I began teaching in my gap year in schools in Haringey. I then studied for my BA in Music at Oxford University (St Catherine's), in which I received a First. Following my degree, I returned to London and spent the next two years performing and teaching. In 2006-2007 I studied for my MMus on the Guildhall School of Music and Drama postgraduate jazz course, which I completed with distinction, after which I returned to full-time professional performing and teaching.
My initial musical background was in classical music, as I come from a family of classical musicians. In my teens I became increasingly interested in jazz, which became the main foundation of my performing career. In later years my performing has come to include specialising in traditional Brazilian traditional music, as well as performing Afrobeat, funk, swing and other styles of music.
I consider teaching and performing to be related and equally important in my life as musician. My experiences as a performer feed back into my teaching, and at the same time I am continually learning myself from teaching others. I am a strong believer in the wider value of music lessons: not everyone who takes lessons will go on to be a full-time musician, but the benefits of learning an instrument are available to everyone. Music has the capacity to teach social skills that are undervalued and under-taught in schools such communication, expression, personal application and practice. More importantly still, it leads to an appreciation of a different type of learning that is undervalued in Western education - that of learning not merely through understanding but through DOING. Music is not just about knowledge, it is about experience. It provides a very personal and unique type of fulfilment and satisfaction, at whatever level it is being studied.
In recent years whilst undertaking an MA training in psychotherapy, I have become increasingly interested in the psychological aspect of learning an instrument. The ways in which we respond to our own mistakes, limitations, challenges and successes can provide a fascinating insight into our wider/deeper personalities also. As such, learning an instrument can lead to increased self-confidence, concentration, self-acceptance, and physical awareness.
Things I can help you with at all levels include: instrumental technique, rhythm, improvisation, playing by ear, tone, performing, notation, sight-reading, aural musicianship, harmony, theory, exams, choosing an instrument, mouthpieces, reeds, and more...