Teaching: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much do your lessons cost? How do you like to be paid?
A: £32 for an hour or £16 for half an hour. The first lesson is free! Bank transfer over the internet is now the preferred method of payment, a month in advance.

Q: What if I don't want to carry on?
A: That's fine! I always suggest that the first month can be a trial period to see if you like it. I will try to do everything I can to help you enjoy being a musician and succeed in your musical ambitions but if in the unlikely event that it's not working out for you, for whatever reason, then I respect your right to try something else.

Q: How often are the lessons?
A: I like to teach students once a week as this gives ample time for them to practice between lessons and not long enough to pick up any bad habits or lose motivation. Additional lessons, often before exams, concerts or competitions can be arranged, provided I have time in my schedule.

Q: I've got music figured out. Could I just have a one or two lessons to give me a little direction?
A: That's fine. Only too happy to help.

Q: I don't yet have an instrument, can I still start lessons?
A: Yes. Why not try some lessons for a few weeks and then if you like it, buy yourself an instrument. Obviously, you will make much quicker progress when you can regularly practice on your own instrument at home.

Q: I own a keyboard, is that good enough to start with or do I need to buy a piano?
A: Keyboards are just fine for learning music on. I started learning music on a keyboard myself and still regularly play on keyboards (I own three keyboards and three pianos at the last count!).

Q: How much will an instrument cost me to buy and do you sell them?
A: I don't sell instruments but I do have some excellent contacts in the music retail business who can do a good deal for you. eBay can be a good source of cheap starter instruments, or if you wish to purchase new, a good starter keyboard will cost around £100 and a good starter piano, around £400.

Q: I am a little on the old side. Is it too late for me? Do you teach older people?
A: It's never too late to learn! Better late than never! These sayings are the mottos of my young at heart students. I've taught lots of adults over the years, some well into their 70s. Adults have a drive and determination to learn that some younger people have yet to develop.

Q: I don't want to take exams, I just want to play for fun. Is that okay?
A: No problem. Exams are not for everyone. Playing for pleasure is the whole point to music.

Q: Do you take work experience people?
A: Sorry no. The nature of music teaching in a one to one environment means that third parties can make a student understandably uncomfortable.

Q: Do you teach guitar and/or singing?
A: Teaching keyboard instruments and computer music is my main focus although I do assist a few of my students who wish to sing.

Q: I would love to make my own tracks on my computer. Is it expensive setting up?
A: No! If you own a computer then I can set you up with FREE recording software and samples to get you started.

Q: My child is very keen. At what age can he/she start?
A: An ideal age is around seven years old, although I have taught children as young as five successfully with lots of support from parents and good literacy skills. I was seven when I started.

Q: Can I drop my children off for their music lesson each week?
A: No! I insist that all minors under the age of sixteen are to be accompanied by an adult for the protection of the child and the protection of my reputation.

Q: Can I bring others to the lesson?
A: Visitors are most welcome as long as they are not disruptive.

Q: Do you do home visits?
A: Sorry, not anymore. I have around 45 students and also compose and record music for media production so I simply wouldn't be able to manage with all the travelling. Also, by teaching from my studio, I can make my recording and learning resources freely available to my students. I occasionally visit a student's home to help set up their recording systems or other music problems. My studio has full disabled access.

Q: Should I be nervous about starting lessons with you?
A: I would most definitely say no to that one. I like to put my students at ease with a fun and friendly atmosphere. Although I expect my students to try their best, I also live in the real world and understand some of the challenges that can occasionally hinder progress. I believe in good communication so that I can empathise and assist. I am always available for a chat on the phone to discuss problems or worries between lessons.

Q: I can't find the answer to my question. Help!
A: No problem. Just click on the CONTACT tab and fire away . . .