Where do I start?
- Beginner ukulele & song
- Beginner recorder
- Beginner melodeon
- Beginner bagpipes (practice chanter only)
- Beginner alto saxophone
Workshop style lessons
- How to write tunes
- How to write songs
- Playing by ear & listening
- Creative techniques
- Under 5's: exploring music (with parents)
Improver / Advanced lessons
- Improving / Advanced bagpipes
- Improving / Advanced melodeon
Above, is the list of teaching services I can provide.
As a multi-instrumentalist, one thing I have found is how different it is to teach each instrument that I play. With the bagpipes, more precision and some reading of the music is needed, compared to other instruments like melodeons where I like to teach more of a "playing by ear" approach. However, there is no need to worry if you have never read music nor played by ear before... or even if you have never played an instrument before!
It can be daunting to decide to try something new for the first time, but this is something that I completely understand and I am here to support you every step of the way and achieve your personal goals and help you to create wonderful music.
So now the most difficult part is choosing which instrument you wan to learn!
Please contact me directly to ask more about more details if there is anything you are interested in learning from me. I strongly believe that every musician or aspiring musician is wholly unique and therefore, a good first point of call would be to discuss where we start, how I could help you in your musical development, and how we can reach your musical goals, before you purchase a lesson or lesson package from me.
£45 per hour
£25 per hour for low income clients
*Please note that you may need to factor in the cost of the instrument and a music book to help you get started.
** I am not a typical teacher - I do not push for grades like many classic teachers do. I am a folk musician with over 15 years worth of knowledge that I can share with you and reading sheet music is not a strong point of mine (except bagpipe music, it's different!).
Am I too old?
When I was in charge of teaching when I was part of a local pipe band, I would be teaching the bagpipes to all ages and backgrounds. I believe at the time, my youngest student was 8 years old, and some beginners were over 60 years old. It does not matter what age you start. Whilst it is naturally easier for a younger person to learn due to them being used to learning new skills due to being in a school environment, it can be more difficult to get back into the "habit of learning" when you are older. The only way to overcome this is with practice. The more practice you can do between lessons, the more you will get out of your lessons by progressing faster. Although there are challenges no matter what age you are, once you have the desire to learn, you should definitely give it a go.
A popular proverb states, "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.". In the case of learning an instrument, surely it is better to have tried with the instrument you have fallen in love with, even if you later discover that it is not for you, rather than living in regret that you did not give it a go. I often hear people saying that they regret giving up music or wish they had learnt an instrument. It is never too late to try an instrument and I am here for you every step of the way, creating a supportive and comfortable environment for you to explore your musical development.
What age is "too young"?
As you can see above, there is a picture of my son (9 months old in the picture) learning to play the melodeon. Now, he is obviously too young and too small to really be playing the melodeon. However, at this age, the most important thing is exploring with the senses. What better way to explore than with music?
For young children and babies, music helps them to express themselves (social-emotional development), it improves language development and motor skills, where the mind and body work in harmony. Playing music with your baby or young children will also help to improve your bond as you share songs and learn together.
Although there are many excellent, free local workshops, sometimes it is nice to spend some 1:1 time playing music with your little one. With the Under 5's workshops, these are times where you will be guided in spending quality music time together whilst learning new musical skills as a parent, having fun with your little ones by exploring new objects and sounds whilst supervised, and singing nursery rhymes together.
By having such musical freedom, George's interest in music has already been ignited and fully fuelled. His favourite games include pressing the buttons on my melodeon whilst I move the bellows in and out to make a sound, playing the kazoo, and playing his "Baby Einstein" piano (these are brilliant toys, worth investing in). Whilst I do not put any pressure on him to be musical, by giving him the option to explore music in such depth in a safe and supportive environment, this will no doubt help aid his overall development. This is what you can expect when you book me for the 1:1 under 5's workshop with yourself and your little one. As explained above, please feel free to contact me with any questions before booking any sessions.