Teaching Methods…

I lay emphasis on the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm and use a lot of games and exercises to teach these skills and to provide entertainment along the way. Seven is considered a good age to start an instrument but not for every child. For a younger child there may be a shorter lesson with a lot of singing, clapping, movement, imitation and spoken verses. Abilities vary surprisingly and some may be good at rhythm, at reading, at finger control, at singing but need more help in other directions.

The piano is a very useful instrument for future progress in music; the keyboard visible in front of you helps in note learning and combining sound with sight. It familiarises you with both treble and bass clefs and because both hands are employed the theory of harmony and key comes more easily right and left are also significant in coordination and echo right and left brain sides. Singing can be useful to you as a future choir member. Sight reading teaches a number of useful skills; it involves sight, sound, coordination, listening to your partner if it is a duet, and speedy anticipation. The physical element of piano is also of general use; the relaxation and breathing and a sitting position that is relaxed and easy. Fingering is an essential skill that is often lacking in those whose version of a piece is drawn from on line websites, useful and inspiring though these can be.

I teach grade exams up to grade three and so far no pupil has failed. I don’t insist on exams as I want those I teach to have a wider experience; to be able to play off the page and find known tunes or create their own, and to have some skills in harmonisation. The games and exercises I use may include singing, conducting, movement, clapping, counting, reciting, crossover thigh slapping (not what it seems!) and crazy duet where anything goes as long as it is on the beat. To teach the basics I use certain tutor books, then try to take pupils in the direction of the type of music they like.