How often and long should I/my child practise?
Beginners should practise little and often; find a time of day which suits you to practise and it can become part of your daily routine. 15 minutes a day is a great way to start and this time can gradually increase. Practise as soon as you can after a lesson whilst it is still fresh in your mind. It is also important to follow practise notes given by me to ensure practising correctly.
We don’t have a piano or keyboard to practise on. What do you recommend?
An acoustic piano is always the preferred option, and you can find very reasonably priced second-hand upright pianos. For those who do not have space for a piano, or would like an instrument which can be moved around there are good digital pianos or a full range keyboards covering 7 octaves with weighted keys and a foot pedal attachment. Headphones can also be plugged into these if silent practise is required.
How long until ready to take Grade 1?
Approximately 2 years, but this timeframe depends hugely on individual students, particularly the time they spend practising. However, I do not consider exams to be the only benchmark for success, my practice is to ensure students understand and enjoy the music they are playing.
Do I/my child have to take exams?
Definitely not. I teach students following my own programme of levels of progress and children are given half-termly targets to achieve. Exam preparation is extremely time-consuming and progress can slow down whilst striving to learn everything to performance standard. I offer other opportunities to perform other than exams at my student concerts and at local festivals. I thoroughly prepare students who choose to sit exams to ensure the experience is satisfying and rewarding.
Can I learn to play music I find familiar and enjoy?
Playing familiar music has a great ‘feel good’ factor and easier to learn because you will know when making mistakes. I have a huge repertoire of music for students to choose from. However, I also encourage students out of their comfort zone, to play musical styles new to them to broaden their appreciation of music. Nobody is made to play music they don’t like.
Can my child have a lesson once a fortnight?
Children need regular weekly lessons in order to progress. If there is a long gap between lessons they can pick up bad habits which then take time to erase and there is longer for them to forget what was learned in the lesson.
How regularly should adults have lessons?
Weekly lessons are the preferred option, however, I do teach some adults for 45 minutes once a fortnight if weekly does not fit their schedule. Progress is maintained as long as they practise.