Looking to start something new or rediscover a forgotten hobby?
I offer fun, friendly and flexible lessons for all ages and skill levels.
What can I offer?
I currently provide lessons in:
This versatile and agile woodwind instrument is a joy to learn if you love melodies. From its mellow and woody low register up to the bright and piercing high end, the instrument is expressive and characterful.
It can blend beautifully with other instruments, and projects brilliantly as a solo instrument too – you can hear it in classical orchestras and as a popular classical solo instrument, as well as in jazz, klezmer music, Greek and Middle Eastern folk music, Bulgarian wedding bands and even some pop and rock.
The instrument itself is fairly lightweight and compact, and can be easily disassembled, stored and carried in its case. An added benefit of the clarinet is that you can easily transfer over to the saxophone, a fellow single-reed instrument, if you desire later on.
I’ve been playing the clarinet since I was seven years old, doing all my grades and playing in bands and ensembles of various styles. I now enjoy passing this on to my own students!
(Please note that if you would like your child to begin clarinet lessons, there are a couple of physical requirements if they are younger than seven: they need to have their top two adult teeth through, and their hands need to be big enough to reach the keys and hold the weight of the clarinet. If your child hasn’t reached those milestones yet, I happily offer recorder lessons as an alternative while they’re still growing. Learning the recorder allows children to get playing straight away and develop a good foundation of musical understanding, and makes for an easy transition onto clarinet when the time comes.)
This is a really popular instrument because of its expressiveness and versatility. It can be heard in jazz and big band music, pop bands, ska music, electronic dance music and as a classical solo instrument.
There are four main types of sax:
The soprano is the smallest and highest, with a beautiful tone. It commonly has a straight body like a clarinet, although you can get baby curved varieties.
The alto sax is probably the most common type to begin learning on due to its compact size and lovely bright tone.
The tenor sax is larger and deeper than the alto, with a darker and more mellow tone. (This is my personal favourite!)
The baritone sax is the largest and deepest of the four main saxes, and is more common in bands than as a solo instrument due to its rich bass range and reedy upper notes.
I started playing sax in my school jazz band and have loved it ever since. It is the instrument I now perform on most.
(Please note that the same physical requirements apply for small children as mentioned for the clarinet: the top two adult teeth need to be through already, and children need to be big enough to handle their instrument. This is usually not a problem from around eight years old. Until then, I offer recorder lessons as a great substitute until they’re ready!)
Piano and Keyboard
Keyboard instruments are hugely popular as you can hear them pretty much everywhere! They are prevalent in classical music from the harpsichord and clavichord of the Baroque era through to the modern piano we still play today. You can also hear the piano in jazz music, ragtime, boogie-woogie, musical theatre, Latin American and South American music, in soul, gospel, and pop music of various kinds. The sound of the organ can evoke church music or 20th century jazz and soul styles, while electronic keyboards and synthesisers are a staple of popular styles from the 1970s to present day.
The piano or keyboard is a great instrument to learn for many reasons. Its physical layout enables you to see the notes laid out in pitch order in front of you, ranging from low to high as you move from left to right. You get an instantly beautiful and recognisable tone from the first time you press a key, as well as instant access to a huge range of pitches. Another advantage is that you can play multiple notes at once, allowing you to play not only melodies and bass lines but harmonies as well. It’s almost like having a complete orchestra at your fingertips.
There’s also great creative potential for keyboard players in that it’s possible to connect an electronic keyboard or MIDI controller to your computer and input through music software, allowing you to create your own music and access libraries of different sounds with ease.
I’ve been playing the keyboard since I was small, and started taking lessons from the age of about nine onwards. It’s such a huge source of joy to be able to play this instrument, and you’ll be so glad that you made the decision to start!
I am now offering drum lessons to beginners, for anyone looking to do their early graded exams or who just want to brush up on rhythm skills and learn how to play along to their favourite songs. To be able to lock in to a beat and feel rhythm well is one of the most satisfying and addictive parts of music making for me, and I think it’s beneficial to expand your rhythmic vocabulary regardless of what instrument you play.
When we think of drums we tend to imagine a full kit, as seen as a staple of popular contemporary styles such as pop, rock, jazz, soul, disco, blues, musical theatre, etc. This is a great instrument to learn even just the basics of, and it has the added benefits of being very versatile and customisable as you can add, remove or adjust individual parts of the kit to suit you.
As well as full kit, there are many other types of percussion instruments to explore: you can hear a variety of pitched and unpitched percussion in orchestras (especially in music from the Romantic era onwards), in Latin American music, South American music, traditional music from across the continent of Africa, and styles of folk music from around the world.
I can teach you how to read drum notation, or alternatively how to play by ear. You will learn how to identify the pulse and meter of music, and how to subdivide beats so that you can fit different rhythms over the top in a way that makes sense and is satisfying, and how to use accents and articulation to add interest to grooves.
More Lesson Information
At the moment I am teaching exclusively online (via Skype, Facetime, Google Duo, etc.) due to Covid-19 distancing measures, and will likely be teaching this way for most of 2020.
Normally, I teach clarinet, saxophone, recorder and piano lessons from my house in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
I also teach all offered instruments in students’ homes in Nuneaton, Hinckley and the surrounding villages.
You are also welcome to book online lessons with me regardless of where you are!
You will need to have your own instrument to practise on, and ideally also a music stand and notebook for our lesson notes. If you have a book of sheet music you’ve been working from then that’s great – otherwise, don’t worry as I can provide sheet music suitable for your stage of learning and tastes. If you haven’t got an instrument yet, I am always happy to send recommendations and give advice – please do ask if you have any questions!
A 60 minute lesson is currently £27
A 40 minute lesson is currently £20
A 30 minute lesson is currently £14
For private lessons, I usually accept payment through direct bank transfer on a lesson-by-lesson basis, although some people prefer to pay for a couple of lessons at a time. I also accept cheques (and sometimes cash for in-person lessons) if you don’t have access to online banking.