All children are different in their rates of development, and the right age for one student may be too young for another. It is important that students have good literacy and numeracy skills before beginning piano lessons, and ideally, some experience of class-based music making. As a general rule I only teach students from the age 6, although some children are ready to start with shorter 20-minute lessons from the age of 5, incorporating musicianship, theory and aural skills from the beginning.
I am happy to carry out a musical assessment to find out if your child may be ready to begin piano lessons. The most important thing is that your child enjoys music and has an interest in learning to play the piano!
I will then arrange a consultation lesson for new students. I look forward to hearing from you!
Will you teach at the student’s home?
Yes! I teach locally in St Albans, providing the distance is not too far from the centre where I live.
Do I need my own instrument?
Yes. Ideally this should be a well-maintained acoustic piano (grand or upright), tuned at least once a year.
A digital piano is acceptable in the early stages before deciding to commit to piano studies. However, there is a limit to the variety of tone that can be achieved on a digital instrument, which is why I do not normally recommend them beyond the early stages of studying.
A good quality acoustic instrument is always preferable and an adjustable stool is also essential for cultivating good posture at the piano!
Do I need to purchase sheet music?
Yes. I will recommend appropriate material for the student (this can include repertoire, studies and theory books). I am also happy to work with you on particular pieces that you enjoy, as long as they are suitable for your level.
How long is each piano lesson?
This depends on the age and experience of the student. For most young students, 30 minutes is the maximum lesson length. For more mature/advanced students, I am able to offer lessons of up to 60 minutes and more.
How many lessons must I commit to?
Following an initial consultation, students usually pay for 4 lessons in advance.
What happens if I want to cancel or reschedule a lesson?
There is no charge for cancelled lessons as long as I receive at least 24 hours’ notice. I will always do my best to reschedule the lesson if possible, though this is not guaranteed as my teaching schedule is currently full.
How long should my child practise?
This depends on the age and experience of the student, but as a general rule, small amounts of regular practice is better than cramming in one longer session.
I will always give clear instructions to students on the material to be practised and what targets I would like them to achieve during the week. It's important that students enjoy playing the piano in between lessons, as this will enable them to achieve a good level of progress.
Can I take exams?
Yes. I am able to prepare students for ABRSM practical and theory exams. This is not a requirement however, and I am equally happy to teach you if you want to learn to play the piano just for fun!
Do you teach music theory?
Yes! I usually incorporate this into the lesson by relating it to practical music-making. I also sometimes give music theory homework tasks. For younger students this can be in the form of fun puzzles and games. I also use flashcards to assist with note-reading.
Do you have a DBS check?
Yes, I have an enhanced DBS check and am a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).
How much do you charge for piano lessons?
The current rate is £34/hr (not including travel charges outside St Albans). This rate is subject to a small annual increase.