Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My child is interested in learning to play an instrument. When is the best age to start lessons?
A. There are lots of things to consider here. I normally start pupils on the piano at the age of 6; for woodwind instruments, 8 or9 years old is probably better, so the child is big enough to cope with the weight of the instrument and also, reach the keys.
Q. I understand the need to practise between lessons. How much time should my child spend practising?
A. Practice between lessons is very important and should be encouraged. Without it, progress will be very slow. There is no need to practice excessively, especially at the start. Practice should be enjoyed and not made to feel it is a chore so we would recommend starting with say 10 minutes per day and building up from there as required. Setting the same time aside for practice works well, so it becomes part of the daily routine.
Q. We don’t wish to buy a musical instrument at this time in the event that our child may give up lessons after a short time. Is there a more affordable option?
A. Woodwind instruments are available to hire from some music shops.
Q. We don’t have room for an acoustic piano, will a keyboard be just as good to practice on?
A. A keyboard may be ok to get started on, but owing to the difference in touch, I would recommend a good quality digital piano is purchased eventually. Ideally it will have 88 keys, a sustaining pedal and weighted keys.
Q. What kind of teaching styles do you offer?
A. I teach mainly classical music although I do put some pupils in for Jazz exams.
Q. Do you enter children for exams?
A. I encourage my students to enter the ABRSM graded exams and occasionally other examination boards too. However, I recognise that each student is different and they will never be forced into taking an exam that they have no wish to do. It is entirely up to the individual.