Fees & Studio Policy
Your tuition fee covers:
Your tuition fee does not cover:
Don’t let age stand in your way. I’ve taught lots of adult students – some starting in their 20s and others in their 60s and 70s. If learning to play the piano has been on your bucket list, then it’s time to tick it off!
As a general rule, I don’t teach beginner students under 5 years of age. That said, I have a lengthy waiting list, so it's never too early to complete the New Student Enquiry form and get your child registered with me.
If you have a child aged 5 and you would like them to begin piano lessons, we would have an initial introductory lesson to assess their suitability. At this age, so much depends on the individual student’s musical aptitude, concentration and general maturity. If they’re not quite ready for lessons at this point, they can be placed on my waiting list for tuition in the future.
I have found that with younger children, the greatest progress is made when lessons are given in person.
Children can navigate their way around the keyboard more easily if I am directly by their side to help show them the way. Similarly, learning to read the notation often takes a lot of mutual deciphering and interaction, looking backwards and forwards from the music to the piano, pointing and referencing as we go.
The other main consideration is ensuring younger students develop a good technique right from the outset. This will often mean I am having to be ‘hands on’, physically assisting a child to move their fingers, hands and wrists in a certain way to make their playing more fluent and comfortable. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’, so encouraging and allowing a younger student to ‘feel’ and then understand the difference between playing a passage in discomfort, and then in comfort with greater control is very important.
Naturally, all of these aspects are equally as important for adult students too.
However, the process of teaching online relies more heavily on the use of demonstration, observation and verbal communication and instruction. As much as I’d sometimes like to reach through the screen to help a student, the only tools at my disposal are essentially ‘show and tell’.
In my experience, older students are better suited to a greater reliance on verbal communication (sometimes quite detailed and very specific instruction) than their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, young children, without the same cognitive and concentration skills, are unable to gain as much benefit from an online lesson as an adult student would.
So as a general rule, I only teach new, beginner students under 8 years of age in person. If your child is under 13 years of age, and you are keen to have lessons online, then we would undertake an initial introductory lesson assessment. Previous musical experience is an advantage in this age group, but not a requirement.
Even though your child may not be quite old enough to start online tuition, please still take the opportunity to get in touch and complete the New Student Enquiry form. I have a lengthy waiting list so it's likely your child will be a year or two older by the time a lesson space becomes available.
Equipment Related Questions
Believe it or not, I do get asked this question more regularly than you would think! Yes – you will need to have an instrument available so you can practise in between your weekly lessons.
You can use an acoustic piano (a normal piano), or a digital piano. Bear in mind, that an acoustic piano will need to be regularly tuned to stay in optimal condition.
A digital piano can often be more convenient for students, particularly if you are short on space in your home. It is also more portable and doesn’t require tuning. Additionally, digital pianos will come with a headphone jack so you can practise ‘silently’ – something to consider in a busy household or if the piano is in a shared living space.
If you are wanting to purchase a digital piano, there are a couple of features you want to make sure it has:
My first love will always be an acoustic piano, and for more advanced students, I would strongly recommend you have the real thing. However, for beginners to intermediate level pianists, a good digital piano should fit the bill.
Piano's are usually an expensive purchase and you want to make sure you don't buy a dud. Here are some of the things I advise people to investigate when they ask me what they should look for when buying a piano.
Ideally, you should use an adjustable piano stool which will allow you to adjust the height of the stool to your particular requirements.
I realise this may not be possible for everyone, so instead, find a chair or stool which is a good height so that when you put your arms up on the keyboard to play, your forearms are level and parallel with the floor - not angled up or down. If you need to use a small cushion to tweak the height, do so.
If you’re using a chair with a back, try to sit on the front half of the chair and not have your weight leaning backwards, resting your back on the back of the chair.
Avoid using an office chair which rotates - you want something which is stable.
I teach a wide range of musical styles including:
I want you to enjoy the pieces you’re playing so we will discuss the type of repertoire you’re interested in and want to learn.
Starting out is a really exciting time! You’ll learn how to read music, lay the foundations of a good technique, hone your listening skills and so much more!
A ‘Journey of Discovery’ takes you on an in-depth look at the various practical skills and knowledge I’ll be introducing you to in your first year of tuition. Please explore this page if you’d like to know more.
Although I’m a Classically trained musician, I do incorporate a lot of jazz music and improvisation in my lessons for those students who are interested. The improvisation work is tailored to beginner and intermediate level students, so if you’re looking for more advanced Jazz training, I’d recommend seeking out a specialist Jazz instructor.
Not every student is a theory buff, but I do strongly recommend and encourage including theory work in the lessons, particularly for younger students. Gaining a greater understanding of the written symbols and knowing how these should then be interpreted, and ultimately translated into sound, all contribute to developing a well-rounded and ‘literate’ musician.
Piano Practice Related Questions
Learning to play the piano takes time and regular reinforcement – after all, you’ve probably never required your fingers and wrists to undertake such finely nuanced movements before. As with any activity which needs sophisticated motor control, awareness and repetition are important factors. Imagine a tennis player practising to hit the ball into a specific location – the position of the body needs to be just right, the angle of the racket needs to be just right, the amount of power in the stroke needs to be just right, and probably most importantly, the shot can’t just be a lucky fluke achieved every now and again – it must be reproducible, called upon whenever required – especially if it’s needed to win the match!
The same applies for musicians. We’re finely tuned athletes!
I can’t remember who said it, but they were very wise - “We don’t practise until we get it right, we practise so we don’t get it wrong”.
Establishing a regular practice routine and sticking to it is the key to making progress.
While you don’t have to practise every single day (sometimes you just can’t fit it in) at least four or five sessions a week would be good to aim for. If it’s much less than that, your progress will be impeded.
Avoid trying to cram all of your practice into one session. The time in between your practice sessions is valuable as your brain will be consolidating all of those new neural pathways you’ve been laying down!
As you progress over time, the length of practice you will need to do will naturally increase.
Here’s a rough guide of the practise lengths I recommend to my students:
Exams & Performance
No – not if you don’t want to.
But if you’re keen to undertake an exam, I’m more than happy to work with you towards that goal.
Only if you want to. There will be opportunities to play to other students in a relaxed and supportive environment if you’d like to improve your performance skills and gain more confidence.
I have written five books which range from music for pre-Grade 1 students to more advanced learners at Grade 6.
‘Garden Party’ – Pre-Grade 1
Imagine a miniature world where spiders, butterflies, ants and ladybirds come together for a ‘Garden Party’
‘Garden Playtime’ – Grade 2 – 3
Revisit a world where garden creatures come to life in a fun and imaginative way
‘Fantasy & Fairy Tale’ – Grade 4 – 5
Explore a mystical realm where characters from ‘fantasy and fairy tale’ come to life
‘Freestyle’ – Grade 3 – 5
10 lively piano solos embracing a sense of freedom and spontaneity
‘More Freestyle’ – Grade 4 – 6
A collection of pieces ranging in style from gentle and contemplative to extroverted and energetic
Selected digital downloads of some of my pieces can be obtained from the Hal Leonard music website.
However, your best option is to contact me directly for the book you’re interested in. You can go to the Contact Me page and in the ‘Subject’ drop down menu, select ‘Book Purchase’.