This is a brief introduction to who I am and what it is that I do.
I'm originally from Cumbria but I moved to York in November 2015. I've been a musician for over 20 years. I have Distinctions in Piano Accordion (Grade 1), Pianoforte (Grade 3), Ukulele (Grade 3), and Acoustic Guitar (Grade 8).
From 2011 to 2014 I was an international singer songwriter. I released more than 13 albums and even featured on iTunes' 'Best of' in 2012. I've turned down many record labels because I don't particularly enjoy performing - which is why I moved into teaching. I've written music for independent films, original plays, internet chat-shows, gaming podcasts and even books. I've been a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors since 2014, plus I'm also a member of the Performer's Rights Society and the Ukulele Society of Great Britain. I have an enhanced DBS check and I'm a York Approved Tutor with the York Music Hub.
Learning an instrument requires hard work. Great musicians will have a natural ability but this is nothing compared to the hard work they constantly give to their craft. This is off-putting to a lot of people and 85% of students will not reach lesson 10. My first job is to get students passed lesson 10, to get them over the initial hurdles so the real enjoyment of learning an instrument can be had.
Practice is the most important part of learning an instrument and I bang on about it all the time. People wrongly assume that you can turn up to lessons each week and get better. This isn't the case. Lessons are a guide, I correct mistakes and point you in the right direction. Progress – real progress – is made in practice. When starting out, practice only needs to be 10/15 minutes a day.
If the student is a child then I greatly advocate parents being involved - they should sit in on lessons. Studies show that children learn quicker, they stick with an instrument longer and they enjoy it more when parents give support.
I do my best to cater for individual needs, so before your first lesson I will ask you several questions to understand what it is you want from your tuition. This ensures you get the most out of it.
Most of my students have their lessons at Poppleton Road Memorial Hall but I am willing to make home visits, depending on where you live - and this will cost you a little extra (see map). I also offer Skype lessons but I don't promote this too much - you can't beat physically having the teacher in the room with you.
For £100 you get 10 half-hour lessons with a starter book included. For £150 you get 10 hour-long lessons with a starter book included. Nice and simple. Only the starter book is included with block lessons. This is because book prices go up and up. All subsequent books are a separate cost.
Lessons need to be paid for upfront and there are no refunds with block lessons.
Until you give it a go, you don't know whether you will stick at learning an instrument and this can put people off spending large amounts on an initial purchase. If you have never played the guitar or ukulele before but want to give it a go, then you can start lessons with me and hire an instrument of mine to help make a decision about investing in your own. For acoustic guitar I have a Fender Dreadnaught. For the Ukulele I have a Tenor Brunswick.
Guitar hire is £30 a week. Ukulele hire is £25 a week.
PA System hire
I have a SubZero SZPA-P88 700W 8" Portable Bluetooth PA System.
I can give a quick demonstration as to how to use it but I’d rather hire this out to people that know about this kind of work.
I charge £60 for 24 hours and you must pick-up and drop-off.
There will also be a liability form to sign.