What do I need?
What do I need for online lessons?
For all online lessons you will need a computer with the Zoom application for video calling and a strong internet connection. We can make sure that the connection is good enough to carry out the lesson during the free consultation.
You will need sheet music and/or lyrics for your chosen songs, I can help you to source these if needed, and be able to share these with me electronically e.g. a scan or clear photo so that we are on the same page as it were.
Singers will need to be able to play accompaniment tracks on a separate source other than the computer/Zoom call.
Your computer’s microphone should be fine to pick up your playing/singing but we can test this out in the consultation lesson so that the level is good. Obviously if you have an external microphone with more control over the volume that is even better.
As a side note, despite being in the comfort of your own home, please remember to keep anything you want kept private out of the video shot and dress appropriately, just like you would a face to face meeting.
What equipment do I need for piano lessons?
For piano lessons you will obviously need some kind of piano to practice with. If you have an acoustic piano, perfect, however there are alternatives, especially for beginners. If looking to buy a digital piano, full size is 88 keys and look for weighted (keys), you may need to add a sustain pedal if it doesn’t come with one – but these are great for silent practice with headphones! For beginners looking for a more inexpensive solution you could use a keyboard, just be aware that you may be restricted by less keys and an unweighted feel. Don’t forget about a music stand, although these are often inbuilt, and a metronome would be very useful, again most keyboards have this or you can get free metronome apps on your phone.
What equipment do I need for singing lessons?
For singing lessons it is great if you already have a microphone, however it is not necessary for every lesson. I only really start to work on microphone technique once a song is performance ready. If you need/want to buy a microphone I can give you more detailed advice in lesson, as there are different microphones for different purposes, and accessories such as speakers, mic stand, interface, pop shield etc. Due to time lag in the video call I cannot accompany you live so you will need backing tracks, I can help you source these if needed. Don’t forget a glass of water!
What books should I get?
I have some ‘go to’ books that I recommend, but this is totally dependent on the age, ability and interest of the student so we will discuss this as we go in lessons. I will also provide you with relevant resources.
Do I need a notebook or manuscript book?
Since we are all online now I will keep a digital record of your progress and homework tasks which can be forwarded to you after the lesson. If you find it helpful to make your own written notes during the lesson please do (especially on the music)! If you are completing theory work you may need your own manuscript paper, these can be bought as a notepad or just printed for free from the student resources area.
Booking and Payment
How do I schedule a lesson?
Please select the lesson type (singing, piano, ensemble, or theory) and duration (30 or 60minutes) on the website’s booking page. If booking the term-time package or block booking you can reserve a recurring time slot for your lesson. I will confirm your lesson time after payment is received, and you will be sent a Zoom link and password over email. Please see payment plans for more detailed info on what’s included, scheduling, refunds and cancellation.
When and how do I pay?
All lessons are payable in advance by direct transfer.
Can I cancel a lesson?
Lessons are non-refundable but if you need to cancel a lesson and reschedule you must give at least 24 hours notice. This allows me to reallocate your time slot. In the event that you failed to give 24 hours notice the lesson is marked as taken. In this event I can send you some recorded notes on items to work on based on our prior lessons so you don't miss out.
What if the lesson is cancelled by the teacher?
In the event that the lesson is not given due to the fault of the teacher, you will be given the option to either reschedule or be refunded for that lesson.
How much do lessons cost?
I teach either 30 minutes or 1 hour lessons:
30 minute lessons are 17.50 GBP
1 hour lessons are 35.00 GBP
Block booking or pay as you go?
To ensure consistency I only offer 6 week block booking time slots during term times. However during the holidays I offer 'pay as you go' one-off lessons on request.
What age can children start lessons with you?
Music lessons are tailored to the age of the student, to strive for a positive and worthwhile experience no matter the age. I don’t have a fixed starting age as this really depends a lot on the child’s maturity, literacy and concentration level. For me it would be best to decide after the free consultation lesson whether your child is ready. I have taught as young as 3 years old but generally I find that students aged 8+ have the ability to make good progress. With the youngest students, lessons have a much more general music focus than specifically voice, piano or theory.
Do you teach adults?
Absolutely, I have taught a lot of adults with various singing and piano goals. You’re never too old to start music lessons.
How much should I practice?
Little and often is preferred, try and schedule a short practice everyday if possible so that it just becomes ‘something you do’ rather than a chore. For children in particular, it would be better to do 5-10mins everyday than sitting for an hour one night to keep it light and fun, leave them wanting more!
Do you teach for examinations?
Sure, whilst there is no pressure to do so, exams can be a great focus for some students, providing clear structure and progression. If you are considering music at FE/HE I highly recommend taking the exam route to gain tangible qualifications – grades 6-8 carry UCAS points. I can prepare you for examinations in contemporary music styles with Rockschool Ltd in singing, piano, or theory. I can prepare you for classical examinations with ABRSM in piano and theory. I have a 100% pass rate with merit/distinction for both exam boards, including an ABRSM regional prize.
Do you have up to date DBS clearance?
Yes, absolutely. I am a qualified teacher and am required for my work at the conservatoire to keep an up to date enhanced DBS certificate. Please contact me to request access to this.
Is there a Student - Teacher contract?
Yes, before we commence 1-1 lessons you will receive a student-teacher contract via email containing the terms and conditions (outlining expectations from both parties) that I ask you to read and sign.