A Passion for Music Education
Everyone should have a chance to get a first rate music education. Learning music develops so many skills, but the main benefit, as far as I’m concerned, is the access to all that joy and pleasure. I was very saddened when I discovered the massively unequal levels of access to quality music education in this country. It re-enforced my commitment to being the best teacher I can be and to work with youngsters who might not otherwise have a chance to learn to their highest level. I try every day to meet the students at their own starting point, teaching them music they can relate to and enjoy. I teach them to groove and to play by ear before we even think about reading music. The largest part of every music lesson should be playing and making it sound good. It’s surprising how often this is overlooked, as it’s the most effective way I’ve found to teach music.
I teach in one-to-one lessons and in groups, including many classes of up to 30 children – usually in year four. I estimate that I’ve had a direct hand in the music education of around 3,000 children so far. Some have gone on to study at conservatoires and play professionally, but that’s not the path for most of us. So I try to give everyone a chance simply to enjoy making music, in whatever way they can. I’ve been an outreach worker, helping underprivileged youngsters gain access to a first rate music school. I’ve taught in mental health drop-ins, and services for people who are homeless and other excluded groups. I will always assume that someone I teach has the potential to make beautiful music.
I’ve taught the guitar for 25 years and it’s been my main occupation since graduating from my music degree in 2008. I have a postgraduate teaching certificate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I am a very versatile teacher. I can teach almost any style to at least an intermediate level. I start all my teaching by ear but I also use written music when it seems appropriate. On this page you’ll find a video I recently made to demo some of my teaching.
I create most of my own teaching resources. I've made some available to download for free use and you can find them here.
Since the pandemic I’ve had to produce most of my lessons in videos online.
There is a sample of one of my sets of video lessons here.
I’m proud to be a teacher in London’s Centre for Young Musicians (CYM), which has the most astonishing guitar department. My colleagues are the best around, as players and as educators. Where else can you learn classical, jazz, folk, rock or pop guitar all in the course of one day, and have access to a huge array of other music learning, world beating orchestras and ensembles? CYM also has a wonderful commitment to funding access for anyone who can’t afford to come, so we have a truly diverse body of students. I teach in the senior programme at CYM and I’m the guitar tutor for the primary years programme, where we teach little ones from the age of five. You should hear these kids play!
I also teach in secondary and primary schools in North London. In the primary school I teach three year groups in full classes. By the time the classes leave the school, in every year there has been a group of youngsters who can really play and most of the class has some pretty decent basic musical skills.
I’m pretty booked up with my teaching right now, but always happy to consider a new student of any age or standard. All I ask is that you commit to playing between lessons. Feel free to get in touch through the contact page. If you aren’t nearby, I am now very experienced at teaching online – through no fault of my own.
A video showing some things I can teach