NEW! Rock and Pop 2019

I currently train 3 students in the Trinity Rock and Pop syllabus. In 2019 I will be expanding this and offering Rock and Pop Band lessons.

The instruments offered for this will be:

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard, Drums and vocals.

This training will be done in a group. The Trinity Rock and Pop syllabus will be used as the foundation for training – please follow the link for more detail: Rock and Pop Brochure

Students will be taught how to read music/tab for their respective instrument. Each book comes with backing tracks for individual use at home. Each student, if proficient can then be entered for the internationally recognised exams and when successful, receive a certificate. By grade 3 level (music) the band can enter as a group. If the band is successful, each individual receives a qualifying certificate for that grade.

Please ensure that you have read the following three documents re lessons:

Guidelines to Learning Music

Parents’ Guide to Lessons for Children

Choosing a Teacher

I am currently developing this in preparation for launching in 2019. Please contact me in the form below for info or to book a place.
These lessons will be in a group format -4 students to a group.

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Guidelines to starting music lessons.

I get many enquiries regarding music lessons.

Most times I can accomodate the person. The problem is usually that the enquirer has unrealistic expectations eg:

Prospective student (PS): I want to learn the piano. When can I come and get a lesson?

Me: (Hearing the timbre of the question) How many lessons do you think you need to learn the piano?

PS: Just one – I’m a fast learner.

Here’s another:

PS: Why do I need my own instrument?

Me: Try learning to drive a car with a bicycle… (Okay, I’ve never said this…)

 

Learning music is like learning the most difficult language in the world. The average person takes up to 18 years to master their own language.

Why do I mention all this? I think a lot of people are ignorant of what it entails to study music. Here are a few guidelines for my studio:

1. Every student needs his/her own instrument. a student needs easy, regular access to the instrument.

2. Each student uses their own book. I will not photocopy mine. I will make a photocopy for additional enrichment/fun/technique.

3. The skill of reading and playing music well, takes time, dedication and effort. To play piano well will take more than 10 years. Even then one is just getting a grasp of the instrument. A single note instrument can take less time to master. One can mimic a song or add chords by listening, but to read music and play well becomes a life skill. I started lessons more than 50 years ago, I practice more now than ever before, and I feel like I am just starting.

4. A keyboard is not a piano. It is a different instrument. Keyboard pressure and response is different to a piano. I have yet to find an electric keyboard that adequately copies a piano. Maybe they are fine for a beginner but not for learning the nuances of Chopin, Beethoven etc. I teach the piano.

5. When learning a stringed instrument, a small student will need larger instruments as they grow and mature. This will cost money – please plan for it?

These are just some of the points that arise when I respond to lesson enquiries. Should you have further queries, you are welcome to contact me at verygoodpianist@gmail.com

 

 

 

Parents’ guide to Lessons for Children

I have been teaching music in a private capacity since 1998. I cannot claim to have all the answers or have all the knowledge. But I have some insight into situations regarding Lessons for Children.

Some Statements (from parents):

1. I want to see my child commit to learning music before I buy an instrument.

2. I am not sure if my child is serious about music, so until she has had some lessons we will not buy an instrument.

3. We let our (6yr old) daughter decide when she wants to stop/start a new interest.

4. My 7yr old has decided to stop music.

Let me make some statements.

A child does not decide that he/she is going to attend school. A child does not tell parents that they are quitting school at the end of Grade3.

I am totally convinced of the benefits of learning music – concentration, improved control, better feelings of self-worth, better small and fine co-ordination, better left/right brain crossover, improved IQ levels, Higher test results, less likelihood of being involved in sex/smoking/drinking activities, a more disciplined mind, and the list goes on.

Music lessons are like school and learning a new language – You send your child, and you(together with them), commit to it.

I believe that parents need to be convinced that music is an essential skill and is a non-negotiable. The joy and pleasure will only come after there has been commitment, perseverance, tears (all of which produce character).

If you as a parent are looking at music lessons for your child, I believe that it is your decision – not the child’s. It is an investment that takes years. The child needs you to show what discipline means. The child needs you to teach commitment, perseverance, dedication.

When these are practised in the long term, to even play one note properly becomes a pleasure.

I need parents to partner with me for the training of the young student. I need you to commit and to invest in the life of your child through fees, instrument, transport, commitment, encouragement and dedication.

This is a Life skill – not a new toy.

Choosing a teacher.

Please Choose your teacher carefully.

I am not going to say I am a good music teacher, but I have students who come to me and I cringe. I cringe because I have to tell the parent that that music teacher does not know what he/she is doing.

A piano student came to me after completing 2 books. I asked her to play middle C – she didnt know what that was. I asked her to point out a crotchet (quarter note) in the music – she didnt know what it was. The teacher had also written the names of the notes under each note.

A violin student came to me after a year with a teacher. The student didnt know the names of the strings and couldn’t hold the bow properly.

A voice student wanted coaching at grade 8 level – she couldn’t read music!!!!!

A classical guitar student was brought to me by his mother 2 months before an exam. The student played all the pieces with one finger, had no concept of a 4-beat bar and couldn’t play the apoyando/tirando picking styles needed for the scales.

I place a lot of emphasis on the correct learning of the instrument and a thorough understanding of the notes on the page. I teach students the skill of reading and playing music. I will not give them crutches and I will not train them as parrots. I do expect students to practice and parents to oversee this.  But together I facilitate the learning and satisfaction that comes with diligence. THEN… my students have fun and I will bend over backwards for them.

Find a teacher that teaches:

what the notes mean and how they relate.

students how to read and does not tell them all the answers or play it for them (so that they memorise).

by not writing the answers in the book.

where to correctly find the notes on the piano.

how to apply the notes to the instrument.

Find a teacher that:

Is qualified and has some experience.

has students who achieve well in eistedfodds/exams/concerts

is recommended by another teacher/parent

 In the land of the blind, the one-eyen man is King. There are far too many one-eyed kings teaching music.

New Logo

I have been wanting a new logo for years but never found anything that I liked.

I was scrolling through a blog and found an image with some fancy script. So I copied the idea, found a font I liked, linked it to a music image and out of that is born my new logo.

logo 2

 

This will be seen in many of my postings and may even add it to an email template.

 

Christmas Cake recipe

Actually its only 3 and a bit months away. I am already planning my student’s end year concert, so I thought to add this too

 

Ingredients: 2 cups flour 1 stick butter 1 cup of water 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup of sugar 1 tsp salt 1 cup of brown sugar Lemon juice 4 large eggs Nuts 2 bottles wine 2 cups of dried fruit. Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it’s best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup… Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat. Go to Woolies and buy cake. Bingle Jells!

This is the sax….

I always thought that Saxes were instruments that came from the pit of hell. Well about 3-4 yrs ago I actually bought one and learnt to play it. Then I bought another and experimented by putting silicone rubber pads in it. Sold the first one and bought and much better sax, and then bought a 1924 Martin Stencil C melody Saxophone in Immaculate condition. Somewhere I came across the poem below, But I also sold the C Melody. I paid about $120 for it and sold it for $1100 – now thats great business. Actually I miss it very much but sold it to pay for my grand piano.

Anyway here is the poem

 

This is the sax that Jack blew.

This is the fall that broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the stand that held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the drunk that kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the guy who ran the bar
That served the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

These are the guests, all lah-di-dah
That flocked to the guy who ran the bar
That served the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the speech that went too far
That bored the guests, all lah-di-dah
That flocked to the guy who ran the bar
That served the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the Groom, a Henry Hoorah
That gave the speech that went too far
That bored the guests, all lah-di-dah
That flocked to the guy who ran the bar
That served the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.

This is the Bride, maternity bra
That married the Groom, a Henry Hoorah
That gave the speech that went too far
That bored the guests, all lah-di-dah
That flocked to the guy who ran the bar
That served the beer that mashed the drunk
That kicked the stand
That held the horn before the fall
That broke the sax that Jack blew.