Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge for a single lesson?

My standard fee is £30 for an hour lesson. This goes for one-to-one lessons, group lessons, any subject offered on my Courses + Prices page or any combination! It's an hour lesson either way, so the fee is the same :)

I also offer 30-minute lessons for £15. This fee still includes the personalised lesson content, take-home resources and everything else normally included in the standard hour.

Where do lessons take place, and do you offer home visits?

Whatever works best for you! I can offer lessons from my home studio in East Didsbury (South Manchester), just around the corner from Fog Lane Park. I have instruments and recording facilities here, and I've designed it to be a good environment for learning and playing music.

 

I'm also available to come to you and deliver lessons in your own home (if you live in Manchester or the neighbouring areas). If the distance is 4 miles or less, there is no charge for fuel costs. If it's farther, I may need to charge a small fee of about £5 or so, depending on the distance.

And of course, for those who may be living further afield, self-isolating or anything else, one-to-one lessons are always available on Zoom!

Do you offer group lessons?

Yes, absolutely! Whether you'd like a hour for one person or an hour for a small group, it's a flat fee of £30. It's dead easy to prepare a music lesson for 2 or 3 people instead of just one, so there's no extra charge :) Some parents like to book lessons for siblings, or sometimes even learn an instrument along with their child.

 

Group lessons provide a good social environment for learning music, especially as students can play their instruments together. However, there are some limitations as well, and one-to-one lessons do tend to allow for more focused, personalised learning. Group lessons are certainly more economical, though I would suggest that one-to-one lessons may yield faster progress.

Can I pay £30 for an hour lesson and split it between two students?

(E.g. two guitar students, 30 minutes for each, one after the other)

Yes! I don't mind doing this at all, as long as the two lesson slots occur consecutively (i.e. they occur immediately after the other and are not spread across separate hours, or separate days in the week etc.)

Can I mix different subjects/instruments/topics from the Lessons + Prices page together?

Yes, yes, yes! I encourage you to do this, especially more experienced players. The Manchester Music Tutor Courses + Prices page is there not just for your information, but also to allow you to design your own personalised course content.

 

Perhaps you'd like to mix a bit of guitar and music theory, or maybe you'd like to improve your keyboard technique while learning a bit about music production.

 

These all make for really interesting music lessons, and they help my to get to know you better as a musician. Just let me know what you'd like to look at when you get in touch :)

I can't read music! Will that be a problem?

Not at all. When we learn an instrument, there's often a variety of different approaches we take, including imitation, memorisation, listening and, of course, reading notation. Throughout our lessons, we'll do a little bit of everything. In fact, it's actually good practice to do this - that's what makes a well-rounded musician!

Learning to read for piano/keyboard can seem a bit intimidating at first but it really doesn't have to be. There's a method! During our lessons, we'll break down sightreading skills into easy, accessible steps and then develop them with a combination of practical playing, exercises and games. (The ABRSM Piano Grades 0 and 1 are particularly good for this.)

For guitar and bass lessons, we'll mostly use guitar and bass tablature which is much simpler to learn than reading sheet music, provided you learn to use your ears! Tabs are super easy to get into and can be learned in a single lesson. The same goes for guitar chord diagrams: they're easy when you know how!

What can I expect in my first lesson?

In our first session together, we'll have a chat about your current goals and what you're hoping to get out of lessons in the long run. We'll also have a quick chat about your own musical preferences, styles you're interested in learning, bands you like etc., as well as any prior musical experience you may have had. This way, we can start putting together a plan that's unique and specific to YOU.

If you're just starting out, we'll talk over some instrument basics and perhaps some material you might have started learning already. For more experienced players, we might talk about where you see your current level of ability and where you'd like to improve etc.

After that, we'll start making music straight away! It's important to me that lessons are very practical, with emphasis on playing. This way, we can focus on building practical instrument skills, developing and improving instrument familiarity, training your musical ear and enjoying the experience of creating music. After all, that's why we do it!

We'll look at some familiar tunes, as well as some drills and exercises to help refine your technique, then perhaps finish up with some material for you to practise during the week. I'll make sure to email over to you any resources from the lesson within the next 24 hours.

For a lot of musicians, we'll often have a "project" or two on the go - a tricky song we're learning, a new instrument technique or an original composition we're working on. These all make for EXCELLENT ongoing projects for music lessons so I'll make sure we focus on these as much as we can :)

In-lesson learning resources include apps on tablet, computer software, metronome/drum machines, audio recordings and videos. And me, of course.

What instruments do you play? Which was your first?

The instruments I've learned to play are, in order:

 

  1. 4-String Bass Guitar

  2. 6-String Bass Guitar

  3. Acoustic Guitar

  4. Piano

  5. Electric Guitar

  6. Synthesizer, and, most recently

  7. Ukulele!

 

I also like to use hardware drum machines and various electronic things. I'm currently putting together a home-built synthesizer (featuring the sound chip from an old Sega Megadrive!)

What music/teaching software do you recommend?

My DAW/recording software of choice is Logic Pro X, though I use Garageband and Audacity in a pinch. I've also had good experiences with Ableton and Cubase too; I just like Logic a bit more :)

I regularly use Roni Music's mp3-altering tool Amazing Slow Downer to slow down, speed up, change pitch and loop parts of songs for the purpose of learning and teaching them. Definitely check them out!

For producing sheet music and tabs, I use Musescore for desktop - which is free - and Symphony Pro for iPad - which costs a couple of quid but it's an invaluable teaching tool.

For lesson planning and making all kinds of learning resources, I use Goodnotes for iPad.

For artwork and general graphic design stuff (including many of the images on this website), I use GIMP on desktop and Autodesk SketchBook for tablet. Both are free!

Some super useful tablet/phone apps for learning to read music include Flashnote Derby and Rhythm Swing, both of which are great for kids and well worth the money.

Other handy apps include Functional Ear Trainer for learning to play by ear, Notes - Sight Reading Trainer for reading music, Soundbrenner for a highly-tweakable metronome and GuitarTuna for... well, a guitar tuner... obviously. All four of these are extremely useful and completely FREE, though I would happily pay for any one of them!

What are your qualifications?

I completed my BA in Music and Professional Practice at Coventry University, graduating in 2010 with First Class Honours. In 2011, I was awarded my Masters Degree in Music Composition.

 

In 2013, after moving to Manchester, I enrolled on the Teacher Training course (Further Education, Pre-Service) at University Campus Oldham (in partnership with Huddersfield University), where I undertook a nine-month work placement at Oldham College, teaching BTEC Music and Music Technology to 16-18 year old learners. In 2014, I was awarded a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Advanced PGCE).

Are you DBS / CRB Certified?

Yes I am. I have an up-to-date Enhanced DBS Certificate for Teaching Staff (Child Workforce) and have an ongoing subscription to the DBS (formerly CRB) update service.

What is your Data Protection Policy?

It's very important to me that any personal information divulged to me by my clients is treated with the utmost care and respect. I do not share clients' personal data outside of this company, and I will never pass it on to marketing companies or other suchlike. Any personal information, lesson materials, teacher notes, assessment information, learning resources etc. will be made readily available upon request to that student and/or their parent/guardian/caregiver.

For more information, you can view my full Data Protection Policy here.

What is your Safeguarding Policy?

As a private tutor, my primary responsibilty is to ensure that any children, young people and vulnerable adults are able to learn in a safe environment and are not allowed to have their personal welfare or safety threatened in any way. For more information, please see my Safeguarding Policy here.