Do I need a piano?
You will need daily access to a keyboard instrument of some sort. Ideally this should be a piano, but if you are a beginner you may be able to use a keyboard for a few months to start with. But a note of caution: anything less than a full size piano keyboard of 88 notes, is likely to last less than a year, so may not be cost effective. I am very happy to advise you before you make a purchase.
What age should children start learning the piano?
It’s difficult to give a precise answer to this, as each child is different. In my experience most children are aged 7 before they are ready to have private piano lessons, but there will be exceptions to this and I am happy to advise individually. Sometimes the only way to know for sure is to start lessons and see how a child gets on for a few months.
At the other end of the scale, it’s never too late to begin!
How much practice do I need to do?
Practice is the single most important key to success in any instrument, and will comprise about 80% of your development.
In general terms, a beginner should do 2 – 3 hours practice per week, rising to 3 – 4 hours per week for the intermediate player (grades 4 – 5), and 4 – 5 hours per week for the advanced player at grades 6 – 8. There really is no shortcut around regular practice, it is likely to be the single most important factor in determining your success or otherwise.
How much do lessons cost?
I currently charge £18 for a half hour lesson, £24 for a 40-minute lesson, and £36 for a one-hour lesson. Generally speaking, a half hour lesson is sufficient for anyone up to grade 5, rising to 45 minutes up to grade 8, and an hour if you are working towards a diploma qualification. I also operate a monthly scheme, which builds holidays in throughout the year.
Can anybody learn to sing?
Very few people are actually tone deaf – less than 5% of the population, and so the vast majority of people can be taught to sing – though of course it doesn’t mean everyone will become an amazing singer!
Are there age limits to learning to sing?
I don’t believe there are. At the younger end I take the view that it is best to wait until early teens before training the voice, and at the older end, as long as you are physically well, then there is no reason why you should not learn. It is a surprisingly physical activity, as students quickly discover.
How quickly will I notice a change in my voice?
The first thing to sort out is your breathing, which can take up to 3 – 4 months. Once this is sorted you will begin to notice your voice growing stronger. If you are learning to sing from scratch you will need to give it the absolute minimum of a year, with regular practice at home, before you will notice a real change. Please note if you are hoping to audition for a Performance Course in College / University, you will need to come and see me at least 6 – 9 months before the audition is due.