Frequently asked questions

How much practice should I/my child be doing?

That very much depends on the age of your child and their playing level. I can advise and support each individual student, but here are a few general guidelines to start with: Little and often is always better than one big practice the night before a lesson! a 4 year old beginner will need roughly 5 minutes practice a day A 7 year old beginner, 15 minutes practice a day A grade 1 student, 30 minutes a day A grade 5 student, 45 minutes a day A grade 8 (and beyond) student will need to be practising for minimum an hour a day Longer practises should be broken down into multiple shorter ones (e.g. a post grade-8 student practising for 90 minutes might practise in 3 x 30 minute intervals)

What instrument do you have in your studio?

I own a Steinway Model K upright piano. The model K is an exceptional quality instrument, handcrafted to the same standards as Steinway’s concert grands.

How early can I drop off my child for lessons?

Please drop your child off at their allotted lesson starting time (and please ensure you pick them up on time). I do not have a waiting area, and I am unable to supervise children who are dropped off any earlier than this.

Your students take less exams than other piano students. Why is that?

My students learn an extensive range of repertoire, grounded in a solid technical ability and excellence of musical understanding, and this takes precedence over what is often termed ‘grade-hopping’. For a different perspective on this topic, please visit my blog post The Oxford Reading Tree and 1984

I am / my child is sitting a grade exam on another instrument. Can you help with the aural tests?

Absolutely. The aural component in ABRSM and Trinity exams are the same for each instrument, so it doesn’t matter which instrument your child learns; it will be the same aural tests as the ones I coach for my own exam candidates.

My child has piano lessons at school. Can they continue with these while they learn with you?

Different teachers teach in different and often conflicting ways, and it can be extremely confusing for a student to have two teachers at the same time. If you are considering a new teacher though, you are more than welcome to come along for a trial lesson or two, while continuing with your current teacher. I also understand that there is often a 'crossover period' when students are changing teachers, and I am happy to work temporarily with students who have teachers elsewhere but are contracted in until the end of a half term.

Do you teach adults?

Definitely! Most of my students are children, so most of my literature is geared towards parents, but I have many adult learners; some complete beginners, and some ‘re-learners’ (starting again after learning as a child), all of whom enjoy their lessons and practising very much. Many adults learn an instrument as something to enjoy away from work or family demands, and although finding time to practice can sometimes be more difficult than with children, adults do get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from their lessons.