FAQs


Here are answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked over the lasts 15 years of piano teaching!  If you have any other questions, please drop me a line!

I teach pupils from age 5 upwards (usually in year 1). 

Bear in mind that most 6-8 year olds will be able to progress faster than a 5 year old in their first year, who will needs lots more parental support when they start.

It’s never too late to start lessons!  

Absolutely!  I enjoy teaching adults because we get to explore exactly the kind of music you want to play, at a pace that’s right for you.  

Your lesson is a special time that’s just for you.  Enjoy learning new skills, relish in challenges and in getting a chance to be creative again.

You are all different, and I enjoy sharing in your musical ‘journey’. I teach beginners, returners and advanced pianists.

We’ll come up with a learning plan that’s right for you.

Lessons are weekly slots, during school term times until 5:30 pm- if your schedule is compatible with this then please do get in touch about starting lessons!

You’ll need to have an instrument to practise on at home as soon as lessons begin (or regular access to an instrument elsewhere). 

Here’s a very brief guide:

Acoustic pianos
A well-maintained instrument is always going to be the best quality investment option. Full number of weighted keys, pedals and a proper piano sound. Holds value, looks great.  But needs tuning at least annually and remember you might need to pay moving costs of £50 upwards.  Budget at least £2000 for new, but used instruments can be great.  I have a Schimmel 120 at home, which everyone loves!

Digital pianos
A quality digital piano with fully weighted keys, and ideally a sturdy furniture-style casing is often a good alternative option.  No ongoing-maintenance costs, usually a few extra features, like headphones for silent practice, and in-build metronomes.  Budget in the region of £300 upwards for a new one.  (Look at Yamaha Arius, YDP200, Casio Privia and Korg B2SP) If buying second hand try to go for one as new as you can, as the technology improves every year.   

Keyboards
If you want to try out lessons before spending lots on an instrument, then you could use a keyboard temporarily but realistically only for a term before you’ll need to upgrade, so do plan for this!

(Keyboards are an accessible budget option and have fun sounds.  They are better than nothing! But they don’t have the right number of keys, have a completely different weight, and usually don’t have a pedal.  This can be really confusing and frustrating for pupils, derails good technique, and ultimately can put them off if used for too long).

Expect to pay £50 to £100 new, get as many fully-szied keys as you can (67 is pretty standard).

I am always happy to advise new and prospective students on instrument options!

No, all lessons with me take place in my well-equipped home studio and at the schools that I visit during the day. 

Every pupil is different and it mainly depends on how much practice you can put in, as well as the age you start lessons!  (Younger pupils usually need a little more time) 

Piano is an instrument which takes more preparation than any others before embarking on exams (we need to read music in 2 staves and most instruments just use 1!)

But as a rough guide, pupils can usually start preparing for pre-grade one exams when they reach Level 2 of my beginner series.  This usually takes a year to 18 months.  Taking exams is certainly not obligatory, although many pupils enjoy the feeling of success and like measuring their progress by their ‘grade’.

Once the foundation stages are set, pupils can usually do the next exam each year (but it can take longer).  We learn many other things besides the 3 exam pieces to help pupils feel assured at each level.  

Absolutely!  You are always welcome to quietly observe the lessons at my home studio, from the comfort of the sofas. 

Parents at of my pupils at schools can come and observe a lesson by appointmnet.

If you are interested in buying some lessons as a gift then please contact me.  I usually have a waiting list for new pupils, so I only issue gift vouchers when I know I’ll have a vacancy at a time that the recipient will be able to attend on a weekly basis. 

On weekdays in term time up to 5:30 pm.  Pupils have a fixed weekly slot that is reserved for them for 36 weeks of lessons. Our term dates are based on local state primary school term dates in Didsbury.   

COVID-19 update: We are open!

In-person and online lessons available.