Lessons


Find out lots of information about piano lessons with Didsbury Piano, including:

  • where and when lessons take place
  • what I do to keep lessons fun and interesting
  • my broad curriculum – what I believe each pupil should aim to learn   
  • how to support learning with practice

When and where can I have lessons?

I offer individual piano lessons at my home in West Didsbury after school on weekday evenings.  30, 45 and 60 minute lessons are available.  Pupils come to me from age 5 / year 1 upwards. 

Each pupil has their own regular weekly lesson time, and there are 36 lessons per year during school term time.  Please get in touch to enquire about availability and my waiting list.   

What are the lessons like? 

My lessons explore music and teach key skills and creativity by having fun at the piano and using lots of interesting activities.

I take the time to get to know my pupils so that I can give enjoyable and well-paced lessons that best match individual needs, personalities and preferences.

I think it’s important to get the right balance of breadth, depth and pace, and so my lessons are carefully planned and based on a well-balanced curriculum.

We make music together from day one!

  • Imaginative music for each pupil from a broad range of styles.  I arrange songs by request, and reading pieces are carefully sequenced so that pupils feel confident at every stage.

  • We also play by ear and use improvisation and composing right from the first lesson.  These skills have long been undervalued by piano teachers who focus solely on reading.

    Learning by rote (ear and copying) is a natural way of learning that allows pupils to play far more sophisticated music than they are capable of reading.  This inspires them to play musically with confidence which makes them keep going!

    Improvisation and composing also help our brains develop important pattern-recognition skills and give pupils freedom to try things out – to be creative musicians.     

  • All pupils learn the skills to play with others, with lots of duets and trios alongside solo music.

  • We use movement and singing to support musicianship and integrate aural skills.  Using the body and voice is a brilliant and natural way to experience all elements of music.
Piano tuition books for lessons with Didsbury Piano
Here are some of the elementary books we use

We learn through play!

  • I provide an ever-expanding library of high quality music games and off-the-bench activities.  They don’t even realise they are learning when games are this much fun!

  • I enhance learning in a modern way using the best educational apps and technology.

  • Lessons are colourful and varied! 
    My pupils love their lessons because they get to experience hands-on playful learning with my large and small-scale resources.

    e.g. giant floor staff, percussion instruments, balls, bubbles, playdough and puppets.  See my facebook page for my latest ideas and creations!

decorate the piano keyboard music alphabet in Didsbury piano lessons Manchester
fun piano games Didsbury piano teacher Manchester

Some of my games, colourful resources and high quality apps to enhance learning

We challenge ourselves!

  • I care deeply about my pupils’ progress and pass on my high standards to them.

  • Pupils participate in a range of fun and varied challenges so they can all measure success and feel ‘part of something.’

  • I’m skilled at finding what motivates each pupil and getting the pace right for them.  No ‘one-size-fits-all’ tuition here!

  • I focus on building a solid and healthy physical technique right from the start so my pupils of all levels develop the skills and facility to freely express their musicality.  
Challenge poster fun piano lessons in Didsbury Manchester
Beat The Bean Challenge Poster fun piano lessons in Didsbury Manchester
Apple challenge fun piano lessons in Didsbury Manchester

Some of the challenges we have enjoyed

Lessons for adults

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.

Performance opportunities

All my students are welcome to perform in our annual student concert, currently held at Emmanuel Church, Didsbury. 

It’s a lovely fun occasion for families to celebrate together, and for us to help others by raising money for a chosen charity each year.   

I also plan to put on termly events for my pupils at West Didsbury CE Primary to perform in at school.  Parents are warmly invited to attend and it’s a great chance for us to meet. 

Exams

When my pupils have built great strong foundational skills in playing, reading and listening then taking music exams can be a great part of their learning journey. 

Because I ensure these skills are firmly in place, it leads to exams being a really positive and valuable experience and a useful benchmark of success for both pupils and parents, and they get great results.   

I pride myself on providing a well-balanced musical education.  Each student has a carefully planned curriculum which can include taking exams.  These are usually with ABRSM (but also LCM and Trinity Guildhall). 

Exams are not obligatory though, and I steer clear of a conveyor-belt approach!

What does a well-balanced musical education look like?

There are no hard and fast rules!  But here is a brief guide to my core components of a year’s learning:

  • many solo pieces from classical, jazz, traditional/folk and contemporary styles.

At the beginner/foundation stage this will be lots of pieces – we often aim for 40 a year!

After the beginner/foundation stage this will include ‘core’ classical repertoire and will normally include at least 15 solo pieces at the student’s current level plus easier pieces.

  • duets and ensemble music.
  • technique work (a mix of exercises, scales, studies).
  • music theory and learning through listening, composing and improvising.
  • weekly sight-reading assignments.

Piano practice

Learning an instrument involves a commitment to regular practice.  Realistically, at least 4 or 5 times a week to make good progress.

I teach all my pupils how to practise, so that they can a) progress faster between lessons and b) become better, more confident, independent learners.  

Parents can help by setting up a daily practice routine and checking the weekly learning guidance sheets I provide. 

Be prepared to get involved- it is a team-effort! Young learners need plenty of parental support, encouragement and reminders of how to practise. 

Instruments

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

An acoustic piano or quality digital piano (with weighted keys) is ideal, of course!

However, I understand that it might feel like too much of a financial commitment to purchase this in the early stages.  So I am happy for a keyboard to be used to get started- but realistically only for the first couple of months.  Otherwise it is a bit like trying to play tennis with a badminton racket!

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

Lessons at my home take place on a superb Schimmel upright piano which everyone loves to play!

Location

Piano lessons take place in my bright and airy family home in West Didsbury, Manchester.  There is freely available parking on the road.  If you need to wait indoors there is a waiting bench in the hall!  Normally parents drop off pupils and collect them after the lesson, but you are also welcome to arrange to come watch a lesson periodically.

I am also a piano teacher at these schools:

  • Manchester High School for Girls
  • The Manchester Grammar School
  • West Didsbury CE Primary School

For more information about prices and timetabling in my home studio please see the tuition fees page, or contact me with any other questions you may have.

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