Gift Vouchers

I’ve started providing gift vouchers on request.

They can be for private or group lessons and i can also provide a starter pack of Capo, Tuner and plectrums on request so you have something more chunky to wrap up.

Gift Vouchers are available all year round but are obviously very poplar around Christmas so please give me as much notice as possible.

Give me a call for more information on 07814 147 975
John Doyle

Rock School

Guitar performance exams have, for a long time, been quite unpleasant.
The problem is that all the education boards that offered guitar exams only offered classical.

Guitar in schools has almost always been exclusively classical because it’s easier to track a students progress and it fits in quite well with the curriculum.
(If you require classical lessons, email me and i’ll suggest a couple of great teachers.)

This is great if you like classical guitar but not fun at all if you don’t. I love listening to classical guitar and watching it but i’ve never had a desire to be a classical guitarist, it’s just not my thing.
I’m sure it would be equally troubling for a classical guitar enthusiast to have to learn to play heavy metal in order to sit an exam.

The skill set required to play classical and popular guitar (acoustic, blues, rock, pop, country, metal etc..) are very different but students have never really been given the choice in school.
If you had guitar lessons in school they were probably classical.

Then along came Rock School.
The Rock School grading system means that students can get graded and sit exams in the same way that classical musicians do but playing more engaging, modern pieces on drums, bass and electric guitar.

This has been a revelation for teaching and GCSE performances as now there is an academic path for the electric guitarist to follow which previously did not exist.

I’m a great fan of the Rock School curriculum for this very reason and when it is taught in conjunction with ear training, theory and improvisation it can provide a really good foundation for the budding guitarist.

Can I Teach Myself?

Teaching yourself is an interesting idea.

Most people who consider themselves self taught actually had a teacher, it’s just the teacher wasn’t present at the lessons but instead was in a book, dvd or website.

This is fine but it has its drawbacks, mainly, with no teacher present the student is free to practice bad habits and poor technique without being corrected.

To put this in perspective, i made more progress in one year between the age of 17 and 18 than i did in the previous 10 years. It just so happens that at 17 i was introduced to a really good guitar teacher, up until that point i had considered myself self taught.

So yes, you can ‘teach yourself’ a certain amount and you might get lucky and develop a great technique regardless but i wouldn’t bank on it.

Even when i worked in Spectrum Music (Whitefields music shop) i would tell everyone who bought a new instrument to get a couple of lessons to start off with, just to get the basics down and form a good technique.

GCSE Music

Teaching in schools for over 10 years has given me a great insight into how to get the best results for my GCSE students.

Performance
I’m very proud of my students and i’m very proud about the fact that the lowest performance mark any of my students have had on a GCSE performance piece is an A!
This down to their hard work paired with my own experience of repertoire selection and preparation.

Composition
I like to develop composition and song writing skills with my students. Those who also sing have usually performed their own songs in front of an audience by the time they leave school, an experience i believe every budding musician should have as soon as possible.

Theory
I don’t see theory as a separate subject but rather gears and cogs that are all part of the musical engine. If theory is used and explained properly from an early enough stage it just becomes part of the students language and thought process. To me this is a much more organic way of understanding the instrument.