I don’t know how to read music! Can I still learn an instrument?
Simple answer – OF COURSE! Music may look like a completely different language at first (well technically it is), but once you know the tricks its very easy to learn how to make sense of it all. Music reading is something that will be worked on in lessons and taught at the same time as learning your instrument.
I’m an adult, am I too old to learn an instrument?
No way! If you have the time to commit to practice and it’s something you want to do – then DO IT! Music is a great way to keep the brain sharp and lets not forget how much fun it can be busting out the sax at Christmas time and playing carols for the family, or pulling out the flute at your child’s party and playing happy birthday….
How many lessons will I need to be good?
It takes time, practice and patience to learn an instrument, it’s not something that can be mastered in a month or even a year! You will notice improvements from week to week, and the difficulty of the music you work on will get more challenging as you progress, which is a good indication that you are getting “good”. But everyone learns at different speeds, has different goals and varying degrees of motivation – so the answer to this question totally depends on you!
How long do I need to practice for each week?
I recommend doing a minimum of 3 X 30 minutes practice sessions a week, but keep in mind that the more you practice, the faster you will see results! Try and practice regularly throughout the week, even it’s only 5 or 10 minute sessions every day or two, this will mean you don’t go days without practicing and then forget what you’ve been working on!
What happens if I miss a lesson?
I have a strict cancellation policy in place. I teach private students in my own free time (I work at schools during the day) and I plan my week around my students. It is a huge inconvenience when students don’t come to their lessons with little or no notice at all. Please see my Lesson Terms & Conditions for more information.
What size reed should I use?
A good place to start is with 1 1/2 size reeds. This way it’s easy for you to make sound and you can focus on other aspects of playing. I also recommend buying a few different sizes to have lying around, so that when you feel the reed you are playing on is getting too easy you have a size 2 or 2 1/2 reed on standby to have a go at and see which one suits.
Do I need to learn theory? It sounds boring!
Theory is an important part of learning to play an instrument, and we start learning it right from lesson one! Theory is important to deepen our understanding of the music and how it should be played, and I like to teach the different elements of it as we reach them in lessons. It may sound boring but it can be fun and interesting as you learn to connect it with the pieces you’re working on. Lessons will always have some element of theory in it but will never be solely based on theory, so you don’t have to worry about being bored!
Do I need to do exams?
Only if you want to. I don’t force my students to do exams but I do encourage it. Exams are a great goal to work towards, but they aren’t for everyone, so if you are not comfortable taking exams and would rather just play for the fun of it – then no stress!