What ages do you teach?

I teach from age 6yrs upwards. There’s no upper age limit!

Do I need a piano?

If you wish to learn to play the piano you will need to do regular practice so it’s essential that you have access to a piano or at least to a keyboard with full size keys. Access to an instrument that’s capable of producing harmonies – piano, keyboard or guitar – is essential if you wish to pursue theory or composition.

Am I too old to learn?

Some of my most able and enthusiastic pupils are ‘older’. In my teaching experience I have never found age to be a barrier to achieving a high standard in any musical area.

Do I have to sit exams?

No. Although the grade exams are often an impetus to achieving a rigorously high standard of performance, I have many pupils who are simply learning for pleasure or for other reasons.

What styles of music do you teach?

All styles requested apart from improvised jazz.

Do I have to learn theory?

In order to progress beyond Grade 5 on any instrument the ABRSM requires that you pass Grade 5 theory (although appropriate substitutions will be considered by the ABRSM on request).
If your aim is not to take exams or to sit any exams higher than Grade 5 it is not necessary to study theory. Theory, however, is a valuable and interesting subject in itself and also adds to your understanding of music and your roundedness as a musician. The insight that study of theory gives into the construction of music is invaluable if you are serious about learning to play an instrument or learning to compose.

How long are lessons?

Most pupils have 30 minute lessons and I would certainly not recommend any longer than this for young children. 45 minute lessons are ideal for pupils who are more advanced and tackling longer pieces. Advanced pupils – those who are working towards Grade 8 or higher, or who are at an equivalent level – usually take hour long lessons.

How often does my piano need to be tuned?

Your piano should be tuned twice a year. There are some reputable piano tuners in the Darlington area. I use Mr Oliver Nunn who is based in Northallerton and who can be contacted on 01609 882328

Where can I buy my music?

J G Windows stock a wide range of instruments, sheet music and theory books.

For more details please contact me by email at elaine@yourforte.net or by phone on 01325 463538 or 07709 720305

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