Viola and cello are the larger, and rarer, siblings of the violin – perfect for those who like to stand out from the crowd!
I teach these instruments from beginner level upwards, bringing together my specialist expertise as a violinist and experience of teaching and playing both of these instruments professionally.
I have no minimum age for cello students, but reserve the right to refuse any child under the age of 8, after a consultation lesson, if I feel that they are not yet ready for lessons. Every child develops differently at these young ages, so often 6 months will make all the difference to a child who is not yet ready!
The viola generally suits slightly older beginners, but again I am happy to consider students of any age, after a consultation lesson.
It is so easy when playing string instruments to get in to bad habits with posture and technique, which can cause a whole range of aches and injuries. In all my lessons, I use information and advice issued by the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine to make sure that my students are comfortable and safe when playing. This is something that if often neglected at the beginner stage, as there is so much else to teach! But I believe that learning a good posture and technique from the beginning can save string players a lifetime of trouble.
During lessons, I draw on Paul Harris’ Simultaneous Learning strategy. The core of this is that all aspects of musicianship – technique, musicality, aural, sight reading, scales and composition – are taught together, rather than being separated in to different portions of the lesson, often resulting in some of these being neglected. As well as ensuring that many more aspects are covered in a lesson, Simultaneous Learning is much more fun! A scale by itself is pretty boring, but when you can spot it in your favourite piece or try playing it ten different ways, then suddenly it’s much more interesting.