I can read music and have attempted piano music before but I have never been able to grasp how to use my left hand at the same time as the right but playing something different! For this to be brought in immediately made me understand that Mike knows what he is doing, and that he encourages you to have a good go at anything. When mistakes are made, Mike is patient and supportive showing you where you went wrong and, most importantly, how to improve.
The practical side combined with music theory helps you play better. I can now glance at a piece of music and quickly know the effect that playing the piece should have on its audience, purely through an understanding of the notes and embellishments. This helps me play a certain way – the way in which the piece was intended to be played.
I was delighted when, in my introductory lesson, I had the opportunity to play a tune using both hands on a gorgeous piano. This might be what people expect from piano lessons! But for me it was unexpected and exciting. The lessons are light hearted, there is no pressure, and this relaxed atmosphere enables you to enjoy playing the pieces without fear of judgement. Mike is knowledgeable, passionate about music, and patient. These three skills make him an ideal music teacher both for practical and music theory. I would highly recommend Mike if you have a passion for music but also want a better understanding of what is truly behind a piece of music.
As well as the practical, Mike shows a passion for the theoretical aspect of music. I quickly found myself enthused about the significance of understanding the music which I would love to play. Having achieved a Grade 5 Trumpet examination and a GCSE in Music when I was at school I thought I had a fairly good understanding of music theory. However, in just four lessons after starting with Mike I had a better understanding of music theory than I gained through years of previous study. This is a credential to Mike; he explains clearly how the music works, and has tools which clearly illustrate things which seem complex at first glance. If I had had this teaching when I played the trumpet I believe that I would have been a better musician.
Jessica Grinsell (Regulations and Policy officer)