I’ve been having piano lessons with Mike for just over two months. Although I have always been interested in music I was never interested in playing an instrument until I left school in 2001. Since then I have tried several instruments including keyboard, piano, drums and guitar.
Until taking lessons with Mike I have always tried to teach myself by watching videos online on websites such as YouTube. This has worked to a certain extent but what I have found is that I can play a few songs but not very well. I recently decided I wanted more structure to my learning and to become proficient at one instrument rather than knowing how to play lots of instruments to an ‘OK’ standard. I searched for ‘piano lessons’ on Google and found several tutors within my local area. The thing that attracted me to Mike’s lessons was the number of genuine reviews and recommendations that he has on his website from a varied demographic.
My progress so far: despite having some basic knowledge, both myself and Mike decided together that we would start from the very start and work through both the theory and the practical as if I had never played before. This was fine for me as I knew I needed to ‘iron out’ a few self-taught bad habits. Three months have passed since my first lesson: due to my own time constraints I chose to take a lesson once every two weeks and the lessons themselves are one hour long usually split 50/50 between theory and practical. After six lessons and just a few hours in my spare time at home I am now in a position where I am ready to sit my Grade 1 theory exam. I am consistently achieving above 95% on practice papers, this is an amazing achievement as I had no prior knowledge on the theory side of things. It’s worth noting that the exams are totally optional and Mike doesn’t put any pressure on the student to take them as he appreciates that exams aren’t for everyone.
Mike has adapted part of his home into a fully sound proof studio where you can play as loudly or badly as you want without the fear of anyone outside listening in. This is great if you are just starting out or lacking in confidence.
Mike made me feel comfortable from the start and the pace of the lessons is perfect; with the theory we don’t move on until it is clear I have fully understood the topic we are covering and with the practical, we don’t move on until Mike is happy with my performance.
If anyone is reading this and wonders whether or not to give Mike’s tuition a go, then just try an introductory lesson. If you decide it’s not for you, then there is no obligation to carry on but I’m sure you will!
In November 2018, under Mike’s tutelage, I achieved Trinity College London Grade 1 Theory of Music exam with distinction gaining 94 marks out of 100; in May 2019 Grade 2 Theory of Music exam with distinction gaining 98 marks out of 100 and in November 2019 Grade 3 Theory of Music exam with distinction gaining 99 marks out of 100.
Chris Hall (Engineer)