I have been having piano lessons with Mike for some time now and am delighted, week on week, to be getting better at playing and more confident. Before starting lessons with Mike, I had been thinking for a while about taking up piano again, having played to about Grade 5 standard as a child. I thoroughly enjoy coming along to piano lessons and only wish I had taken it back up sooner!

Mike is patient, jolly and encouraging. He is very knowledgeable and this helps me to understand a piece of music in more detail and become a better all-round musician. Mike poses the right level of challenge in each lesson, giving me plenty to get stuck into, while also understanding that sometimes work and life can be busy.

When I first begun lessons, Mike asked some questions to find out more about what I wanted to gain from learning. Aside from the pure fun of playing piano (something I am enjoying in abundance!), I wanted to be good enough at piano to play in church and also to play in my work as a primary teacher. Mike makes sure to link my developing skills to how I can apply them to these contexts, helping me to reach these goals and expand my capability as a musician.

Mike is an excellent teacher and a kind, supportive person. If you are considering learning piano, whether as a beginner or a returner, I can highly recommend Mike.

Rachael E. (Primary Teacher)

Piano testimonial:

For some time I have longed to start learning the piano and was delighted when I came across Mike’s website when I moved back to Rotherham. It is clear that anyone who had the pleasure of working with Mike had made significant progress and their passion for playing the piano only grew. I have not long begun my journey with Mike but already I feel his lessons are extremely thorough, he is incredibly personable, kind and his skill and knowledge are undeniable. I strongly feel that the combination of those attributes and his patience will allow me to flourish into the musician that I aspire to be.

Natalie Kate Webster (Office Administrator)

Singing testimonial:

From being the age of 11, I had a passion for singing. At that age, I used to love having ‘singing lessons’ at home perfecting my own rendition of ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ and taking part in the music and drama classes at school. Then throughout my teens and into my early twenties I continued with singing tuition sporadically for fun but never really fully stepped into what it felt like to embody a singer: I was soon to find out now in my mid-twenties (even just through the introductory lesson with Mike) the technicalities of the voice and actually how to use it.

After the first lesson with Mike and however challenging for me (as I had never done the exercises or explored certain parts of my voice in such a way before) I was astounded at how with Mike’s knowledge and tuition I will be able to completely transform the relationship I have with the magical instrument that is, this voice. I came away from my first lesson not even really noticing that I had not stood and sung a song, it was a surprise on reflection! However, Mike clearly knew that this is not what I need right now and we need to work on the foundations first.

It is incredibly important to mention that at no point did Mike make me feel that I was wrong, only how I could improve and work on ironing out old habits. From my experiences with Mike, whilst it is obvious he has a structured lesson plan, it is clear he has an intuitive approach to guiding and teaching, as when he saw that I needed some further support he was quick to provide it and it felt he was really exploring my vocal register with me to see the areas we are soon to work on.

To say that I am looking forward to continuing to discover the capabilities of my voice with Mike would be an understatement. I feel that the voice that I have is a part of me and I have never given it the ‘air time’ so to speak. I have every faith that learning from Mike’s skill and knowledge (as a teacher and an accomplished musician) of the voice and combining it with my view of it as a sacred instrument will be everything that I have been looking for. Thank you, Mike.

Natalie Kate Webster (Office Administrator)

For me the piano is a personal choice of instrument. I enjoy the lessons and progress has made me realise about what I enjoy, so playing is not a chore. A piece of music can be a companion because it reflects how you feel, happiness or whatever mood. My wish is to be able to perform for family and friends although I do feel sufficiently relaxed to play in front of Mike who is helping me achieve piano skills and musical understanding.

Heather Braddock (Designer)

In the midst of the Covid pandemic in 2021 I decided life was too short not to have a go at something I’d always wanted to do – learn to play the piano. I would rather fail at something than not have a go. I found three tutors and thought I’d have an introductory lesson with each and see who was the most suitable. I was looking for someone who had experience with mature students and who would understand my inability/slowness to grasp new concepts.

I went for an introductory lesson with Mike. I was nervous but very soon felt at ease with his calm, friendly approach. I didn’t have a keyboard at this point but bought one a couple of days later. I didn’t need to look at other tutors, I felt instantly that Mike was the right person.

I played the flute at school but never did a graded exam – I didn’t practice! I sing in a great community choir so can read some music but I never thought I would manage to learn the bass clef. I have learnt so much and found it very interesting. I am taking in more than I actually thought I could due to genuine memory problems. Mike goes at my pace, he’s great at explaining things and he won’t move on until I have grasped the concept.

I am a novice, I don’t know a lot about classical music or famous pianists but I feel a new part of my brain has opened and I’m ready to learn. I wasn’t initially interested in exams because I honestly didn’t think I could learn something new but under Mike’s expert tuition I think I could have a go when he thinks I am ready. I am at the start of my piano adventure – watch this space!

Jayne C. (Social Care: Retired)

Music Theory testimonial:

It was important to me to make sure that I focused on my ability to read music and understand music theory alongside my piano lessons and singing lessons. Surprisingly, I am finding it really interesting and it is very fulfilling and satisfying especially when I can see the improvements and my ability to recall and remember what I have learned. It is my intention in the future to write my own songs so it is great to learn this skill.

Mike is very helpful and goes into a lot of detail whilst providing context to what is in the theory books to further my understanding. No question is out of the question and it’s great to be supported in this way by Mike.

Natalie Kate Webster (Office Administrator)

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