People are often discouraged from learning Classical
Guitar because they imagine it will be more complex and intimidating than other
styles. This is a great shame as the classical guitar is in many ways the ideal
amateur's instrument. It is perfectly suited to solo performance-
sounding complete in itself without the need to become part of a group. It has a
huge repertoire of fantastic music from all parts of the world. Entry level Classical Guitar pieces are complete in
themselves and immediately rewarding to play, whilst advanced students can look
forward to the challenge of tackling some of the most sophisticated and
beautiful music ever played on the instrument.
Classical guitarists have the advantage of learning from
a tried and tested body of teaching. The
guitar methods of Dionisio Aguado and Fernando Sor were published in the
mid 19th centaury and have been continually developed and improved upon by
successive generations of guitarists. All of my students receive a thorough
grounding, establishing a proper, relaxed sitting position, before moving on to
right and left hand development, tone production, reading, theory and aural
skills. At all stages I introduce specially selected pieces which are appropriate to
ability and which are interesting and rewarding to play.
Lessons are carefully planned to complement individual learning
styles. I passionately believe that learning should be stress free and
enjoyable. Students progress at their own pace and are encouraged to take on new
challenges only when they are ready for them.
Those wishing to enter for formal graded exams can choose
between 'The Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music' or the
'Trinity/Guildhall' syllabus. People who have studied with me over the years
have achieved consistently good results at all grades, including a high
proportion of credits and
distinctions. Throughout my whole teaching career I have had only one student
fail an exam. People, on the other hand, who do not wish to enter graded exams
preferring to pursue a more individual course of study are put under no pressure
to do so and can expect the same standards of instruction and level of
commitment on my part.
More advanced students are encouraged to broaden
their repertoire and deepen their understanding and appreciation of musical
history and culture. Lessons become more focused on the development of each
student's individual voice- reflecting his or her own interests and
tastes. technical development becomes more focused on problem solving in
relation to specific pieces, emphasising the practical skills needed in diploma
level examinations and in public performance.