I teach the piano, guitar and bass guitar from complete beginner upto degree level and beyond, i have taught music to over 800 students over almost 30 years. I draw upon all of that experience to tailor lessons to each individual students needs and aspirations. To me music lessons should not be a generic syllabus followed by every student, as much as all students follow a general route each student grasps certain skills and understandings at different points of learning, this concept is central to how i teach and why my students not only really enjoy their lessons but develop faster and understand music in more depth.
Too much time is spent playing scales end of. Now dont get me wrong everything we listen to in music has a scale as a foundation however a scale simply implies harmony whereas a chord specifies the harmony, think of it this way the diatonic major scale has 4 chord types, the Major 7, the Minor 7 , the Dominant 7 and the Minor 7b5, all 4 of these specify a harmony of itself, take modal music, a complete harmonic centre can be found by 1 chord alone. In all of my musical career the only time i have ever been asked or needed to play a scale is to demonstrate the sound in a lesson. Leaning harmony from its single cores of triad chords and understanding that using different passing tones with each chord will then imply the harmony of different scales, this way of learning music instills the basics in terms of understanding and hearing along with technique and expands it gradually together as the student learns and develops. The system i teach comes from the great teachers, my grand teacher was Charlie Banacos who taught many greats including Marcus Miller and Mike Stern, Charlie himself was taught by Madame Chaloff who taught Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock among many others. Madame Chaloff's own teaching heritage can be mapped back to the teachers of Mozart and Beethoven. having been fortunate enough to have studied music on this direct and pestigious lineage i dedicate my own studies and teaching to further use this great and simple system.
I have taught music grades from ABRSM, Rockschool and the Registry of Guitar Tutors as well as teaching on GCSE, A Level and Degree courses
Music Theory is something i am very passionate about, wether it be studying it myself or teaching it. So many times new students have told me they just dont get theory, then after a few lessons with me i mention theory and they smile as they know the way i teach it makes it very easy to grasp and then use to analyse any tune in any style.
Good Technique is paramount to musical progression, bad technique not only hinders progression but can cause injury too. Practice does not make perfect, if you practice something incorrectly you will only get good at playing it incorrectly, Perfect practice makes perfect, i always make sure my students learn perfect technique.
Improvisation combines theory, technique and creativity. without theory and technique you simply limit your creativity, the more you understand your instrument and the language of music the more creativity you unlock.