Mike Paul Music

General Information / Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer group lessons?
I'd generally advise against group lessons as people nearly always progress at different rates. If you'd like group lessons for the purpose of cutting costs a better approach would be take it in turns. (For instance a 30 minute lesson can be split in half with one person taking the first 15 minutes and another person taking the second 15 minutes.)

What age range do you teach?
I have taught people of more or less all ages. In general there isn't a correct age to start learning (however the very young and the very old may struggle). I don't impose hard boundaries on age though as everyone's different. If you're unsure you can always try a lesson to see how you get on.

What lesson length should I go for?
It's entirely up to you, but generally shorter lessons work better for younger people and longer lessons work better for older people.

Do you teach complete beginners?
Yes I do. I am patient and friendly and try my best to make beginners feel at ease.

Can parents sit in on lessons and do you recommend it?
Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons. Sometimes a parent sitting in can help pupils to focus and to be better behaved whereas other times it doesn't help as a parent's presence can make a pupil feel more pressured and stressed.

What are the advantages of private lessons over school lessons?
At school students are taken out of their academic lessons for their instrumental lessons (which can have a detrimental effect on their school education) whereas with private lessons they are not. Private lessons can also continue over the school holidays, be one-to-one and be longer than school instrumental lessons meaning that privately taught students should progress faster.

How can instrumental lessons be of benefit academically?
Working towards grades is the best way to achieve this. They allow for a structured way of learning and prepared grade performance pieces can be used when working towards GCSE or A level music or music technology. Higher grades can help to qualify people for university as they are worth UCAS points. I am also able to help with other elements of music such as theory, composition and aural.

Do you teach people how to play songs?
Yes I do. I recommend that people source music books for these, though it can be possible to find transcriptions on the internet or to work things out by ear (however this can be time consuming).

Do you teach people how to read music?
If it is required for to the student to reach their objectives then yes, otherwise not necessarily. For instance on guitar to learn classical music it is generally necessary to learn to read music, but it is less appropriate when learning pop/rock etc (where reading TAB, chords or taking a more improvisatory approach is more suitable).

What are some of the benefits of taking lessons?
If you take lessons you will learn the correct technique straight away, which means that you won't have to 'unlearn' things later should you have gone about things the wrong way. You will receive instant feedback about how to improve your playing or technique. If you have a certain goal I will be able to put in place a structured plan and give you objectives so that you will be able to reach that goal. Having regular lessons will keep you motivated as you will want to show that you have progressed each time I see you.

What are the pros and cons of you teaching at your house versus my house?
If I teach you at your house the main advantage for you is the convenience of not having to travel to me and potentially waiting if you are dropping someone off. However as my travel time needs to be paid for it will be less cost effecient for you to have lessons at your house. Also, at my house I have a room geared up especially for teaching, so depending on what we're learning, there may be some teaching resources missing at your house, which would be useful to have. Generally if you don't have a book to learn from I'd advise against the lessons being held at your house.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or additions that you feel would be appropriate via the contact form below. My prices are shown here.

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