I have taught music since I was a teenager. I have become profoundly dissatisfied with school-age music education, particularly its focus on music grades and the incoherence and shallowness of the GCSE and A level music curriculums. As a result, I have developed an approach to teaching that focuses on a combination of breadth and rigour.
I have laid out my objections to the music grades in detail and will, in time, do the same for my concerns about music curriculums in schools. I can summarise my view in five points:
I cobble together resources from a broad range of educators: Paul Harris’s sight-reading books are excellent, Zoltan Kodaly’s approach to aural skills works well for me, Dorothy Pilling’s antiquated book on harmonisation will do for now.
In one area, I found a dearth of adequate approaches. Most students can play simple chord sheets from the very first lesson. There is, however, no book that helps absolute beginners progress from simple root-position block chords to more sophisticated comping and improvisation. I have written a series of books to fill this gap. These books integrate theoretical ideas, such as cadences, modes and rhythmic figurations, and develop aural skills. They aim to enable students to pick up songs easily, using online tabs and transcription.
You can see the first two of these books on the right; please email me for a copy. I’m keen to have educators and students trialling them so that I can fine-tune my approach.
Learn With Me
If you would like to study with me, please send me an email. I take students of all levels who are able to come to my home in South East London.