Online Lessons Now Available

Good Afternoon All,

As everyone is fully aware there has been a huge change in the daily lives of a vast number of people with the concern over Coronavirus. A lot of alterations are taking place, restrictions on movement and contact are one of them. Insofar as teaching this has had quite an impact on any face to face lessons I was engaging in and offering. I made the decision to halt face to face lessons until news comes in that we’re good to return to business as usual. I will be offering my services on an online basis.

I now offer lessons via Skype and Whatsapp video with payments made online. I have tried and tested this over the last week with great success and feel confident that I can offer quality tuition done this way under the current climate.

Stay safe, take care, stay healthy, stimulated, creative, hopeful and look after each other.

All my best

Jo xx

Categories: Advice and checklists, Business, Coronavirus, Online Guitar Lessons, Online Lessons | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year and Grade successes

Welcome back and Happy New Year for 2020! May all of your creative goals be ready and raring to go after an indulgent Festive December.

I have 3 congratulations to students this week after they successfully achieved their chosen Grades at the end of 2019 –

  • Bailey Haydon – Achieved a Merit in RSL Awards Grade 1 Electric Guitar
  • Rowan Tookey – Achieved a Merit in RSL Awards Grade 4 Electric Guitar
  • Nathan Kartikapallil – Achieved a Distinction in RGT@LCM Grade 1 Acoustic Guitar

They all worked very hard and managed to keep their focus and actually enjoy the experience even whilst the busiest season of the year was about to happen. I’m very proud and made up for each of their successes.

It’s been a pleasure!

Categories: children's lessons, Goals, Guitar / Theory Grades, Learning, RGT, RGT@LCM, RSL Awards, students | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

RGT Grade 2 Distinction Congrats

Good afternoon!

I’d like to congratulate my guitar student Gareth on the hard work he put into his RGT Grade 2 Acoustic Guitar exam and prep. Gareth has just found out he’s achieved a Distinction. This is great news and well deserved!

The exams and certificates work really well in giving a sense of recorded and measured achievement for learners. Each building gradually on the previous grade. I highly recommend this pathway for guitar students who think it may be for them.

Good work Gareth!

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Grade 5 Music Theory success

A huge congratulations to Mickey for successfully achieving his Grade 5 ABRSM Music Theory! Mickey had no prior Music Theory knowledge and in 3 months we have worked through books Grade 1 – 5, culminating in him passing his Grade 5 exam a few weeks ago. He had a Conditional Offer into LIPA BA (hons) Music degree with the understanding that it would change to Unconditional with the completion of his Grade 5 Theory….

Excellent news!

Well done Mickey for all the hard work you put in, it was well-deserved. Good luck and fun on your new journey and thanks for the prezzy!

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Guitar Student Profile #2 : Gareth

Hello and welcome to GUITAR STUDENT PROFILE #2

It’s always interesting and inspiring to read about other peoples journeys, especially in a pursuit you may be interested in yourself…..in this case learning to play guitar..

Gareth is an adult learner with a very demanding and often unruly profession.  He has a great love of music as a wind down and always puts time aside to play his guitar.  This really comes across in our guitar lessons and makes him very easy to work and chat music with!  In the time we have been having lessons together we have covered a lot of finger-picking songs such as Breathe by Pearl Jam, Who Says by John Meyer,  a few Steve Earle songs….the list goes on!  The current development is to build some Music Theory knowledge by working through some of the RGT Grade books.

Here’s what Gareth has to say about his journey and his guitar lessons……

Student:  Gareth

1) How long have you been playing the guitar?

I originally started playing the guitar at senior school learning to play the electric guitar. I passed my GCSE Music but unfortunately gave up. Fast forward 22 years and I decided to start learning again. I have been learning to play again for just over one year.

 

2) Why did you begin guitar lessons?

I began learning guitar as I have always enjoyed listening to music at home and love live music. I listen to many different genres and when I was younger I grew up listening to music my older brother liked which was predominantly rock and metal. I originally started to learn rock songs etc. More recently (as I have grown up) I enjoy a variety of music however recently enjoy music based around acoustic guitar. I would always look in the window of my local guitar shop at the acoustic guitars and one day decided I wanted to learn again. I am learning for personal enjoyment and as a hobby, I find practicing and playing a way to relax. It would be nice to reach a level whereby one day I could play fluently with confidence and possibly to play for friends or with other musicians however I am aware I’m still very much a beginner.

 

3) What do you enjoy most about lessons and playing the guitar?

I currently have one lesson weekly. I enjoy my lesson as Jo helps to tailor the lesson to suit my needs and current playing ability. In the time spent with Jo she has worked out some of my favourite songs / pieces. With practice I have managed to play some songs I would have struggled with or not even known where to start with this time last year. I particularly enjoy and started to listen to pieces using finger picking techniques, although I have only learnt basic techniques I find when playing on your own and practicing it can be rewarding as I think it produces a much more interesting sound. (When I get it right that is!) Jo is a very patient teacher and has always made lessons interesting, helping to break songs down so it’s manageable to learn and not overwhelming. I even enjoy lessons to have a chat with Jo about different types of music / artists. More recently I have decided to learn some basic theory and currently working towards Grade 1 Acoustic RGT. Again Jo is very supportive and knowledgeable and has helped to explain some basic theory aspects which I have found interesting and will hopefully help develop my overall playing and knowledge.

 

4) What do you find most challenging about the lessons and playing guitar?

I think learning any new skill can be challenging, it can be frustrating to know the sound you need to produce however learning the technique to accomplish it can be difficult. I struggle with-new chords and techniques that are unfamiliar.

 

5) Do you have any advice for people who may be thinking about having lessons and playing guitar?

As an adult beginner it can be hard to find the time to put in some serious practice with day to day life commitments, but don’t let it put you off beginning. Don’t go into it with the expectation it is easy, but at the same time it can be very rewarding even learning some basic chords and playing along to simple songs. Everybody has different learning styles / musical tastes and skill level, but personally have a think about what you are realistically looking to achieve from learning and tailor your lessons to this. Set small goals, don’t be disheartened when you listen to some of your favourite artists and instantly want to replicate the sound / song. It may sound obvious but try not to pick songs that are too advanced, I have done this but I hope to return to them in the future. You will get frustrated, I do at times, but don’t be at war with it or you won’t enjoy it. Keep your guitar out if you can, and even if you can’t find set time to practice, even just picking it up for 5-10 minutes and playing keeps you familiar with it. There is no need to buy expensive instruments to learn, pick up a decent lower end to mid-range guitar to start. Always consider a second hand guitar from a reputable shop. If it isn’t for you then you haven’t lost out a great deal on expensive instruments. I would definitely recommend Jo as a tutor if you are considering lessons as an adult or for children. Jo has always been flexible when I have had to rearrange a lesson and just one half hour lesson weekly can really help you to improve. Above all have fun with it, practice and play when time allows, stop thinking about and go do it!

Guitar Lessons Liverpool Gareth

 

Thanks Gareth!

Categories: Advice and checklists, Goals, Guitar / Theory Grades, Learning, Lessons, Music Theory, RGT, Student Profiles, students | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The power and beauty in learning

I love teaching guitar and I especially love it when people smile BIG after learning riffs, chords, songs or solos they thought were unattainable.

I was given this gift recently after my student Jamie got his head and his fingers around the riff to Sweet Child of Mine.   It took a while because he was 8 when he first wanted to learn it and it was slow going.  He’s now going to High School and we can jam this riff around together and it sounds great.  Now time to learn the solo 🙂

This is the kind of thing that makes it worth it,  not the gift necessarily (even though it’s awesome….!) but that a thought was spared to say thanks and that what might feel like the smallest achievement to one person can mean the world to someone else.  This always acts as a catalyst to spur people onto new goals…. enjoy learning!

 

Jo x

DSC_1196

Categories: Accompanying, children's lessons, Goals, Jamming, Learning, Lessons, Playing Skills, students | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

New Testimonials

A couple of new testimonials here from my lovely students…
“I was under Jo’s tutelage for many years. Before Jo, I was already a fairly advanced electric guitar player, but fancied learning finger style acoustic guitar. This, I was a complete beginner at. I found Jo’s lessons extremely rewarding, and now my acoustic skills far exceed my electric guitar playing. Jo and I learned many songs together, including Nick Drake and Bert Jansch to name just a couple. Jo managed to break these incredibly complex songs into easy to understand segments and displayed great patience as I fumbled my way through to begin with. On a general note, I found Jo to be a very friendly and knowledgeable tutor. I would have no trouble at all recommending Jo to anyone!”
Keith.  2018.
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“Jo was recommended by a mum in school.  She is not only a great guitar instructor but a lovely lady.  My son started guitar lessons when he was 7 years old.  Jo is patient and has a way of breaking things down so it is easy to learn and enjoyable.  She listens to what you want.  My son learnt to read the music when playing electric guitar.  She helped him get ready for school entrance and music exams.  I cannot recommend Jo highly enough”.
Victoria. 2018.
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Testimonials Update

One of the things I really enjoy about teaching guitar is the huge range of people that enquire and come for guitar lessons.  Such a wide age range and reasons for wanting to learn.

Allan is a Taxi Driver who has always loved music, he goes to live shows regularly and was inspired to started guitar lessons due to his enjoyment of Joe Bonamassa to name but one on his list of blues-infused players.  Allan decided to take the route of working throught RSL Awards Grades in order to build a good foundation, musical theory knowledge and hone the ability of reading TAB and playing along to backing tracks.

Here’s his testimonial –

 “jo is a very patient , skilled tutor with vast knowledge , I started my musical journey in playing later than most students , and currently taking a small gap , but will be back in touch with jo as soon as I can , I have switched between acoustic , electric and back again , all of this is no problem to jo , highly recommend , Allan , Wirral ,, thanks jo”

 

Jo

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Acoustic Guitar Grade 4 Success!

Congratulations are in order for my guitar student Ella who has just passed her Grade 4 RGT Acoustic Guitar Grade with a Merit.

A great achievement and a hardworking student who is a pleasure to teach.  Roll on Grade 5!

Ella Grade 4

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Guitar Student Profile #1 : Rifka Orton

Hello,

This is the very first of my guitar student profiles I’ll be sharing on the website.

I’ve found that people looking to learn  guitar get a lot from being able to read testimonials and read about other peoples learning experiences.  I teach a wide age range and abilities of students and people start lessons, and continue for very different reasons.

So what can I say about Rifka,  (..or Riffy..as she is often called.   A GREAT name for a guitarist!).  Riffy has been having lessons with me since she was 6.  After starting on a classical guitar she is now mostly seen with an electric guitar.  She has great playing ability, skills and techniques.  We have fun in the lessons whilst working at the moment through Rockschool Grade 2 Electric Guitar book and she has a great sense of music.

Here’s what she has to say…

Student:  Rifka Orton

1) How long have you been playing guitar?
I have been playing guitar for about six years.

2) Why did you begin guitar lessons?
I started guitar lessons because when i was six i loved the colour pink and my dad and I went to a car boot somewhere, I can’t remember where, and there was a pink-purple guitar and because of the colour i had to have it especially because it had a pony on it. My dad said I could only have it if I got guitar lessons and so I did. Now I play guitar for fun and because i don’t like pink as much I now have a red and white guitar.

3) What do you enjoy most about the lessons? and playing guitar?
I enjoy finding new songs to play and Jo helping me sound good. I also enjoy learning different techniques and styles that you find in some pieces of music and in some grading tasks.

4) What do you find the most challenging about the lessons? and playing guitar?
Some of the things I find hard include: mastering new techniques (even though I like it once I’ve mastered it), moving up a grade book and remembering scales.

5) Do you have any advice for people who may be thinking about having lessons in playing guitar?
If you own a guitar or know someone who has one that you could borrow, then try lessons out and then decide whether you want to continue.

 

Thanks Riffy!

 

Categories: children's lessons, Guitar / Theory Grades, Learning, Student Profiles, students | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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