Here are some generic answers to some frequently asked questions. 

If you can't find the answer to your question(s) on this page, or you would like a more detailed response than what I have provided already; please do feel free to contact me directly by phone, email or via my 'Enquiry Form':

Lesson FAQs

Qu: Do I need to bring my own instrument to my lessons?

Answer: Not at first as although I would suggest that you use the same instrument in lessons as you use for your own practice; I have instruments available for use in my lessons. However, I would suggest that if you wish to see yourself making good progress and so that you make the most out of your lessons, you should have your own instrument that you can practice on between lessons. 

Qu: I'm about to retire and I have never had music lessons before. Is it too late to start?

Answer: No, in fact a large proportion of my students are those that have retired and are interested in exploring new hobbies or interests that perhaps they were not able, or didn't have the time to do during their working lives. It is never too late to start lessons, no matter what your learning goals are: whether you want to learn for fun; learn some of your favourite songs; develop some new skills; earn some additional qualifications or perhaps have always wanted the opportunity to perform in front of people at concerts & workshops. 

Qu: How long will it take me to learn my favourite song?

Answer: As with everything, there are a countless number of factors that will effect how long it will take for you to learn the necessary skills for you to perform any specific piece of music. What I can say is the more drive, focus, commitment and time that you put into your practice and lessons the faster and more thoroughly you will learn any skills or, in this case, a piece of music. This is something we can discuss during your 'trial lesson' in order to put a programme of lessons together that will help you to achieve your learning goals. 

Qu: I just want to music lessons for fun. Do I have to study specific pieces of music, or take exams?

Answer: My lessons are designed around you, your interests and learning goals. If you don't have any specific piece in mind that you would like to learn then I will provide you with a wide variety of pieces to explore a wider spectrum of skills, genres and style of music as possible. Regarding exams, although the exam syllabus does provide an excellent programme of study to improve all aspects of music performance, across a wide variety of styles of music; I do not expect all of my students to follow this course of study and this is something we will discuss in your 'trial lesson'. However, if you change your mind and wish to perform any specific pieces of music and/or start your music performance and theory exam studies, then I would be more than happy to facilitate this at any time. 

Qu: Do you travel for lessons and could you provide them in my home?

Answer: No, I do not provide this type of lesson. I state clearly on both my 'Home' and 'Lessons' pages on my website that all of my lessons take place in my dedicated music teaching studio. This purposefully designed, and suitably equipped studio is the most appropriate place for me to provide a focused, well resourced, comfortable & safe learning environment for my lessons. There is plenty of on site parking provided, in a gated driveway away from public car parks. This studio is attached to, yet not internally accessed from my home property and therefore provides a separate, professional learning environment from my living accommodation. There is scope for parents of younger students to sit in during their lessons, but in my experience this does have a clear impact on their ability to focus in lessons as often this creates pressure for them to perform well and therefore be less relaxed and enjoy the lessons, leading to them making less progress and sadly sometimes loosing interest altogether. For your reassurance I am a full member of multiple professional teaching and music organisations such as: the Registry of Guitar Tutors; Incorporated Society of Musicians and Musicians Union, as well as having public/professional liability insurance and an enhanced DBS disclosure certificate. I also have established safeguarding training from my time as a classroom music teacher in secondary schools and have completed an additional music education safeguarding training course.

Qu: Why do you only offer 45 minute lessons to 'Junior' students and why do you not offer 30 minute lessons?

Answer: There has been much scientific research into the attention span accredited to people of different ages. Although the results are variable and there is no specific scale accredited for exact age groups, the general results of this body of research suggests that the timescale that we are able to focus intently on a specific task increases in parallel with your age. For example; a person aged 6 has an average attention span of twice their age, plus about 2-3 minutes, so therefore between 14-15 minutes. Therefore I allow for the shorter attention spans of younger 'Junior' students, offering them the slightly shorter lesson time of 45 minutes; all other lessons that I offer are for either 60 or 120 minutes. I usually split my lessons down into smaller 'sub sections' lasting between 10-15 minutes (depending on the content of the lesson such as the level of difficulty, as well as the students individual training plan). During a lesson I must also allow time for settling in and warming up which usually takes around 5 minutes, and then packing away and reflecting on the progress made during the lesson which again usually takes around 5 minutes. If I were to offer 30 minute lessons, this would imply that only 20 minutes of this time would be focused learning time (after setting up, and allowing 5 minutes to pack away), and that would only leave time for around 2 short activities. Offering a minimum of 45 minutes (for 'Junior' students only) allows for revisiting key activities during the lesson, and by being able to 'scaffold' exercises in lessons and by incorporating reflective plenaries, we are able to embed learning more effectively.  

Qu: Me and my friend/colleague would like to have our lesson at the same time, will this be okay? 

Answer: I am more than happy to facilitate paired/small group lessons (up to 3 people) if this is your desired lesson format. The pricing of these lessons is outline on my 'Lesson Details' page of my website. When purchasing paired/group lessons the bulk payment discount will still apply (as you pay for this lesson at a rate 'Per Person'). You will need to make your request to have paired/group lessons clear when contacting me to set up lessons so that I can make any necessary adjustments to my facilities to accommodate your learning group. 

Qu: What is the 'Registry of Guitar Tutors' and why are you a member?

Answer: The Registry of Guitar Tutors (RGT@LCM) was set up in 1992 to improve the status and professional recognition of guitar teachers within mainstream music education. It has now merged with the London College of Music (LCM) which is part of the University of West London (UWL), which provides internationally-recognised accredited qualifications. The RGT@LCM is the world's largest professional guitar teaching organisation delivering LCM examinations across the UK, Europe, N. America, Aurstralia, New Zealand and the Far East. I am proud to be a member of this professional body; contributing to the professionalism and accreditation of guitar/music education. For more information about the RGT@LCM please visit their website:  https://www.rgt.org/index.php 

Qu: What qualifications can you help me to gain and are they recognised by universities and employers?

Answer: I teach the LCM exam syllabuses in Acoustic, Electric, Classical and Bass Guitar; Ukulele performance exams, as well as both the LCM exams in Popular Music Theory and Singing (Both Classical & Popular), as well as the ABRSM exams in the Theory of Music in Music Literacy. I regularly enter students for the annual exam series with a 100% pass rate at this time (April 2019). All of these are Ofqual regulated qualifications, and all graded examinations from grade 6 and above are recognised Level 3 Certificates with attached UCAS points, which are accepted by Universities. Employers will recognise all Ofqual regulated qualifications and will appreciate the level of independent study required to complete these successfully (no matter what industry you work/intend to work in).

Qu: How much will I have to practice between lessons?

Answer: As with anything, the more you practice a skill, the better you will be at it; the same goes for music lessons. However, the amount you practice and the time you put into this between lessons is completely up to you, although if you wish to maintain a steady level of progress between lessons it would be advisable that you practice regularly. I would suggest that if you are having 60 minute lessons with me that you practice for at least that long between sessions. Practice is also more effective split between multiple shorter sessions, instead of one or two longer sessions. 

Pricing & booking FAQs

Qu: Who counts as a 'Concession' student?

Answer: Those who have reached the retirement age of 65; those who are currently studying a course at University or College (either full time or part time) and are in possession of an NUS or University/College ID card and those who are either serving or retired members of either the Armed Forces or Emergency Services through the Defence Discount Service & Blue Light Card initiatives, who are in possession of either their Defence Privilege Card or Blue Light Card will be classed as 'Concession' students.

Qu: How can I pay for my lessons/resources?

Answer: I am happy to receive payment for lessons in any of the following formats: i) Cash, ii) Cheque (bulk series payments only), iii) BACS payment, iv) PayPal, v) Credit or Debit Card and vi) Additional Contactless Payment Methods including Apple & Google Pay. If paying by cheque I must see that the payment has cleared before beginning the first lesson of the bulk series. In all cases you will be provided with an invoice for all lessons and/or resources being provided which also acts as your receipt of payment. If paying by BACS please use the bank details and reference provided for you on your invoice. To pay via PayPal you can either be sent a PayPal payment request or you can follow this link:  paypal.me/JHorseyMusicTuition 

Qu: Will I be charged for missing a scheduled lesson and/or will this be deducted from my lesson series - for those paying by bulk?

Answer: As confirmed in my 'terms and conditions' statement above, and as will be explained and agreed to in writing in the 'Private Music Tuition Agreement' which is completed with each of my new students; if you have booked a lesson with me (whether this is part of a series of lessons, or those who choose to book lessons on a 'pay as you go' basis) and miss that lesson without providing the appropriate amount of notice, then I will require payment for that lesson (or will deduct that lesson from the payed lesson series). I will of course take into account 'exceptional circumstances' on an individual basis, however this is discretionary. 


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