Home Piano Lessons in the Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park vicinity
** Please note I now offer lessons via Skype **
Hello there, I'm Alvin.
I am a piano teacher offering home piano lessons.
I travel to Crouch End, Hornsey, Muswell Hill, Islington, Finsbury Park, Highgate and Wood Green. The range of postcodes I cover includes N4, N5, N6, N8, N10, N17, N19 and N22.
I teach you to play adaptations of well-known music. I cover genres such as classical, pop, rock, anime, metal and jazz. The music I use in lessons is familiar, current, and at a suitable level of difficulty.
I also prepare students for graded practical examinations and teach song-writing and composition.
I have fifteen years' experience, and have full and current DBS clearance.
Why Learn the Piano With Me?
You learn positively, with music tailored to your abilities.
We work from music that you can play and move on to more difficult repertoire as your skills and concentration improve. The focus is positive, on what you can do and what you can aim for.
I develop your current piano skills so you can continually play harder, impressive-sounding music.
You get to play music you like.
Piano playing requires co-ordination of six or seven tasks, and it is always reassuring and satisfying to know you are playing the correct notes.
Playing songs you are familiar with also helps with improve the reading of musical notation, because you have already have an idea of what the music should sound like, and hence know what the written notes, rhythmic symbols and expression marks are trying to convey.
In my own time, I write out and arrange your favourite songs at a suitable level of difficulty for you to play, at no extra charge to you.
Do you know any other piano teacher who does that on a regular basis?
I charge reasonable rates and am flexible.
My rates vary depending on your location, but they are comparable to rates charged by local music services for children's piano lessons in schools. The current rate charged by Haringey Music Service is £32.00 per hour for the academic year 2017-18.
In some cases - such as when siblings have lessons, and if I'm already in your area - I charge the school lesson rate, or less !
I teach in areas such as Crouch End, Hornsey, Finsbury Park, Muswell Hill and Wood Green, and my travel costs are shared among students. Please contact me to ask - my rates are frequently lower than most teachers who do home visits.
You have control over the timing.
I visit your home to give piano lessons, which means you have a great degree of control over various factors. The first is the timing.
If you are considering piano lessons for a child, it would be good beforehand to know that piano lessons in school may sometimes be timetabled over lunch time (unfortunately, music teachers are paid an hourly rate so it works to their advantage to timetable lessons as closely as possible). If you have a child signed up for piano lessons in school, they may either have to miss a bit of lunch time, and make up for a bit of missed academic time if they are pulled out to attend piano lessons timetabled during these times. Your child may also have to remember to turn up for lessons of their own accord as these will not be made up if missed.
The latter point is especially true if they are in secondary school, because music tutors are not expected to fetch students out of classes to do piano lessons. Secondary school students have piano lessons on a rotating timetable so they do not miss the same academic lesson, and have to come out of different lessons, which may be difficult for them to remember, or they may not be let out by class teachers because they may be doing an important science experiment, having a test, or a supply teacher unfamiliar with instrumental lesson procedures may not let them out to attend their lessons. Choosing a piano teacher that visits your home means you have a lesson at a time that works for you.
And what if the piano lesson is for yourself, a working adult? I work around your schedule and try to find mutually convenient times, which may or may not be on the same day every week. I have taught junior doctors who worked shifts, professionals who travel frequently, and artistes who have had to carve out piano lesson times amidst rehearsals and shows.
You have control over the setting.
Besides the timing, you also have control over the level of background noise. Considering the piano teacher in your child's school? Piano lessons in schools may be timetabled over lunch or break times, which means that not only might your child feel resentful over missing out on playtime, there is a lot of noise coming from the outside which may impact on concentration and ability to focus.
You also have control over where you site the piano. In one school where I was a visiting piano teacher, the only place for the piano was in a shared room, which meant the children having piano lessons had to try to focus while some learning support lessons were going on in the other part of the room, which is not ideal. In another school I teach at, the piano room is set within the main music classroom, so there is always the sound of keyboards, pianos, guitars and drum kits outside the practice room. Piano lessons interfere with class lessons, and vice versa.
By having me visit your home, you have control over the teaching location and you get a piano teacher who works along with how you want to set it out. You arrange things the way you like them and I work with that. Furthermore you can manage the level of extraneous noise and set out the best conditions for yourself or your child - whoever it is that is having the lesson - to focus.
You get better, direct communication.
Peripatetic music teachers often teach in various schools during the day, as well as privately after school hours. If your child is signed up for piano lessons in school, the only time you may have an opportunity to see the piano teacher would be at parents evenings, which instrumental teachers may not be obliged to or may not be able to attend. (They are not necessarily paid to attend such meetings, or may be teaching.) Hence there is little opportunity to discuss with teachers about progress, and for many, the only contact between teacher and parent is an annual report. Sometimes there may also be a student lesson notebook where you can record messages but you would have to wait a week for a reply.
Having piano lessons privately with me means we can discuss progress and areas of concern immediately after the lesson. The feedback loop is instant, ever-ready, and you can even sit in on the lessons and observe your child's lesson if you wish. It's your house!
I have no cancellation fees.
I am particularly understanding if you need to cancel at short notice (e.g. due to child illness). Or maybe you've suddenly remembered about another appointment - as long as I've not appeared at your doorstep, that's fine!
Other music schools or tutors may require you to give 24 hours' notice for cancelling a lesson. I don't - no one plans an illness in advance! - and I understand that life sometimes just gets a little bit complicated for our liking!
Need a recap?
Music you like
A positive learning process
Control over timing and setting
No cancellation fees, no contract, no notice period!
If you are considering lessons either for yourself or your child, please contact me via one of the following ways:
by email: email@example.com
by text or phone: 0795 203 6516
In order for me to comprehensively answer your query, it is always useful for me to know the following:
(i) Your location (road name and/or postcode is sufficient);
(ii) The kind of piano you have (either upright, digital or electronic keyboard);
(iii) If you have been learning the piano elsewhere before, and for how long (if at all); and
(iv) The days and times you might possibly be free to have lessons on.
Blog Snippets - more in the Posts section!
Born Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe in New Orleans, sometime between 1885 and 1890 - historical records vary) the jazz legend who would later become known as Jelly Roll Morton learned the piano as a boy, and by the age of 12 he was performing in clubs and bars in New Orleans. Morton blended the popular music styles of the time, including ragtime, minstrelsy and blues. To this combination he further infused Caribbean dance rhythms. The resulting amalgamation was an emerging style that would later be known as "jazz."
Morton claimed to have "invented" jazz, which is an unsubstantiated claim, but he was, however, the first prominent musician to notate his music down. Morton's performances, both on piano solo and with backing jazz orchestras, were a blend of composition and improvisation, and devotedly rehearsed. When we listen to jazz music, the improvisations seem flawless, and magically pulled out of thin air; but we forget that underpinning these improvisations are chordal structures either of twelve-bar blues, circle of fifths, or scalic and chromatic chord progressions, which performers have assimilated into their subconscious through repeated practice and exposure to music.
Notating the music - or at least some parts - of classics such as "Black Bottom Stomp", "King Porter Stomp" and "Shoe Shiner's Drag" meant that not only was Morton, in his practices, going over certain sections thoroughly instead of playing different versions each time, he was able to show immediately to others what he was playing, instead of using visual demonstrations and ambiguous statements such as "You do this, then this, then this ... " Anyone wanting to know what Morton had played merely looked at what he had written down, and once that had been learnt, used it as a basis for improvisation.
We often associate jazz with free improvisation and playing by ear, but we should realise that these concepts arise as a by-product of theoretical understanding and practice, and not rely on them as starting points. What does this mean? To get better at playing the piano, learn to read music instead of proclaiming only to play by ear as if it were a badge of honour - this would allow you to access lots of music, which would in turn develop your harmonic skills and give you the basis for improvisation.
Home Piano Lessons | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0795 203 6516