Note: With the current COVID situation I am only taking on intermediate or advanced students who are happy to have lessons over Skype, FaceTime or potentially other video conferencing apps. As long as you have a computer or tablet that has video and sound capability then remote lessons are possible and can work well for most students. In my experience beginners get best value from face to face lessons which I hope to restart when the situation allows.
I am a guitar and music teacher based in Lyndhurst, covering the New Forest, South Hampshire, Lymington, Brockenhurst, Totton, Waterside and Southampton. I teach children and adults classical, acoustic and electric guitar whether they are beginners, already have some playing ability or are more advanced players. My lesson plans are individually tailored to the student so I can address their specific goals and encourage and help them to become better players and musicians.
My primary aim for all my students is to make learning the guitar fun and to inspire their enthusiasm. For adult beginners, or re-starters, age is absolutely no barrier to enjoying learning and playing the guitar. In fact I would encourage those who have maybe put off the decision to pick up the instrument to jump in and be surprised at the progress they can achieve.
I can usually offer a free half hour starter lesson, depending on my availability and the nature of the enquiry, to understand what level the student is at, what they are hoping to achieve and how I can help them become a more proficient, confident and musical player.
Why lessons are important
Whether the student’s aim is to learn a few chords or, for more advanced players, to master a particularly challenging solo piece, the journey to that goal can be hugely enjoyable and satisfying. A good teacher can ensure that the beginner adopts a sound approach to learning the instrument from the start. For more experienced players the teacher helps them to improve and refine both their technical and musical skills. Setting realistic goals and expectations is key but achieving those stated goals generates motivation and enthusiasm in spades. Through my own studies and years spent playing I have adopted and adapted methods that help students to achieve technical fluency and to think and play musically, giving them a solid foundation for their continued study and enjoyment of music making.
My lessons concentrate on both technique and musicality which coupled with a sound practise regime allows the student to make solid progress. Unstructured self learning can lead to bad habits and other problems, such as strained hands, or cause the student to get trapped at a level of proficiency that they find hard to progress beyond. Even though there is much information available in tutor books and online, individually tailored lessons offer a huge amount more. By focusing on the technical and musical training that’s specific to each individual’s needs and by providing encouragement and feedback my students invariably make more substantial progress than if they were learning by themselves with printed or online resources.
I do not insist that students read music or learn to read music and many players can make great advances without doing so. Where appropriate, however, I will encourage students to ‘learn the dots’ and/or tabs, particularly if they are embarking on a course of classical guitar study or are more advanced acoustic or electric guitar players. Reading music notation, or even tabs, can seem daunting at first but with the right approach it needn’t be and it will help to unlock the vast repertoire of music that’s out there.
Learning to play the guitar can often be a bit of a solitary endeavour so I usually arrange pieces, or studies, with my students so I can play along with them. This helps to develop musicality, a solid sense of rhythm and the confidence to play with other musicians.
If students are interested in a more formal course of study through ABRSM grades I am happy to arrange that. For more advanced students I can work with them on arrangements, music theory and composition. I can also cover some of the techniques and altered tunings used by the current breed of contemporary acoustic guitar players.
Lesson fees etc.
I teach from home, or by Skype/FaceTime etc., and lessons are weekly, or fortnightly, to suit the student. Lesson fees are £27 per hour or £19 for 40 minutes. Tuition is paid for in advance with an initial block of 3 lessons as in my experience it’s difficult for students to get much value out of less than 3 lessons. Additional lessons, or a longer course of study, can of course be arranged as necessary. Cancellations, or rescheduled lessons, are free if I am given 24 hours, or more, notice. Otherwise the full lesson rate is charged. ‘No shows’ are similarly charged. My strong preference is to teach from my home but in exceptional circumstances I can arrange student home visits. Home visits incur an additional charge based on my hourly rate and on the travel time involved.
People have busy lives so I offer lessons during weekday evenings and Saturday mornings in addition to normal weekday daytimes.
If you are interested in becoming a better guitar player and musician then I’d love to hear from you.
Please use my contact form Contact Me
or email me Steve Bowles
or call me on 07486 416616