I have been teaching for last 10 years, working with all age ranges and abilities on the guitar, banjo and ukulele. My areas of expertise are more acoustic folk, ﬁnger-style and classical, however I am skilled and knowledgeable in other styles too.
I began learning the guitar when I was 8 years old and it has remained a huge passion of mine ever since, adding the banjo, ukulele, mandolin, bass, lap steel and bouzouki to my repertoire. I have performed in a wide range of bands throughout my life including folk bands, soul bands and jazz bands. I have spent the last 9 years touring the country with my band Maia, playing at prestigious festivals such as Glastonbury, Isle of Wight festival and Cambridge Folk festival.
I began teaching in 2005, when asked by my music teacher to teach students at the school who were not able to afford private lessons. I have since gone on to teach children with autism and dyspraxia, and have worked with all ages, ranging from 3-95!!
As well as this, I have spent the last couple of years working with the charity Live Music Now, which has seen me delivering interactive music workshops and music classes to children in Special Needs Schools, Care Homes and Day Care Centres. I also work in mainstream schools throughout Leeds, delivering workshops to children of all ages.
I try to tailor my lessons to suit the needs of the individual, making sure I create a friendly and relaxed environment to encourage learning and most importantly fun!
I like to ﬁnd out what the student wishes to achieve with their playing, and work with them to help them achieve their goals.
In guitar, I can help you learn your favourite songs, riffs, and solos, whilst increasing your knowledge and technical ability on the instrument.
In the banjo lessons, I like to introduce the basic elements of banjo playing, again working on technical skills whilst learning tunes and songs.
I use and teach the ukulele regularly in my school work, and like to sing songs and play nice tunes with it! I ﬁnd the ukulele a great instrument to get started with, particularly for younger children, as the smaller instrument size and simpler chord shapes make it perfect for absolute beginners!
In all of these, I also work on developing improvisation and ultimately helping you to bring out your own personal style.
I also offer the option of working through the grades if the student wishes!
I like to tailor my lessons to suit the individual needs of the student, so if you are just looking to learn the basics and enjoy playing music, I am more than happy to teach you your favourites songs, whilst working with you to develop your skills with studies, techniques and exercises.
In banjo lessons, I like to get stuck in straight away; learning the basics through tunes and songs. I have a large database of music to learn from, and provide exercises and workbooks to go through.
In ukulele I will teach you the basic skills ﬁrst, working on strumming chords and ﬁnger picking patterns in your favourite songs and tunes.
I am able to cover topics such as rhythm, harmony, scales, chords, fretboard knowledge, reading music, tab and more, across all levels and styles of music on guitar, banjo and ukulele.
I am a professional musician, regularly singing and playing my instruments together, so am able to give tips and techniques to help you with this too!
Also, if the student wishes to take part in exams I am more than happy to help them through this.
My areas of expertise in guitar are classical and acoustic styles, including ﬁnger-picking, open tunings. And with 20 years experience of playing the guitar, I am also very comfortable playing in other styles such as rock, blues, funk and R&B.
In banjo, I specialise in clawhammer or frailing styles, but I can also teach three ﬁnger/Scruggs style and other old time styles.
I use the ukulele to sing songs a lot in my workshop and school work, and I ﬁnd it a lovely instrument to add a nice chordal backing to sing along to.
And as I have had the pleasure of playing and singing in folk clubs, venues and festivals across the country, I am a conﬁdent performer and singer, both solo and in bands.
Other than teaching guitar, banjo and ukulele I travel the country delivering workshops to mainstream and Special Needs Schools, Care Homes and Day Centres. I also perform as a solo folk artist and with my band Maia, playing in venues and festivals across the country and in Europe.
I have spent time working in a Recording Studio as a Studio Manager, and have an Honours degree in Music Technology and Popular Music. I also have my own recording equipment, so am able to offer personalised recordings of your playing and music.
I have had experience working as a Guitar Tech., so I am more than happy to offer advice for repairs and purchasing new equipment.
I am also a proﬁcient singer, having sung in several choirs from a very early age. I gained knowledge of vocal techniques after specialising at A-level, and after 10 years of singing professionally with Maia and in my solo work, I can help you improve your voice.
I am constantly working on my own playing, always looking to improve my knowledge and skills to be a better musician and teacher!
I am able to teach from my home in Burley Park, and am also happy to travel out to your own home throughout the Leeds area. Travel prices may be incurred.
|Lesson length||30 min||45 min||1 hour|
|Price at my location||£15||£20||£25|
Bulk Lesson Discount - 4 x 1 hour lessons for £90. Please indicate your interest to take up this offer when you make contact.
"I just wanted to say how impressed we are with Simon, he makes the lessons a pleasure for Maya & is so patient & easy to get along with, we feel very lucky that we were matched with such a great teacher!"
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to say something about my experience of Simon, especially in reference to the skills appropriate to this position. Simon has been giving me music lessons for nearly 3 years, a process during which he has shown remarkable patience and insight. He is an extremely gentle and centered human being, as well as being hugely creative and intelligent. In particular, I have enormous conﬁdence in his capacity to create the kind of warm and trusting relationships that can really support learning, self-conﬁdence, and creative movement into new experiences. It has been my experience that when I have felt frustrated, nervous or fearful about playing pieces of music, especially when I have not performed them as well as I would have liked, Simon has taken every effort to maintain my dignity and make the mistakes part of a comfortable learning experience for me.
Simon devises an ongoing and evolving program of study and practice for me to learn the skills and theoretical knowledge appropriate to playing and enjoying my chosen musical instrument. He adapts the program according to my learning needs, sometimes challenging me further, sometimes making a task more manageable in light of some speciﬁc difﬁculty I am experiencing."
After contacting Simon, he will normally be in touch with you within 48 hours. You will also receive a confirmation email, which includes Simon's contact details.