Instruments to learn

Featured below are some of the instruments we provide music lessons for.  Many more are listed in the dropdown menu linked to this page.  If you are a beginner and don’t yet have an instrument to take to your music lessons, contact us direct and we’ll advise regarding hire or purchase.  Our good friends and sponsors at Ackerman Music are experts and we can liaise with them regarding your exact requirements – http://www.ackermanmusic.co.uk.  We can also advise regarding 2nd had purchase – their suitability, quality and value.

Perhaps you’ve not decided yet what you’d like to learn.  We can help you decide, simply call for a no obligation chat on 01273 831554.  We’ll advise regarding the suitability of all the instruments we provide lessons for – their complexity, sound, style and general appeal.  https://www.cassam.co.uk/contact-us/

Violin lessons

Violin lessons are taught from beginners level, mostly to children aged 5 years and upwards.  Individual and small group training is available, with emphasis placed on technique, enjoyment and maximised progression. We teach classical styles within most of our lesson structures, with ABRSM exams being the usual pathway… but folk music, rock and other alternative styles are also encouraged, with many of our tutors very active within the local music scene, in bands and ensembles.

Violin Lessons last for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour depending on your child’s age and ability. Variety is key to enjoyment so music theory, flash cards, scales, duets, music listening, aural skills and composition are incorporated.  A commitment to engaging teaching methods will result in your child appreciating, understanding and most of all, enjoying the music they play.

SCMT Music tuition is an ever-expanding community of strings specialists that are learning, teaching and performing together, ensuring that every young learner has everything they need to progress and be inspired.

‘We were provided us with a great violin teacher.  They take your details and requirements and connect you with the best possible teachers.  I had a very positive experience since the beginning. It is a second year River is teaching my daughter and she ‘s very into it.  He is motivating, praising if deserved, gives constructive feedback. We have had online lessons via Zoom during lock down and the teaching and communication was professional and good quality.’  Lucy, parent

violin

Violin

Trumpet lessons

The trumpet is a rather loud instrument compared to some of the other woodwind and brass options which means you’re going to stand out if you have trumpet lessons!  Trumpeters are often the lead players and generally speaking the brass section of any musical group will carry the melody and be on display.  When playing in a group such as a jazz band, an ensemble or an orchestra, much of the time the trumpet section will have the melody. This showcases you as a player and helps you to be noticed more. In fact, the trumpet section is often the easiest section to see from the audience as well!

Trumpets are much cheaper than most other instruments and very light and portable.  A very practical choice if you’re in two minds over whether to book some trumpet lessons.  We can advise regarding exactly what to buy or hire and our tutors are happy to come along too, to help you decide which instrument to take home. https://www.ackermanmusic.co.uk has some brilliant options for beginners.

Playing the trumpet at a professional level naturally requires a lot of expertise and skill. But for those who are just starting out it is a fairly easy instrument to get the hang of.  SCMT generally advises that children start trumpet lessons between the ages of 8 and 10 and begin with a 30 minute lesson.

‘I’m doing my grade 1 trumpet exam and also playing some of my favourite pieces at the Children’s Concert in June. I’m a bit nervous! My trumpet lessons are so much fun and I find reading music much easier than I used to.”  Tommy, aged 9

trumpet

Trumpet

Singing lessons

Taught by experienced singers and vocal coaches, SCMT 1 on 1 singing lessons instil self-confidence and boost self-esteem.  We have a very diverse group of singing teachers who specialise in opera, classical, folk, pop, jazz, musical theatre and alternative styles.  Mainly focusing on ‘Stage’ performance, children are taught the skills essential to an engaging and powerful vocal display.  Everyone’s needs are different and we find that singers especially are very specific about the type of teacher they require.  We’ll always put you in touch over the phone for a chat before you book your free lesson.

SCMT caters for ABRSM and Trinity syllabuses and frequently prepares children for auditions.  Singing lessons last for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour depending on your child’s age and ability.  Variety is key to enjoyment so music theory, scales, duets, music listening, aural skills and composition are incorporated.  A commitment to engaging teaching methods will result in your child appreciating, understanding and most of all, enjoying the music they are singing.

SCMT Music tuition has an ever-expanding community of singers that are learning, teaching and performing together, ensuring that every young learner has everything they need to progress and be inspired…

‘My 11 and 7 year old daughters absolutely love their singing lessons with Alice.  She’s doing a brilliant job of following their lead in terms of musical interests and keeping their passion for singing going strong. Alice has a gentle manner and a great sense of fun, so her lessons are relaxed and happy. Thanks Alice!’  Amanda, parent

singing

Singing

Saxophone lessons

Most young children at SCMT will start with a 30 minute lesson saxophone lesson, but we offer 45 minutes and 1 hour also.  We would recommend (as with most woodwind and brass instruments) that you wait until your child is 7 years old before getting started.  The first lesson is free.  You can in most instances borrow a saxophone for the free trial but will need to obtain your own to start paid lessons.  We can advise in detail regarding hire or purchase.

Many children having saxophone lessons steer towards Jazz and Rock styles but there is an enormous amount of repertoire for every genre!   Trinity exams are the most popular and we also offer ABRSM music medals exams (ensemble assessments).  Lessons are taught 1 on 1 and in small groups and you can be taught at home if that’s your preference.

The saxophone is actually quite easy to learn to play, probably because it was designed fairly recently in the scheme of musical instruments. But do bear in mind it awkward to handle at first. The saxophone is rather heavy and requires the use of a neck strap in addition to the player’s hands to hold the instrument. It is also quite wide and this prevents children with very small hands from being able to play it.   On the upside though, the fingering system is very easy to understand and tone production is much easier than with most wind instruments.

Here is a testimonial from a happy pupil…

‘My saxophone lessons are so much fun.  It’s really cool already and I’ve only been learning for 6 months.  I can already play some tunes and I love that my teacher plays along on the piano and does duets too.  It makes me feel like I’m in a band already.  I’m doing my first Rock School grade next year and am so excited because the pieces are ones that I know already.  One day I’d like to learn Jazz and learn the drums too!’  Peter, aged 10

saxophone

Saxophone

Piano lessons

SCMT Music Tuition specialises in piano lessons and we have more than 60 piano teachers working for us!  It is our most popular instrument by far and we pride ourselves in providing the best piano teachers to children across the South.

Children often start their musical journey on the piano because of the wide range of pieces and styles available.  It is appropriate from the age of 4 years and up.  There is great opportunity for improvisation and composing on the piano, as well as an endless classical repertoire to master.  It’s widely acknowledged that piano lessons can enhance skills in mathematics, memory, concentration, resilience and creativity.

All our piano teachers are very different which means we can hand-pick the person best suited to your child.  We know that the rapport between a teacher and pupil is key to both kick-starting a child’s engagement with the piano, ensuring they never lose their enthusiasm to learn and progress.

Piano lessons can focus on virtually any style or genre depending on your child’s aspirations and ability.  In addition, all of our tutors are classically trained, which means they have an excellent foundation and skills base to pass on (even if eventually the lessons branch into another genre).

ABRSM, Trinity and Rock School exams are available but not essential to progression. Children are encouraged to compose their own music, record performances and play their pieces in our regular concerts (beautiful venues guaranteed!).  We always have a grand piano to make it extra special for both the performer and all the friends and family watching in the audience.  On average we accommodate 200 pianists every year at our charity concerts, from the age of 4 (complete beginners) right up to grade 8.  More experienced performers are offered their own recitals too.

If you don’t yet have a piano at home to practise on, we can advise regarding some brilliant options.  Digital pianos, short/long-term hire, 2nd hand acoustic pianos too.  You wont be left on your own to work out what’s best, as we work in partnership with numerous music shops in every town we work in.  From Ackerman Music https://www.ackermanmusic.co.uk which has an enormous piano shop catering to all budgets… to https://www.thepianoshopbath.co.uk which services and repairs instruments as well as building bespoke acoustic pianos for clients looking for something more of an investment.

Piano Lessons last for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour depending on your child’s age and ability.  Variety is key to enjoyment so music theory, flash cards, scales, duets, music listening, aural skills and composition are incorporated where relevant. A commitment to maximising your child’s potential alongside engaging teaching methods will result in your child appreciating, understanding and most of all, enjoying the music they play.

Susanna (head of school) is a pianist herself and has 25 years experience of teaching children and 15 years managing the careers of professional piano teachers.  She also has two young sons aged 4 and 5 who have just started piano lessons!  You simply could not be in safer hands…

piano

Piano

Oboe lessons

SCMT is delighted to offer oboe lessons!  The oboe, a double reed instrument in the woodwind family, is one of the most unique of all musical instruments. It has developed through the centuries into one of the most challenging and distinct instruments in the modern orchestra.

The oboe can be found in many types of musical ensembles, including the orchestra, symphonic band, woodwind quintet, and other chamber music combinations. It is often heard in movie and television soundtracks and can even be heard in jazz and popular music.

One of the most important aspects of learning to play the oboe is understanding how to form a proper embouchure and relationship with the reed. You must also understand how to use and control air and breathing to create dynamics, vibrato, and your own unique sound. Since the oboe is a very challenging instrument, oboe lessons are very popular. The oboe is one of the most challenging instruments to master, but is often in demand and can offer many opportunities for the player, including playing some of the classical world’s most beautiful solos!

SCMT offers Oboe lessons to children aged 9 and up.  Have a listen here to Dvořák’s 9th Symphony, Mov II

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZlenE1Nb8c

oboe

Oboe

Guitar lessons

SCMT Music Tuition offers guitar lessons to children from the age of 7.  It often surprises people to learn that the guitar is fairly hard to master, especially for little fingers which is why we don’t introduce them too early.  It takes a lot of patience from the pupil and teacher alike, but is one of our most popular and rewarding instruments because of it’s close relationship with the popular music industry.

All of our guitar teachers are very different which means we can hand-pick the person best suited to your child.  We know that the rapport between a teacher and pupil is key to both kick-starting a child’s engagement with the piano and ensuring they never lose their enthusiasm to learn and progress.

Guitar Lessons last for 30 minutes or 45 minutes depending on your child’s age and ability.  Variety is key to enjoyment so music theory, flash cards, scales, duets, music listening, aural skills and composition are incorporated where relevant. A commitment to maximising your child’s potential alongside engaging teaching methods will result in your child appreciating, understanding and most of all, enjoying their guitar lessons.

Guitar is the only instrument we offer in small groups as well as 1 on 1.  This is because frequently families want to learn together or friends want to get started as a mini-band.  In any case, it makes the learning process really fun and engaging.  Groups are available in school too.

We have options for classical, acoustic and electric guitar lessons.  We’ve also recently been actively recruiting more lady teachers.  This has really opened up more enquiries from young girls who perhaps feel more comfortable with a female teacher showing them the ropes.

Guitar lessons often sway towards the Rock School or Trinity exam syllabuses.  As with all of our instruments, exams are not essential but can often add a welcome incentive to improve and practise more.   Many of our guitar teachers studied for their music degrees at BIMM so they all have a huge amount of professional performance

guitar

Guitar

Flute lessons

The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.  Flute lessons are quite simply a perfect idea for a young child.  There is so much stunning repertoire too!

SCMT offers flute lessons to children aged 6 years and up.  All of our teachers are trained in the ABRSM and Trinity syllabus’s, which are very popular with almost all of our young woodwind players.  We also offer ABRSM Music Medals exams (small group/ensemble assessment).

Flute is taught either 1 on 1 or small group setting, with children grouped according to their standard of play rather than their age.  We also have numerous contacts locally within orchestras, opening up the social side of learning.  Our concerts offer great opportunities for young Fluatists to perform for friends and family too!

Flute lessons testimonial:

‘Anna started learning the flute with Kate when she turned seven.  We’ve found that with the right guidance and exciting music there has never been a struggle to engage her.  She found the breathing fairly easy to master too and loves playing in the school orchestra.  We’re hoping for her to take her Grade 2 (ABRSM) in November and feel that her enthusiasm continually grows as the months pass.’  Jenny, parent, Oxford.

flute

Flute

Drum lessons

Drums are becoming more and more popular as an instrument for young children.  In fact, most children we meet would love to learn!… and it’s often the kit required (and sometimes the noise!) that stops the parent in their tracks when it comes to taking on the commitment. Here at SCMT, we can help you get set up and you don’t even need a kit at home to start drum lessons.  Once you do invest, we have so much advice for all budgets, individual circumstances and noise reduction.

There is no perfect age for a child to begin drum lessons.  The most important thing (for both parents and teachers) is to manage expectations based on the child’s age and skill set.  For instance, does your child have enough strength and coordination to hold the sticks?   If the student is strong enough to hold a pair of sticks, it’s still important to manage expectations regarding their physical ability. It’s generally much harder for young students to control their arms and hands… however learning proper techniques and habits at a young age can pay huge dividends as the student develops more strength and fine motor skills.

Learning the drums is often compared to learning a foreign language: the earlier you start, the more it will come naturally at a later age.  That said we have numerous talented drummers in our community that fell in love with percussion in their teens.

All of our drum lessons are 1-1.  The first lesson, as with all our instruments, is free.  This gives you and your child a brilliant opportunity to decide if the drums are for you… and if you’re ready to commit to getting started.

Some drum-spiration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCZEXW_gvbQ

drums

Drums

Clarinet lessons

Many parents are concerned about the best age to start clarinet lessons for their child. Because the clarinet has a large number of keys and is fairly long and heavy, our recommended starting age is 7 -8 years. The most important factor to keep in mind is whether or not your child’s hands are large enough to cover all of the keys. As a wind instrument, it is also important that the child has the developed lung capacity to play effectively.

Much like with our other woodwind instruments, we offer 1 – 1 and group clarinet lessons and encourage the children to take up opportunities within our partner orchestras and twice yearly concerts.  All of our teachers are trained in the ABRSM and Trinity syllabus’s which are very popular with almost all of our young woodwind players.  We also offer ABRSM Music Medals exams (small group/ensemble assessment).

The clarinet is the most common of the woodwind instruments for children to learn and we have 9 clarinet teachers working with us.  Susanna is a clarinettist (2nd to piano) and wanted to share some of the most famous and inspired pieces ever written for the clarinet.  You’ll probably recognise a few!  Sit back and have a listen… and then book your clarinet lessons.

Clarinet masterpieces we think you’ll enjoy…

 Copland – Clarinet Concerto.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GnJBLwOjFo

 Weber – Clarinet Concerto No. 2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWoodvL7cEk

 Brahms – Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sGcIGLXuz8

clarinet

Clarinet

Cello lessons

SCMT has lots of children enjoying cello lessons at the moment and we think that the best age to start is 7-8 years.  We have 7 dedicated teachers over-all and they are all incredibly inspired and engaging musicians.

The cello is an amazing instrument, capable of performing multiple musical roles, and this versatility is the reason its rich tone has crept into almost every musical genre.  People have compared its sound to the human voice for centuries, which is probably why it sounds so appealing to our ears.

It’s a common misconception that playing a classical instrument means you can only perform classical music.  Although a solid and structured classical training is essential to any child’s musical journey, the repertoire created for the cello is astonishing in it’s diversity and attracts more and more youngsters as the years pass.  Here are some very well-known themes that you could eventually learn if you booked some cello lessons…

Game of Thrones theme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQ3JDLlmPI

The Beatles’… Eleanor Rigby

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuS5NuXRb5Y

‘We feel so lucky to have found Amy.  She’s so patient and Ellie absolutely loves him. They have a great time every lesson and she cant wait for her to arrive on a Tuesday so that she can show her what she’s been doing between the cello lessons. She’s hoping to start working towards a grade which is something we never imagined her committing to, until now! We love that he is so excited about the music she teaches, it really rubs off on all of us. Thank you for introducing her to us!’  George, parent

cello

Cello