Information About Tom - Stockport teacher
This is how 2 referees rated Tom:
I'm a student in my final year at the Royal Northern College of Music, originally from Stratford-Upon-Avon. I first started playing guitar at aged 6 due to having discovered my Mum’s Beatles vinyl collection that Christmas. When I hit secondary school, I started taking lessons with a local teacher and thus my love for music began. My primary playing styles are rock, blues, pop, and acoustic. I think learning from other people, including teachers, is one of the most important parts of learning any subject; utilising any resources available to you to further your learning is very important.
Tom has been an outstanding student during his time at the RNCM. He is an enthusiastic and talented musician with a professional approach to everything he does. As a Principal Study guitarist Tom has achieved first class grades in all his assessments, both as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble. He has performed on numerous occasions with the RNCM Session Orchestra and is in demand as a session guitarist for a range of original projects. He is also a founding member of the band Flowers for Charlie, signed to Northern Quarter Records.Throughout his studentship, Tom has proved himself to be a conscientious and diligent student who is able to deliver work of outstanding quality. He is well liked by his peers and all staff find him a pleasure to work with. He is bright, honest, and reliable, and is a genuinely kind person who is a great ambassador for the RNCM. - Andy Stott - Head of Popular Music, RNCM
Tom has been an excellent student, with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. During the 3 years that I have taught him he has consistently demonstrated a high degree of understanding of all of the material that we’ve covered. Through well–structured and consistent practice I feel that Tom has achieved a very impressive level of musicianship skills. He is intelligent, hard working and considerate to his peers.I believe that he has great potential and the skills required to work as a professional within various areas of the music industry.
- Johnny Heyes: Principal study guitar tutor, RNCM
Sibford School house band leader ; working with secondary school children in bands: 2012-14
One on one guitar tuition: 2014 - present
For me, the greatest myth concerning guitar practice is that if you "keep doing it, you'll keep getting better". Most of us are confronted with the prospect at some point, that this is simply not the case. I learned this lesson the hard way, when I realised after a period of playing and "practising" lots, I was still staring at the same old problems, from the same viewpoint.
If you suspect you may be in this situation, here are the three principles of practice to help you smash through your barriers … SLOW IT DOWN! - Slow down what you you are trying to learn to a playable speed
BREAK IT DOWN! - Tackle it piece by piece and then assemble the puzzle
EXAGGERATE THE PROBLEM! - the most important of the three; if you can practice a piece and make it so you can play a harder variation (by playing it faster slower or differently) the original problem will not seem as big a challenge.
Chances are, if you're not involving at least one of these three in your practice routine, you aren't practising, you're playing, and the likelihood of it working, ie. improving you, is slim at best.
I'll tend to focus on a single main topic per lesson, but often that will bring into play a number of other sub-topics (related songs/licks/techniques) to support the headline subject. I'll usually start by asking the student what they'd like to look at, and see where things go as we progress. Sometimes this can take us on a magical mystery tour to somewhere quite unexpected.
In every lesson with me, whether learning your first chords, or digging into a rock or jazz standard, you'll be learning how to practise effectively. With effective practice, there is no "stuck" any more, only problem-solving and progress. What's more, practice sessions should never feel like a dutiful slog, they should feel enjoyable, each one the next leg in a steadily progressing journey towards your chosen destination!
Most guitarists you know are not improving, and haven't been for a while. They may be learning new songs, but they're only learning them to the same level they've been at for some time, maybe for as long as 50 years! *Real* improvement is the Holy Grail, and it's available to anyone who understands how to practise well.
Once you're competent with the basics, you have strong foundations in place to build in the musical direction you choose. I don't mind what music you want to learn, I will lead (or push) you towards it in a systematic, step by step fashion.
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References Available: Yes (✔ On File)
- RNCM (2018) - BMus in Music (Bachelors) (✘ Not On File)
- Sibford School (2014) - B : Music A-Level (School) (✔ On File)
- ABRSM Music Grading (2012) - Grade 5 Music Theory (Other) (✔ On File)
- RockSchool Music Grading (2008) - Distinction: Grade 8 Guitar (Other) (✔ On File)