1. Trumpet
    Playing the trumpet is a very rewarding experience. It is a very social instrument and a student can join bands and orchestras almost immediately and start to make friends (e.g. I played my first ever concert with an orchestra in front of a hundred people after only two lessons!). The initial stage of learning the trumpet can be tricky, however as you would need to be able to play a reliable note to be able to make any progress. For some younger learners the ability to “buzz” a correct note on the trumpet is a skill that could take up to a month to achieve; for some this can be a frustrating month! Once that landmark is passed, it is relatively easy to make good progress on the instrument, obviously dependent on how much practise you put in. Beginners may want to start by hiring a trumpet before buying a second-hand instrument. There are some cheap trumpets available which might suffice but it is certainly worth trying a few P-Trumpets before you commit to a metal one. Physically going to a music shop as opposed to buying online is recommended

  2. Piano/Keyboard
    There are many different types of keyboard instrument. The main types are electronic keyboard, the electric piano, the upright piano and the grand piano. For those on a budget the electronic keyboard is a good start, just make sure that you buy one with 61 full-size touch sensitive keys so that you will not have to upgrade needlessly as you get better. If, like many, you are keen to learn on the upright piano that has been gathering dust in the corner of living room, make sure that it still plays and employ a competent piano tuner to tune it check its workings (NB there is no point learning on a instrument that is out of tune and half the keys do not sound!)

  3. Guitar/Ukulele
    There are three main types of guitar which you can learn; they are: classical guitar, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. Each type of guitar comes in four different sizes:

    1/4 size suitable for 3-5 year olds
    1/2 size suitable for 5-8 year olds
    3/4 size suitable for 8-12 year olds
    Full size suitable for 12+ year olds

    The ideal beginner guitar is the classical guitar because the strings are made of nylon and will not hurt the fingertips too much. You can purchase a starter pack from Amazon for around £50 which should include the guitar, bag and spare set of strings. Although the classical guitar is suitable for beginners it was designed to play classical music only; this may put off some students. Another downside to learning on the classical guitar is that it is difficult to recreate the sound of some rock pieces; this is where the electric guitar comes into its own

    Although the electric guitar strings are made of metal they do not hurt the fingertips too much (NB building hard skin on the fingertips is part of being a successful guitarist). You can purchase a starter pack from Amazon for around £150 which should include the guitar, bag, spare set of strings and mini-amplifier. By using an amplifier the electric guitar is capable of creating more interesting and louder sounds; it does not work so well when it is turned down so compromise must be found with neighbours

    The acoustic guitar has the hardest strings to press down with the fingertips and can be difficult for some younger students. You can purchase a starter pack from Amazon for around £100 which should include the guitar, bag and a spare set of strings. It is mostly used for pop/rock ballads and is often not plugged into an amplifier

    Ukuleles also come in four different sizes; these are known as: Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone. It is recommended that the beginner starts with a Soprano. A basic Soprano ukulele can cost around £20 but does lack the kind of tone colour that a £50 ukulele can achieve. The main differences between ukuleles and guitars are that ukuleles are small and only have four nylon strings as opposed to the six stringed guitar. Ukuleles are somewhat limited in terms of numbers of pieces they can play and genres within which they are included

    NB I do not teach the BASS GUITAR or BANJO

  4. Drum Kit
    The acoustic drum kit is without doubt the coolest of the instruments I play, but it comes at a price. Firstly, the drum kit is loud (when played correctly) and needs to be played and stored somewhere which will contain the sound, be large enough and not annoy the neighbours and leave it open to the elements of temperature and water (e.g. be wary of garages). You can deal with these problem straight away by purchasing an electric drum kit, which can be stored indoors and normally takes up less space than an acoustic kit. However, in my experience electric kits do not capture the raw excitement in the same way that a “real” drum kit does. Secondly, there is the choice of drum kit and corresponding prices. As with guitars, many beginner drum kits are not conducive for learning. I refer to “toy” drum kits which look like they could be starter kits but are actually useless (you can detect one normally by the cymbals which look more like car hubcaps than musical instruments). The best advice for beginners is to try and buy second hand drums (try Gumtree) and then spend the money you have saved on good quality cymbals

  5. Ages taught
    There is no minimum age. The only criteria is that the student is physically able to sit at/hold the instrument. The youngest student I have taught was four years old and although she had issues pressing down the keys of an upright piano, she still made good progress in the time in which I taught her. Plastic trumpets (“P-Trumpets”), 1/4 size guitars and mini-keyboards are available for smaller students. There are smaller drum kits for younger students but, as discussed above, they tend not to be of sufficient quality; however, most five year old students I have taught have had few problems playing on the full-size acoustic kit

  6. Abilities taught
    I teach beginner level students in all four instruments (i.e. up to Examination Grade 4). I only teach intermediate level students in trumpet and piano/keyboard (i.e. Examination Grades 5-8). If you need advanced lessons in trumpet and/or piano/keyboard then I recommend that you contact Universities and Colleges in your area and ask them for the contact details of advanced-level tutors