EXPLORE TO BE CREATIVE
Catherine runs Hampstead Music School in London. She has been teaching cello, piano and music theory for over 10 years bringing a wealth of experience in teaching beginners to professional levels, amounting to more than 12,000 of teaching hours.
One-to-one lessons by home visits are offered to students in most London areas including Central London, Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Highgate, Belsize Park and Camden.
The teaching approach towards every student is individual and is aimed at bringing the very best out of each musician. Catherine's pupils regularly enter right up to grade 8 and Diploma in the ABRSM and Trinity grade exams with an outstanding success rate.
A comprehensive cello curriculum emphasizes balanced posture, beautiful tone production, accurate intonation, musicianship skills, and leads each students through a sequential body of cello repertoire.
The cello curriculum is based on the method developed by Suzuki, Kodaly method and other traditional music teaching methods. Students follow mix of curriculums, according to their needs. Students as young as 5 can begin learning cello.
Piano programme cultivates independent learners though comprehensive piano technique that serves the interpretation of contrasting repertoire. Students are divided into preparatory, elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Individual music theory lessons following the ABRSM and Trinity guidelines are offered depending on each student's needs.
CHILDREN'S MUSIC PROGRAMMES
Kodaly / Orff
The Kodaly method of music education is based on the voice and the natural way we all develop our singing skills. Children experience rhythm, pitch, movement and the pleasure of singing with one another. Through children's songs, games and dances, folk songs and more complex repertoire, the students experience the elements of music and then learn to read and write them. There are opportunities to use rhythm instruments and pitched instruments to enhance the musical experience. .
Private lessons for Suzuki students include rhythm, melody and coordination activities, as well as time at their instrument for both children and parents, as needed.
Parents of children in the Suzuki programme should be aware that a commitment from both parent and child is necessary. Parents play an active role at Suzuki lessons and in daily home practice.
About the Suzuki Methodology:
Every Child Can Learn
More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
LESSON PAYMENT & REFUNDS
Please enquire for lesson fees. Travel fares may include depending on the location.
What is the best age to start learning cello and piano?
All children are different in their rates of development, and the right age for one student may be too young for another. It is important that students have good literacy and numeracy skills before beginning music lessons, and ideally, some experience of class-based music making.
I am happy to carry out a musical assessment to find out if your child may be ready to begin lessons. The most important thing is that your child enjoys music and has an interest in learning to play.
Will you teach at the student’s home?
Yes. I teach at my studio in North London and can arrange visit to students in most London areas including Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Belsize Park, Camden, Harrow. Additional travel costs will apply.
Do I need my own instrument?
Yes. Ideally this should be a well-maintained instruments. A digital piano is acceptable in the early stages. However, there is a limit to the variety of tone that can be achieved on a digital instrument, which is why I do not normally recommend them beyond the early stages of studying.
A good quality cello is always preferable and an adjustable stool is also essential for cultivating good posture.
Do I need to purchase sheet music?
I will recommend appropriate material for the student (this can include repertoire, studies and theory books). I am also happy to work with you on particular pieces that you enjoy, as long as they are suitable for your level.
How long is each lesson?
This depends on the age and experience of the student. For young students, 30-45 minutes is the ideal lesson length. For more advanced and older students, lessons are 60-90 minutes.
What happens if I want to cancel or reschedule a lesson?
There is no charge for cancelled lessons as long as I receive at least 24 hours’ notice. I will always do my best to reschedule the lesson if possible, though this is not guaranteed.
How long should I practise?
This depends on the age and experience of the student. Small amounts of regular practice is better than cramming in one longer session.
It's important that students enjoy playing their instrument in between lessons, as this will enable them to achieve a good level of progress.
Can I take exams?
Yes. I am able to prepare students for ABRSM and Trinity practical and theory exams. This is not a requirement however, and I am equally happy to teach you if you want to learn just for fun!
Do you teach music theory?
Music theory can be taught separately or incorporated into the instrumental lesson by relating it to practical music-making. For younger students this can be taught in the form of fun puzzles and games. I also use flashcards to assist with note-reading.
Do you have a CRB check?
Yes, I have a full CRB check from 2013.