Having taught pupils as young as age 6 and some young at heart in their 80s, Michael enjoys helping people to enjoy their music making and to be the very best players they can. He has a huge interest in encouraging people to play musically, rather than have them become people who can cleverly play lots of notes but don’t really deliver the emotional joy that should be present in music.
Michael was very fortunate to have been taught by one of the UK’s most famous theatre organists, the great Bobby Pagan. This gave him a huge insight not only into playing the organ but also how to arrange and conduct orchestras, how to play for dancing and, really, everything about how to be a professional musician. Michael has been delighted to be able to pass on this information to others, always carefully structuring lessons to suit each individual pupil’s needs.
Michael is especially pleased to have been appointed as the principal tutor at the Rye Wurlitzer Academy, with pupils aged 11 to 16 at the Rye College, an Arts and Enterprise specialist school. He holds a current CRB certificate.
These days, Michael offers tuition on Organ, Piano and Keyboard. With modern instruments often seeming complex to operate, in many instances, Michael goes along for just one or two sessions to help students to understand the instrument they have bought.
Michael’s piano students all share a common theme, they don’t want to learn how to play properly! Michael doesn’t offer formal, traditional piano tuition, where students spend hours working on scales, arpeggios and set pieces in order to achieve grade exam passes. Rather, he takes people at any level, from beginner right through to advanced, and helps them to make good music quickly, easily and musically. Whilst none of his piano pupils will be found at the Leeds Piano Festival, they have all made good progress to be able to play a wide range of tunes quite nicely and, most important of all, to enjoy what they are doing.
With his modern Electronic Organ and Keyboard students, Michael coaches pupils in how to set up the sounds for themselves and how to make nice arrangements using the wonderful features now available. He has pupils at all stages, some making their very first music ever, others who have been playing for years and are good enough to play in concert.
From time to time, Michael coaches people in Theatre Organ techniques. Many of these seem to disappearing arts these days but they provide great enjoyment and special skills which can so often pass on into the finest modern orchestral styles of playing. These can be at his home on his Conn Electronic Theatre Organ or, sometimes, can be on actual theatre Pipe Organs.
Michael will often visit students in their own homes, as this allows them to work on their own instrument which, especially with modern electronic keyboards and organs, is very helpful indeed. At other times, particularly for the pupils who live a long way away (he has people who come to him from Southampton, East Grinstead, even one from Somerset) he teaches at his home in High Salvington (Worthing), where he has a Yamaha Digital Piano, a Conn 650 three manual electronic Theatre and various modern electronic organs, which come and go depending on what instruments he is using on tour at any time.
His standard lessons last for about 45 to 50 minutes and are mostly arranged every two to three weeks, to best suit everyone’s diary. Whilst he could see pupils more frequently, he feels it is best to give them a reasonable amount of work to do and the time in which to achieve the target set. This seems to work well.
If you have often wondered about learning to play, or feel you would get a lot more out of your valuable instrument with just a little relatively inexpensive help to explain how it works, call Michael now.