Student Newsletter – January 2014

Hello again everyone,

I am very excited about 2014. Learning an instrument is a lifelong endeavour and as you grow up your attitude towards it will change with you as you grow as a person. This is so perfectly normal that, to be quite honest, I’d be worried if it didn’t. A new year is a chance to evaluate where your playing is at, so our lessons for the month of January will be focused on establishing where we are in your musical development, where you would like to go from here and where you might like to end up. Are you enjoying/not engaging with the music we’ve been playing? Have you had enough of/would like to do more grade exams? There may occasionally be more discussion than playing in your lessons (that doesn’t mean less practise though!), but the outcome will be that we are both directing you towards a goal that will be motivating and inspiring.
So welcome back, Happy New Year and Let’s Go!

Dates for Your Diary

Student Concert! – Sunday 9th March, 2pm
I know how much you all enjoy these so the next one is in just over two months time. It will be another joint concert with some of Katie’s pupils (the reason it is slightly earlier than the same time last is year that Katie’s baby is due end of March/beginning of April!) Time to get thinking about what you’d like to play. Remember, the focus, as always, is on giving a really good performance, even if it is not playing the hardest piece that you can just about manage. I want you to enjoy these shows.

Music in Bristol

Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival
The weekend of the Students’ Concert, 7-9th March there is the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival at Colston Hall. Even if you do not fancy the £12 for a ticket to some of the more expensive gigs, there will be almost uninterrupted music absolutely free for the whole weekend in the Colston Hall foyer. I wholly encourage all of you to get out into Bristol and sample any and all the music you can get your hands on. Beats a CD any day (do you still use CDs or am I showing my age now??)


In all the excitement of the last concert I forgot to do the announcement of the winner if the quiz! The answer was, of course, the Wallace and Gromit theme tune and I will make the announcement at the March concert. Don’t let me forget! I’ll be giving out another quiz just before so there will be two to give out! There is no end to the excitement.

Your Favourite Music

With this newsletter you will receive a slip asking you a bit of information about your favourite music. It is very important that you do this – full details on the sheet. (This will be availble to download in the next day or so!)

Bristol Music Mixer

I am very excited to announce that this week the website has gone live for my latest project – Bristol Music Mixer.

Bristol Music Mixer Networking EventsBristol Music Mixer is an opportunity for music industry professionals and amateurs in Bristol to establish relationships; we will be inclusive across genre and are open to any role within the sector.

It is a series of networking evenings offering a platform for engagement between the experienced and developing professional in the vibrant city of Bristol. Our focus is to provide support to the musicians and businesses that make up the local music industry, and as a result developing strength, growth and awareness in the sector.

Our networking events are free to attend and will run on the first Monday of every month, starting on Monday 7th October 2013, 6 – 8pm at The Brass Pig, Clifton. To book your place visit
Twitter @BristolMusicMix

See you there!

Student Newsletter

September 2013

Dates for Your Diary

Friday 27th September – Saturday 5th October:
I will be away for this week and so there will be no lessons at all. It’s back to normality in week beginning Monday 7th
October, just in time to oversee your final preparations for…

Student Concert! – Sunday 20th October, 2pm
Another opportunity for whoever wants to play their funky music (all of you!) for the kind folk of Bristol (my other students). It is in the same place as the last concert and your music exams, the Bristol Music Club on St Paul’s Road, BS8 1LP. and will be hosted with a friend of mine, Katie Williams. Katie teaches voice and piano, so with a mixture of you guys and her students we will have a fantastic selection of music to listen to. It’s great to have an audience to play to so invite all of your friends and family and tell them it will be cheaper than last time! Any money the concert does make will go to Cancer Research UK. This is one of the Make Sunday Special days, which means if you’re driving then you can’t come via the centre.

Musicianship Workshops

With my friend Katie Williams, I will be hosting a series of Musicianship Workshops on Saturday mornings over the 2013-14 academic year. Each workshop is one hour long and they are specifically aimed at musicians from complete beginner to an approximate grade 3 level, though musicians up to grade 5 will benefit.

There will be four units in the series, with each unit having four one-hour sessions on consecutive Saturdays during the school term. Workshops will be on Rhythm, Aural Skills, Music Appreciation and From Practise to Performance.

For more details check out my website

Exciting Musical Events in Bristol

Bristol is overflowing with great venues and concert halls attracting phenomenal musicians every night of the week. I urge you to use and visit them. Highlights over the coming months will be pianist Stephen Hough (21st Sept), James Lisney (29th Sept), guitarist John Williams (11th Oct) and the Night of Spanish Guitar (29th Oct) – all at St George’s, just off Park St. Also, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra visit Colston Hall on 10th Oct – an orchestra of consistently high quality. If you ever want to go to a concert or gig which clashes with a lesson, just let me know and we will reschedule – I cannot stress how inspiring it is to watch musicians live. Check out the Colston Hall, St Georges, the Old Duke, Tobacco Factory or any of the rest for your musicy sustenance.

Also, the big screen in Millennium square will be broadcasting the Last Night of the Proms, a bombastic and raucous affair, it is most definitely an iconic cultural landmark. If you don’t want to get cold or wet, you can watch it on BBC Four, 7th September.

QUIZ – What is this cracking musical example, lad?

Name this Tune
Let me know the name of this tune at your next lesson and I’ll enter your name into a prize draw to win a bar of chocolate of your choice! And if no one guesses correctly, then I get to eat the chocolate.

After the cheeky plug earlier in the newsletter, I am delighted to officially announce that I have finally created and launched the website I have been saying I will make for the past year or so. has only just gone live, but over the coming months it will grow and become a useful resource to help you with your music education. On the site you will find helpful links and where, for my sins, I’ve started a music blog. Leading Note (named after the 7th note of a scale, for all you theory geeks) will see me post regular practise tips and other useful information to help you get the most of your music making. Be sure to check back regularly and read the latest posts.

And lastly (that’s why it’s lastly…)

Please let me have your email address so that I can do these lovely newsletters over the interweb and save those lovely trees which keep us alive.

Happy Practising!


Welcome to the Leading Note Music Blog.

My mind is overflowing with information on music, piano and ways to improve your practise and performance. I hope you find it useful.

This post is mainly to test out the LeadingNote Music Blog system, and check that I don’t accidentally kill the internet.

Seems to have worked!