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  • Response Time 24h
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Tom - Central Lewisham - Music Theory

    • Central Lewisham
    • at his place
    • at your home
    • webcam

About the lesson

Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced player I have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve what we all want to achieve as musicians: the ability to express ourselves through music and to find great enjoyment in doing so.

- Which subject(s) do you teach?

I teach violin (classical and folk styles), viola, mandolin, banjo (both Irish tenor and 5 string), bodhrán, mouth harp and music theory.

- Tell me about your qualifications.

I have both undergrad and postgrad degrees from Trinity College of Music and a Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from International House. I am also currently studying part-time for a second master's in ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

- How much do you charge?

Lessons at my home are £30 per hour and £20 for half an hour.

Lessons at your home are £40 per hour and £30 for half an hour.

I can travel to your home as long as it is not too far from my place in Lewisham.

I can teach group lessons up to four in a class. This costs £20 per student per hour at my home and £25 per student per hour at yours.

You may wish to pay up front for a series of lessons as I can offer discounts for this option. Please enquire further if you are interested in this.

- Where do you teach?

I teach primarily from my home in Lewisham but can travel for free to anywhere close by such as Greenwich, Isle of Dogs, Deptford, Brockley, Peckham, Southwark etc. I might be able to travel slightly further afield in London if you can cover my travel expenses.

- When are you available?

I am generally free during the evenings on weekdays and occasionally during the day on weekends. I have a few weekday daytimes slots as well so it is worth enquiring about these if you are interested. As a freelance musician my schedule is far from regular since I am involved with many different projects. However, a regular lesson time can usually be worked out. The upside to this is that I am flexible and can often move lessons around to suit my clients.

- Which ages and levels do you teach?

I teach all ages and abilities. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that children younger than about 4 are usually a bit too emotionally immature and mal-coordinated to cope with learning in this way. Of the instruments I teach, violin is probably the hardest and this can sometimes be a poor choice of instrument for the adult learner who has never played before or has at least learnt something similar in the past. Do not let this put you off, though, and if you are an adult really keen to learn violin and think you have the patience to stick with it then do give it a go. If you are looking for an instrument to learn but were not necessarily dead-set on violin then have a look at the other instruments I teach, some of which are a lot more accessible.

- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?

I can prepare students for the grade examinations with ABRSM or Trinity-Guildhall. I can do this for both instrumental and theory students. Exams are not the be-all-and-end-all of music, though, and simply learning for the joy of it and for the purpose of playing music with other people can often be much more productive.

- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.

I prefer to teach in person but can teach online if you like. Skype is the best way to do this but is obviously highly dependent on internet connection. I have a reasonably good connection here so if you think your wires can handle it then do enquire.

- Do you have a personal message for students?

As I see it, one of the most import things for any student to know is that there is no magical secret to learning an instrument. Many people will watch a youtube video of some 3-year-old violin prodigy and give up all hope, thinking that they must possess some kind of divine gift. These freaks do exist but, more often than not, they are the result of extreme pushy parenting and will quite likely grow up lacking all sorts of other more important life skills. For most able-bodied and able-minded people the only ingredients needed are a clear method, dedicated practice, time, patience and, of course, a good teacher!


  • Music Theory
  • Composition
  • Chamber Music


  • English


  • All Levels

About Tom

- What kind of experience do you have?

I have taught violin and mandolin in schools and privately for a number of years. My employers include Southwark Music Service, the London Borough of Newham, and George Green's School. In addition to this I am a tutor with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, delivering workshops and holiday courses in traditional music.

I am also a freelance violinist and mandolin player and regularly perform with orchestras, folk bands, jazz bands string quartets and many other ensembles. This has taken me to all sorts of places, including the Royal Festival Hall, on tour to China, on board cruise ships and on national TV and radio.

- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?

I have full DBS clearance which is portable between boroughs.

- Where and with whom did you train?

I trained as a violinist with Clare Thompson at Trinity College of Music and received chamber music coaching from Michael Bochmann at the same institution. Also whilst at Trinity I had some lessons on mandolin with the late great Alison Stephens and attended masterclasses given by Alon Sariel and Sebastiaan de Grebber.

I have played folk music from a very early age and was playing in folk sessions in my home county of Shropshire from the age of 11. I learnt most of my folk repertoire and style the traditional oral way.

I am currently studying for a master's degree in ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

- Do you belong to any professional organisations?

I am a member of the Musicians' Union.

- Tell me about some of your current students.

Currently I teach a few secondary school kids on a one-to-one basis at their school. I also have a couple of large (30ish) sized classes and a small group of four beginners at a primary school in East Dulwich. Outside of school I have a couple of private 6-year-old violin students and one adult mandolin student. In the holidays I am often teaching on traditional music courses for teenagers with the English Folk Dance and Song Society in Camden.



  • 5h: $300
  • 10h: $600


  • $60/h

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