Here are examples of the instruments that we teach:

Voice

The voice IS an instrument and is important to learn how to use. Singing tuition is available in a wide variety of styles including musical theatre, pop, folk and classical.

 

Strings

The string family includes (in order of size) violin, viola, cello and double bass. 

These instruments all work on the same principle: four strings tuned to different pitches which the player "stops" with the fingers of the left hand to change the notes while the right hand controls the bow. This takes a fair bit of physical coordination and a good ear as these instruments have no "frets" (the metal bars you see along the fingerboard of a guitar). The larger instruments are designed to play lower notes.
There are some other instruments that are technically string instruments such as the guitar and the harp. 

Guitar

The guitar has frets on the fingerboard which helps the player to hit the right notes or at least play the wrong notes in tune! There are several styles of guitar playing including folk, classical and rock.

Harp

The harp is different because both hands are used to pluck the strings and every string is tuned to a different pitch. The strings are colour-coded to help tell them apart. 

Brass

Brass instruments include: trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, cornet, tenor horn and euphonium.  Brass players all make their basic sound in the same way: by "buzzing" into the mouthpiece.  Players learn to "buzz" different pitches.  Brass teachers are usually able to recommend which brass instrument a pupil might be best suited to based on the pitch they naturally buzz after a bit of practice. Moving from one brass instrument to another is quite common.     

All the brass instruments, except the trombone, use valves to vary the pitch of the notes.  The valves effectively make the tube longer by diverting the buzzing airstream through extra pipes.  The trombone has a slide to make the tube longer or shorter to vary the pitch of the notes.

Woodwind

Woodwind instruments include: recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon.

Saxophone

The saxophone makes its sound using a reed just like on the clarinet. The clarinet and saxophone are single reed instruments (the reed vibrates against the mouthpiece) whereas the oboe and bassoon are double reed instruments (the two pieces of cane that vibrate together). Saxophones commonly appear in four versions: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Pupils usually start on the alto or sometimes the tenor which is larger.

Flute

The flute is the odd one out because it doesn't have a reed. The player makes the sound by blowing across the hole in the head of the flute. This is the same principle as blowing across the top of an empty bottle. Some people find this easier than others.

The flute has a smaller brother called a piccolo (which is Italian for little). The piccolo plays an octave higher than the flute because its half as long. There is also an alto flute and a bass flute but these are not seen (or heard) as often as the piccolo.

Oboe

The oboe is the descant member of the double-reed family, has a beautiful, enchanting sound and gives the orchestra it’s tuning note at the start of any concert. The oboe has a larger family member known as the ‘Cor Anglais’ or ‘English Horn’ and produces a lower, richer and mellow sound.

Clarinet

The clarinet has a whole range of sizes. There is a small version called an Eb clarinet which can play high notes and several larger ones such as the alto clarinet and bass clarinet which play lower notes. There are several other sizes too including an "A" clarinet and a "C" clarinet and a contra-bass clarinet. 

The standard clarinet is known as the Bb clarinet and pupils usually start on this one.

Bassoon

The bassoon is the bass instrument in the woodwind section which it tends to play the lower notes, however there is a double bassoon that can play an octave lower. We can also offer mini-bassoon for juniors.

Percussion

Percussion instruments include the drum kit, cymbals, triangle, chimes, tam-tam, glockenspiel, timpani, bells, xylophone to name just a few.

 

Keyboard/Piano

Technically, the piano is a percussion instrument as there are hammers that hit the strings inside the instrument however keyboard instruments are effectively a family in their own right.

Lessons are provided in partnership with schools and colleges and not every instrument is available in all schools.


If you are a school enquiring about our tuition please visit our Services for Schools section