And we’re off……..

Hello and welcome!   So here we are in 2020.  The year has begun well and we’re delighted to see our regular clients back in the studio to continue the music making.

If you’re exploring options and browsing this site, we’d be happy to discuss anything with you if you make an enquiry through the contact page.

There are no current available lesson times in the after school and after hours schedule, but the are many open during the day.  See the availability page for more details.

We’re always open to the idea of occasional ad hoc lessons, subject to availability, for those who don’t want to commit to a regular time, or for those visiting in touring shows.   Just drop us a line!

Regards to all and best wishes for a rewarding and successful year.

Geoff & Deb

 

 

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A new year begins

Welcome to 2019 everyone!  We look forward to seeing you again as the New Year gets underway, the studio opening for business from Jan 15th.

We hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break and are refreshed and looking forward to making music, either with singing or at the piano.

There are a couple of changes to the studio timetable with availability on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, though this may change as commitments for the year become clear.  I’m no longer teaching at the Conservatorium in the Performing Arts Dept’s Musical Theatre Degree.  After 8 years there since its foundation I felt it was time to move on.

There is also a small increase in fees in line with the CPI of $1.00 per half hour.  All the fees are listed on the Fees Page of this website.

Once again, welcome back, and Deb and I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.

Best wishes,

Geoff & Deb

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Welcome to another year……

Welcome back everyone.  Deb and I hope you’ve had a good break and are looking forward to another year of music making as much as we are looking forward to having you back in the studio.  I’ve been playing in the new slightly second hand Kawai grand piano over the holidays to make sure it’s perfect for our clients.  Selfless of me I know!

There are no changes from last year regarding the studio hours.  See the availability page of this site for details.

There will be a small increase in fees this year of $1.00 per half hour in line with the CPI increase of about 2%.  See the fees page of this site for details.

Best wishes from Deb and me for a great year for you all.

Geoff

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And another year begins…….2017 here we are!

Welcome back to all our clients & their families to a bright and successful 2017!

We hope you all have had a refreshing break over the holiday period and are ready to get back into the swing of things.

Not much has changed since last year.  The studio hours remain the same, however due to a change to a trimester timetable at the Con, my available ad hoc hours throughout the year for the weeks that are not designated teaching weeks there may prove a bit unpredictable.

As always I am happy to accommodate reasonable requests and will have a document ready to send out to interested parties with my available free times.

There is a nominal increase in our fees this year of $1.00 per hour.  Please see the Fees Page of this site for all details.

Deb & I wish you all good health and good fortune for the year.

Geoff & Deb

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Happy New Year & Hello 2016

Hello & welcome to another New Year.  We look forward to welcoming our studio families back as we gear up for another year of making music.

The studio hours remain unchanged from last year, however the timetable will undergo some reinvention as some clients make the move to other fields of endeavour.

As always, we will make our best efforts to make it work as best we can for all involved.

From the 1st of January 2016 there will be a modest fee increase of $1.50 per half hour.  Please see the Fees page of this site for all details.

We wish you all the very best for the coming year.

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Welcome Back As Term 1 2015 Begins

We hope everyone has had a restful and enjoyable break.  2015 teaching gets underway in the studio from January 20th.  We’ll be cutting back our hours from 6 days a week to 5 this year, so there will be even more than the usual massaging of the timetable, more a reinvention of the wheel in some cases.  Don’t panic!  For those current students wishing to continue, we will do all we can to accommodate you.  Studio hours from Tuesday through to Saturday will be published here as soon as practicable.

One of the new options we’re offering in some cases this year to complement the current 30 minute & 60 minute lessons will be the option of 45 minute lessons.  The current option of weekly or fortnightly lessons will continue.  There’s also a modest increase of $1.00 per half hour in lesson fees this year, all details of which can be viewed on the fees page of this site.

We wish you all a productive & successful year of music and singing.

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Full-steam ahead

Term 1 is now well under way and the news, good or not so good depending on your point of view, is that the studio timetable is now fully subscribed.  Good news that we’re full-steam ahead, not so good if you’re looking for a regular place with us.  We do on occasion get advance notice of cancellations in enough time to be able to book in a lesson for those on our waiting list.  Some regular places do also become available from time to time.  These will posted on the availability page as they occur.  We are always happy to refer enquiries on to one of our many trusted and valued colleagues if we are unable to offer a place.  Our best wishes to you for all your endeavours.

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Welcome Back

Welcome back.   The studio will be operating again from the 14th January.  We’re in the process of sorting out the timetable and are look forward to seeing our regular clients in coming weeks.  We hope that you’ve had a restful Christmas & New Year Period and are looking forward to more music in 2014.  For potential new clients, please check the availability page of this site or contact us via the contact page.  Best wishes to all.

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Christmas Message

Santa SurfAnother year is drawing to a close.  The studio will be closed from the 21st December for 3 weeks.  Please feel free to contact me regarding booking for next year.   All the best from us to you for the Christmas Season.

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February Ponderings

In last month’s post about music practise we talked about the mechanical “doing” stuff and motor learning.  This month’s topic is the related abstract “thinking” stuff.

We now know, with strong evidence from neuroscience, that music is a multi-faceted brain activity.  If you bung someone in an MRI machine and have them compose, improvise or play and instrument, lots of areas of the brain are seen to be lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree.   Aspects such as counting and rhythm, language if you’re singing, motor activity, audiation, and abstract thinking about form, structure and interpretation are all involved.  This, along with the obvious benefits of social activity and cooperative behaviours, is one of the reasons why music education is so important for children.  A good quality general music education helps other areas of intellectual, emotional and academic development.  I digress.  Off the soapbox and back to the point.

How does this relate to practise?  Well, one of the really nifty things we now know is that mental rehearsal works just as well for musicians as it does for athletes.  Sporty types have used this sort of stuff for ages.  If you put a gymnast through part of a new routine by assisting them to move in space slowly with a two-and-half summersault-twist-half-pike-with-a-dash-of-lemon and then have them stand to one side and rehearse it mentally, chances are they’ll be able to come back and give it a fair go.  This assumes some level of acquired skill obviously.  You can see this in action on the TV with elite athletes psyching themselves up for the big event as they go through the act mentally in advance.

It works because mentally rehearsing a motor activity actually engages the motor cortex.  Pretty amazing when you think about it.  There are some elite musicians, concert pianists for example, who can jump on a plane with a new piece of music to learn, and with a well-developed ability for mental preparation, learn and memorise the piece without actually having played a note.  Yes, we hate these people.

So, relating this back to practise for mere mortals, whether you’re a pianist or a singer, the same strategy can be applied at home.  Once you’ve familiarised yourself with a passage, go over it again in your head.  Imagine yourself playing or singing it.  Try to feel the keys under your fingers, think about the fingering, or recall the sense of ease and freedom in singing the phrase as you last did it so beautifully.  There are lots of advantages in this sort of strategy.  It’s less impact on family and neighbours for one!  Seriously, it can really improve efficiency in your practise and reduce the amount of time to get to the same result.  Give it a try.  What have you got to lose?  At the very least you can always get away with doing absolutely nothing with the excuse of “but I’m practising……really!” 

We’ll talk about inner hearing and audiation next time.  In the meantime, happy music making.

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