Roy Johnson Music
Students and teachers either love or hate exams. Below I’ve listed some pros’ and cons’ but am happy to discuss this with students, but a decision to take exams can be made at any time.
Encourages a broad base of guitar skills, pieces, scales, aural skills etc
Provides a forum for performance
Good for experiencing playing under pressure
Enable progress to be measured against a standard benchmark
Requires a disciplined and focussed approach
Typical route to further study, diplomas etc
Cost of exam entry
Examination of skills that may not be immediately relevant to the student
For Classical and Acoustic Guitar I am currently using the RGT / LCM Classical and Acoustic Guitar syllabuses respectively.
I am not currently entering students for Theory Exams but I teach relevant theory where it supports a practical topic. I am happy to introduce beginners to the formal early grades using the Associated Examining Board if it is important to the student.
The key to developing any skill is to develop sound understanding of the basic concepts. In the case of the guitar this includes posture, left and right hand technique and position. If these can be established in the early stages it will enable accuracy, speed and clarity of the playing in the future, while avoiding the aches and pains that can be caused otherwise. I’ll work hard to either set solid foundations from the beginning or to correct any issues that may have already arisen.
Playing an instrument is more than just playing the notes. During our sessions we will have the opportunity to develop four key musical concepts; tone, volume, phrasing, rhythm and listening. In terms of listening this means critically listening to yourself and listening and being sympathetic to other musicians who may be playing with you. These are four things that can shape a good performance into a great one.
Performance is an art that needs to be practised. My view is that a performance can be given at any age and at any ability. The audience can be a recording device, teacher, parent, family and friends and potentially an audience at Madison Square Gardens! A teaching environment is a friendly place to develop the art or performing and one where thanks to technology and a sympathetic teacher immediate and positive feedback can be gained.
All styles of guitar playing benefit from a player having a good technique. In the early stages of learning the guitar many of the techniques developed stay with the player for life and are transferable to different styles of playing whether it be folk accompaniment, classical or electric blues etc.
My focus is Classical, Song accompaniment and traditional tune accompaniment. For those particularly interested in accompanying traditional music there will be a strong focus on rhythm and alternative chords.
I am happy to teach students on the electric guitar as in the early days many techniques are transferable and can support students who wish to take the early stages Rock School exams. Electric guitar lessons will provide the students with oportunity to