Education

Tommy is an experienced and knowledgeable teacher, having offered his instructive services since 2004 to students of all ages in the Cheltenham area. He takes pride in teaching people who are eager to expand their minds, talents, and skills, and brings a depth of professional expertise to those who strive to excel. If you’re searching for a professional Piano Teacher who can give you the personalized attention you deserve, look no further!

Whether your goal is becoming a world class player, or just a part time music enthusiast, Tommy can help guide you there. His thoughtful musical diagnosis, and individually tailored straight forward approach blends theory, technique, and creativity. Now you can study privately with Tommy!

If you already have some facility at the keyboard Tommy can provide you with the help, critique, and guidance needed to help you to fulfil your potential.He is available for one to one tuition, workshops, classes in harmony and improvisation, and online Skype lessons.

Jazz theory and improvisation

With over 20 years experience playing and performing jazz, Tommy is able to demontrate and explain the styles of the jazz masters from various eras. He has an extensive knowledge of jazz theory and harmony and can show you how to integrate it into your own playing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a lesson structured?

Tommy is a patient and adaptable teacher. His lessons are personalized, comprehensive, and fun.
There is no regimented time allocation to particular tasks. Instead, each student has a theme for his or her lesson at any given point. Learning Jazz is not a linear experience but Tommy has organised the concepts well. Sometimes, the lesson will focus on a piece of music, while other days the focus may be on a chord sequence, scale exercise, solo practice, etc.

Do we read music in lessons?

Tommy highly recommends learning to read music notation and chord charts. Tommy’s approach helps to ensure that you won’t just learn to read one piece of music after another without any “musical understanding.” Instead, you acquire and strengthen the skills to understand fully what you do in each piece and how it works.

How many lessons do I have to book?

Tommy has no need to tie you down to any particular course of lessons. He has taught one-off lessons but also has many students who chose to stay for several years.

How often do I need to have lessons?

Most students have their lesson either every week or every two weeks. Unless the student has a high level of jazz experience, coming less often doesn’t seem to work that well. However, there is no specific requirement to commit to any duration of lessons.


Do I need a piano at home to begin lessons?

Yes, you will definitely need a piano to practice on. Some people are not sure about continuing with the piano and want to try it out before purchasing one. A reasonable quality keyboard is okay to start out with, but a real piano is essential for serious students who wish to develop a good technique.

What kinds of students do you have?

Enthusiasts without professional ambitions, beginners, professional jazz musicians, and music students. Anyone with enough motivation and drive to get something out of lessons.


How much practice do I need to do?

You should really start from the perspective of how much practice you’re interested in doing and willing to do. Students who succeed want to practice and enjoy playing piano, figuring out chords, scales, and more, rather than just aiming toward a certain result. It is the goal that you become “you’re own teacher” and therefore those who are already doing this will stand a better chance of success. It’s about the journey, rather than the destination. You should try to fit in practice most days, even if it’s not a long session. Little and often is the key for busy people.


Are styles other than jazz taught?

Although Tommy is one of the few quality and specialist jazz educators around, you can certainly apply many of the skills he teaches to other styles as well.

Lesson Bookings - Cheltenham

Assessment lesson - FREE

30 minute lesson - £15

60 minute lesson – £30

Workshops

£50 for an afternoon workshop in Gloucestershire.

For further information about piano tuition, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Online Lessons - Information


You can take lessons on either Skype™ or Facetime™
You will need:

1. The Skype™ application. If you don't have it, click here.
(You have to create a Skype™ account. Get Info here: )
Or the FaceTime™ application (included with Apple computers)

2. A computer with either a built-in or peripheral video camera and a piano or keyboard nearby.

3. All payments made by PayPal only. If you don’t have PayPal it’s very simple to join. PayPal.com.

4. Be sure that you have broadband and a good internet connection wherever you do the lessons!

Online students - General info

When we have a lesson, you and I see each other on the computer but are also able to play a keyboard. Sometimes I demonstrate what I want you to do and then ask you to play it. I assign music to learn and we talk about how to make the improvisation sound good with the harmony of the song. It is also helpful if you have some kind of playalong available but not absolutely necessary. You might have a playalong CD such as one of the Jamey Aebersold or Hal Leonard series, Band-in-a-Box or the iReal Pro program which is available for the Apple computer and the Android or iPhone. You should definitely have a good quality metronome!
I will also assign exercises for you to practice to develop more jazz vocabulary. I listen to you play and critique what you are doing. Sometimes I ask you questions about a piece to see if you understand what to do. Of course, you may always ask questions about any aspect of playing that interests you and I will try to answer them!
It is recommended that lessons can be video recorded for repeated viewing using Quicktime.

To set up a lesson on either Skype™ or FaceTime™:

Please fill in the ‘contact’ box below and send me a request of a couple of days and times to arrange a lesson. If arranging lessons in time zones other than the UK Be sure to tell me your location so I can plan for the time difference in scheduling. I will try to give you your preferred time! Lessons are mainly on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays but other arrangements are possible. Lessons may be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or randomly, whatever works best for your schedule!

The lesson fee is £30 for a 1 hour lesson. As a new student, you are entitled to two lessons at a discounted price of £40 so you can try it out. After a time is arranged, you will receive an invoice with instructions for payment through PayPal™
When I receive notification of your payment, we can proceed with the lesson as arranged. Thanks for your interest in expanding your knowledge of music!