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The Glasgow School of Music

Lessons in Music, Skills for Life.

*COVID-19 UPDATE* As per government advice, the school is now open and offering face-to-face lessons. At the Glasgow School of Music, we understand the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and how this has impacted your routine. We will be continuing to offer Online Lessons to accommodate all of our students.

The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) is a multi-award-winning facility providing the best music tuition - this is delivered by our dedicated team of tutors, contributing both expertise and professionalism during all lessons. We provide the opportunity for our student's to participate in the examinations, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Trinity College London (TCL), and Rockschool (RSL). Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned musician, the Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) welcomes you.

All tutors are Protecting Vulnerable Groups Certified (PVG Scheme);

Personally tailored tuition;

Tuition geared towards gaining the best results;

Individual and Group Lessons are available;

Lessons for all ages.

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Lessons in Music Skills for Life

The Glasgow School of Music

The Glasgow School of Music is privately run music school located in the South of Glasgow. It is our goal to produce the best musicians in the city with top quality tuition delivered by experienced and professional musicians.   At the moment, The Glasgow School of Music is still taking off and we are currently sourcing the perfect premises for this venture. We hope that the school will be running by Summer 18 - not long now!!   What makes us different?   Together, we have contacts from all over the UK, including some national and international performers. We have close ties with Professors and Ph.D. students who will help influence our level of tuition.   With each lesson uniquely tailored for our pupils, we have the drive and ambition to help you achieve your goals whether this is to take grades or play your favourite pop song, and with a very high pass mark average for ABRSM exams, we are confident that we can take you to the next level.   We are all professional musicians and are involved in many projects around Glasgow, this means that we have an up-to-date knowledge of live performance and of all opportunities that may arise within the city for our students. This means that we can offer pupils the chance at live public performance, something that we feel is very important for any musician.   These are just some of the great ways that The Glasgow School of Music stands out from the rest of the crowd. We look forward to hearing from you and to find out more about how we can help you achieve your aspirations as a musician.

Nervous? ABRSM Exam Summer 2018

There are three times per year where students at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) have the opportunity to sit their Associated Board of Royal School of Music (ABRSM) graded examinations. Exam time is a difficult time for everyone. It’s important to understand that each pupil will react to nerves in different ways, some will welcome them, where others won’t. While this has no reflection on ability nor does it reflect how hard the pupil has worked, this is a very natural emotion that we all go through at some point in our lives. Tips; Accept yourself and your skill level. Example; To concentrate on what you're doing rather than being self-conscious, you need to accept your skill level. Determine what is required, and what is a bonus. Example; You might have higher expectations than what is needed. Maybe all you need is a Pass at Grade 1— merit or a distinction would be even better, of course, but all you need is a Pass! Embrace your nervousness. Example; It may seem counter-intuitive to accept and welcome being nervous, after all, you are trying not to feel nervous! But trying to squelch down natural feelings has a way of making them worse. Allow yourself to feel uneasy, but recognize that just because you feel uneasy does not mean you cannot do something. Accept that you will feel nervous as a natural state in a given situation, just as you would feel happy, sad, or angry in a presented case. Instead of running from the feeling, allow it to be present, but not overwhelm you. Always remember to breathe in a controlled manner! Try learning some techniques to take deep, relaxing breaths. These techniques will serve you in preparation for the exam and can also be done in moments of extreme nervousness. These exams are a difficult time for our students, but remember, this feeling will pass and remember that you can sit the examination and do well – you would be put forward if your tutor didn’t believe in your skill level. The last thing to remember, everyone is very proud of you, your parents, friends, tutor, however, the person that should have the most pride, would be you. Just look at how much your music talent has grown and developed over this short period. The Glasgow School of Music wishes its students the very best of luck; we would like to extend this gratitude to all other pupils taking these exams as well.

So you want to learn the piano?

The fact is, everyone has musical talent, and at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM), it is our job to help develop that talent and making you become a good musician. Your goal is our passion, your aim is our drive, The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) is here to help you achieve the best results, fast. Here at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM), we pride ourselves on our ability to offer top piano tuition. These lessons are delivered by experienced and passionate professionals. Each of your sessions will be customized by your personal tutor to maximize your full potential. When teaching the piano, there are many different approaches that one can take to become a decent player. This could be; 1/ Playing by ear: This method can be useful and fun, it also makes playing any song (usually pop based) easier. This way, however, can be difficult if you don’t have good pitching skills to start with, and can actually hinder the learning process if one was to rely on “ears alone” rather than more traditional methods. If you play this way alone, I would suggest that you adopt another technique as well to make sure your learning doesn’t have any undue gaps. 2/ Chords: This method is probably the most popular, given that videos on YouTube such as The Axis of Awesome, who demonstrate that 4 chords can basically play anything; this method is also adopted through Jazz as well. When learning Chords, it is essential for one to get the basics correct firstly, for example, scales, hand positions, knowing the difference between Major and minor, etc. etc. Once these are in place, playing by Chords becomes very manageable and a fun way to show off your talent. I would recommend that everybody should learn chords and how they function as part of a musical structure as this will help your play style ten-fold. 3/ Reading Music (Elite method) I call this the Elite way as this is adopted by all classical performers and gives the best insight into music. You learn every aspect of playing and the development, although slow at times, will bring out your best skills. Reading Music is difficult and can be time-consuming, but if you really want to learn music, I guarantee that with some effort you will be reading music in no time and playing masterpiece you never thought would be possible. This is the method I 100% recommend for everyone who is starting to learn or who is currently learning, give it a go, you will surprise yourself! Teaching at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) At The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) your goals are our goals. We work with you independently and at the rate that suits your learning style. Our tutors are patient, caring and empathetic and want to make you the best musician you can be. Below are some teaching methods we adopt at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) for child and adult learners; Child Learning: Teaching a child new skills is among the most valuable accomplishment one can achieve, especially an ability which lasts for a lifetime. Each pupil at The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM) will learn at their own speed, with their tutors' complete support, allowing progress and development to be enjoyable and relaxing in a calm environment. Adult Learning “I wish I took the time to learn an instrument” or “I’m too old to learn the piano” or “I’m not good enough to learn” are some of the most common sayings I hear from people as a tutor. Here at The Glasgow School of Music, we challenge these misconceptions and work with you, developing your skills and technique and watch as we bring out the best pianist in you. Now you have read through this little blog, why not call us at The Glasgow School of Music to inquire about lessons or to ask us for any advice that we may be able to provide? Call us on 079 2254 6713 We look forward to hearing from you. The article was written by; Paul Murray (Head of Piano & Keyboard Studies) MDes, MMus, BMus (Hons). The Glasgow School of Music (GSofM)

Scales! are they a "waste of time"?

It is common for piano students to question the "point" of practicing scales and arpeggios. The practice sessions begin with what seems to be a frustrating waste of time, a reluctant run through mechanical, repetitive and frankly dull exercises which appear to be designed to stop them getting to the exciting part of practice - the repertoire. However, it's important to note, scales can offer the pianist so much more. The intelligent and focused training of scales can have an impressive impact on performance, technique and overall musicianship. A perfect warm-up Preparation is essential when getting the most from a practice session. Scales should be used to gently loosen and stretch the hands and fingers before playing, where arpeggios are invaluable when warming up your wrists. Scales will not only fix the necessary sharps or flats of the key signature in your mind, but it will also provide a quick reminder of the particular hand positions and possible fingerings of the piece. For example, the seemingly large interval between C-flat and D-natural in E-flat minor will be highlighted, practiced and resolved before you even attempt to play in that key. Much musical material derives from scales and arpeggios. Melodies are drawn mainly from the notes of the scale, while composers frequently use chords and broken chord patterns in their harmonies. By practicing our scales and arpeggios, we are providing yourself with advance warning of the challenges that you are likely to find in your chosen pieces. An Improved Technique The repetitive and predictable nature of scales make them the ideal basis for practising and improving technique. With the worry of hitting a wrong note significantly reduced, the pianist is free to experiment. For example, try playing a scale with a staccato accent instead of legato, or with a bouncy compound dotted rhythm instead of straight quavers. Experiment with all our dynamics ranges, pianissimo to fortissimo, or performing a long crescendo or rapid diminuendo. Or choose some performance directions to try them out. Scales are also invaluable study to promote a steady, even rhythm. The use of a metronome will always help. Have you developed a steady inner rhythm that will highlight any unevenness? Using a metronome at different speeds will help you to overcome this problem. However, although a pianist should be able to play with a steady rhythm, they also need to be able to deviate from strict time musically. So try altering speeds within a scale, speeding up or slowing down as you go. Move from an exaggerated lento to prestissimo within a single range. All of these ideas will improve and develop your own agility, helping you to achieve the most out of any practice session and will overall improve your control and command of the piano. Why Scales are Important? Another significant benefit of scales is the thorough tuition they provide in key signatures. Theory books can supply this information, listing flats and sharps for you to memorize. However, it isn’t until you begin to use this theory effectively by actually playing in the keys that you acquire a broad and reliable understanding. And once this level of knowledge is achieved, you will notice vast improvements in a fundamental area of musicianship - sight reading. Pupils will often find that somewhere in the confusion of "dots on a page," chords, dynamics, and the desperation to keep going no matter what, the black keys can quickly be forgotten. This is why consistent scale practice will help solve the problem. By drilling the theory and practical application of critical signatures into both mind and muscles, playing in each important name will become second nature, leaving you free to concentrate on everything else. How to practice scales So how to get the most from practicing scales? What approach should be taken to maximize the benefits to both your theoretical understanding and your practice technique? It is well documented that Chopin chose to begin scale tuition with B major. Although this key seems challenging, with a horrifying number of sharps to remember (F#, C#, G#, D#, and A#) The notes fall naturally under the fingers promoting a good hand shape, and the use of the thumb as a pivot is made easy by its position lower and closer to the pianist than the fingers. It is when you become familiar with the scales that you must try working them chromatically while alternating between major and minor (following B major with Bb minor for example). This forces the hand to change position and adjust fingering patterns, continually challenging and testing the knowledge of the pianist. And occasionally, play scales backward, descending then ascending, or try starting a scale on a random note, proving to yourself to see if your fingers will naturally find the right place. The variations of this technique are endless, where both are guaranteed to increase your skill and liven up your practice sessions. To recap, try not to resent playing your scales. Rather than seeing it as a "waste of time," scales will improve every aspect of your piano technique. This will provide you with an excellent grounding in music theory and can be great fun too. And all in ten minutes a day. Time well spent.


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