Learning music - all ages can learn
We teach singing and a wide range of instruments, including piano, guitar, strings and drums, recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone and brass, and we can arrange tuition on other instruments in consultation with students and parents. We teach both groups and individuals, and we have a regular programme of recitals to encourage a positive approach to performances, which of course are the real purpose of making music. The standard duration of a lesson is 40 minutes. Beginners will really benefit from group lessons, which makes the lesson much more like their school experience and enhances the fun.
All students are strongly encouraged to take theory lessons in parallel with practical lessons. For ABRSM grade 5 instrumental and above, a pass in Grade 5 theory is required, so we encourage theory tuition right from the outset.
We now teach dance! Ballroom, salsa... Our new dance instructor, Kanyabu Kazadi, has recently been teaching in South Africa and has come to join us.
We strongly encourage learning and practice of Zambian music. We teach African drumming, and regularly include African idiom and music history in our Inspired By Music series. Vox performs many songs from Zambia and the region, and has a project aiming to record a series of Ngoni songs. We have several teachers with a serious understanding of jazz too, so jazz lessons can be included.
We also offer Inspired By Music – a series of seminars for older and younger students and music aficionados who wish to develop their musical understanding in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere more like a club.
Music For Fun
Music for fun is a 30 minute lesson for groups of 3-5 year olds . Lessons encompass singing, piano and rhythm, with exploration of different instruments, each part of the lesson lasting not more than about 5 minutes to allow for their short concentration span. The idea is that it's an introduction to music which will allow children to focus on an instrument they like when they're ready, and all in a very happy fun atmosphere to give them a positive feel for music. We intend that after around one year of Music for Fun we will assess each child individually using the ABRSM Prep Test format, just here in the Academy. This will allow us to determine when they are ready to move to formal instrumental and theory lessons. The Prep Test assesses six elements of musical achievement:
• Note accuracy
• Aural response
• General impression
There is no pass or fail, but each child will get a certificate from the Academy with positive constructive comments on their achievements and on the way forward. Some parents may like their child to enter for the Prep Test itself. In this way we will enable children to move on smoothly from Music For Fun to their own preferred instrument, in a happy, positive atmosphere.