© Rick Finlay 2019

Frequently asked questions about lessons

Q: Other teachers seem a lot cheaper – why is that?
A: You should certainly compare what other teachers have to offer. You are advised to make a decsion on more than price alone – find out what teaching and playing experience is behind the lessons, what the equipment, studio and facilities are like. I have many years experience teaching from leading professionals to beginners, from ages 5 upwards, and I've been performing professionally for over 30 years.

If you are a parent seeking lessons for your child, make this formative experience of learning a musical instrument a carefully thought-through decision.

Q: Do I have to have an hour-long lesson?
A: Students aged 15 and over are expected to attend for an hour-long lesson. This gives us the necessary time to cover material in sufficient detail, and builds essential concentration skills.

For younger students it is often more sensible to have a 30 minute or 40 minute lesson and I am happy to discuss this with you.

Q: Do I have to have a lesson every week?
A: I only give one-off lessons for professionals and advanced students.

If you want a regular time slot you need to commit to weekly or fortnightly lessons. Regular lessons are the key to making good progress, getting satisfaction from your development, and getting serious about your musical skills. If you have a lot of other distractions or commitments making it hard to manage your practice time then maybe you should wait until a time in your life when you can devote yourself to serious study. In my experience, you will find that much more rewarding.

Q: Do I need to have my own drums?
A: If you are a beginner you should not spend money on equipment until you see if this is something you want to pursue. But pretty soon you will want to be able to practice at home and I can advise you on what to look for. As the lessons continue I expect you to have an instrument so that you can show some progress when you return!

Q: Do I have to read music?
A: No, but it is a lot easier to develop and keep a record of what you have learned and need to practice if you can. It's not hard and I can help you learn in simple stages.

Q: What about exams?
A: If you are the kind of person who likes to mark their progress in this way, I will help you prepare for grade exams.

This is not for everyone though – in many ways the content of lessons can develop more organically without the pressure of exams, so even if you do take grades, I recommend a break between exams to allow your playing to follow some other strands and to fit to your musical interests.

For drumkit, I personally favour the Rock School and Trinity Rock & Pop syllabuses, because they are based on what it is really like to play in a band and cover many styles and genres. But if you want to take  ABRSM percussion or any other syllabus, that's cool too.

Q: Do parents/carers sit in on the lesson?
A: For younger students, I insist on parents/carers sitting in for the first few lessons. After that, if preferred, you can sit in the adjacent waiting room, or go out to get some chores done and collect in good time at the end of the lesson.

Q: What if I have to cancel a lesson?
A: Please note that, except for emergencies, you will have to pay the full fee if you cancel your lesson, unless the circumstances, in my opinion, warrant a special concession.

Other pupils may have been unable to book lessons because of the time you have been allocated, so it’s unfair to them as well as me if you fail to attend without due notice.

For those pupils with professional or semi-professional careers in mind, you should remember that to be late or to not show up without notice is disastrous for your reputation, and will quickly damage your employment prospects.

Q: How do I pay for my lessons?
A: click on the how to pay link