What to expect
Lessons with Mark are always structured around the needs and desires of the student. As such, Mark teaches a technical/skills based approach as well as one of enjoyment and simply making music. This varies from student to student depending on their own goals, personalities, and what they require from their teacher.
An examination process is encouraged as this provides concrete progression and results every 6 to 12 months. In saying that, if the pressures of examinations are not your style or do not fit your goals then that is totally fine, it is not a necessary route to follow in order to become an accomplished musician.
Theory is always taught concurrently with any instrumental lesson, but the theory focus may change depending on the genre and style we are playing.
Every student will have online access to their lesson notes, music, demonstration videos and any other material we may use during a lesson, whether they are in-person or online students.
Mark's ultimate goal as a teacher is to create versatile and independent musicians who can learn, play and create new music on their own.
Tuition-based lessons: Students enrol in a programme of music study. Tuition is paid monthly in twelve instalments.
45 minute lessons
40 lessons each calendar year, or a total of 30 hours of teaching.
Online and/or in-person.
Flexibility in lesson scheduling around other commitments (school exams, work, holidays).
Demonstration videos and audio of all pieces provided.
All sheet music and lesson notes provided online.
Video analysis and feedback (on top of lesson time).
Switch your instrumental focus throughout the year or learn more than one instrument as you go.
Free participation in any online workshops/masterclasses that Mark provides (included in students' annual teaching time).
COST: $3000 p/year, paid monthly (including GST)
Casual lessons: Lessons that are one-off, short term, or pay-as-you-go. Paid in-advance weekly, or in groups of 5 or 10.
Any length of time.
Online and/or in-person
Particularly useful for Musical Theatre, Aural, and Theory; audition prep, exams or those teaching themselves that need something explained.
Lesson notes and sheet music provided online.
Backing tracks created for Music Theatre.
COST: $90 per hour (including GST)
Mark's years of experience at the piano, across many environments, allow him to take many different pathways with his students. They can choose the classical route with exams and a focus on note reading, or a jazz route with lead sheets and improvisation, or a pop course with chords and harmony. In fact, most students want a little bit of everything, which is perfect to becoming a well rounded pianist!
All students do some form of technical exercise every week to prepare them to play more technical material.
At your first lesson with Mark, you will start playing your favourite songs straight away. We will focus on learning chords, solos and fundamental scales as well as improvisation to create your own solos.
Learning to read notation, TAB and chord charts will be included in all lesson programmes and you will learn all the notes on the neck of the guitar very quickly, which will allow you to play anywhere on the guitar with ease.
Playing on both and Acoustic and an Electric guitar is encouraged but not essential
Mark attained high level of performance on the Clarinet and Saxophone at a young age. Since then Mark has played both instruments in concert bands and musical theatre orchestras.
Mark encourages all of his reed students to take up both the clarinet and saxophone as multi-reed players are in very high demand, both in school concert bands and orchestras, but also in the professional world in musical theatre, studio work and bands.
The Clarinet easy to learn and affordable. Traditionally it is viewed as the more 'classical' instrument.
The Saxophone is found in jazz & stage bands so becomes a more social instrument, particularly for high school students. The saxophone is also extremely versatile with students being able to start on the Alto Saxophone and then move to the Soprano, Tenor or Baritone Saxophone.
Musical Theatre Coaching
Mark regularly coaches students for Musical Theatre auditions and performance preparation.
Mark has been involved in many audition processes as both a Music Director and Audition accompanist.
Particularly for younger performers, he can help you create a songbook of appropriate audition material, create music cuts for auditions and help you record audition tapes/show reels.
Alongside teaching the actual mechanics of playing an instrument, music theory is a necessary part of becoming a complete musician.
Improvisation, song-writing, memorisation and sight-reading all benefit hugely from a good understanding of music theory.
All theory lessons are tailored specifically to your instrument, genre and goals. The theory needs of a singer/songwriter are very different to the needs of someone going through a classical exam system.