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James Cullen

07983 418222

Teaching

I took up the violin more seriously in my early teens when I needed to know "why" from my teacher to progress (rather than being purely shown).
 
From this I believe I have developed good communication skills which help my students understand and remember what to do when playing, which is particularly useful when a student is practising on their own or when they are not in my lesson and performing elsewhere.
 
I have to say it is very rewarding when a young student can tell me confidently what they have to remember and why! 
For those wishing to take exams, my philosophy is to use them as an aid to my teaching, and most importantly, to give students a sense of achievement. Ideally they should be entered into exams when they are at a playing level where they should be awarded a merit or distinction. 

I see no value to a student entering an exam prematurely and "scraping" a pass, especially when there are normally a number of sittings per year to choose from. 

Particularly with children and young adults, success in a music exam and the self-esteem that flows from good results can be the foundation of academic success in other subjects.
Teaching Younger Students
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Although parents may arrange for me to initially teach one of their children, I sometimes find I am asked to teach other members of the family. 
 
Teaching more than one student can be useful if attention spans are short since music theory can be set for one as the other is being taught violin/viola.
 

Considering Playing The Viola? 
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If you or your child is considering playing the viola, I can provide “taster” lessons.
 
Most viola players start playing the violin and later convert to viola. This means that there are considerably more violin players than viola but there are significant numbers of viola plays that make up classical quartets, chamber groups and orchestras.
 
As a result there may be better and more prominent opportunities converting to viola playing, at school, university and adult life.
 
For those parents trying to get their children into schools where there is a strong music department, it might be worth while investigating if playing a the viola would be an asset both in terms of obtaining the place and possible bursaries.