Happy New Year!

2020 has started with a bang at Saltaire Music Tuition! It has been wonderful to see all exsisiting students again after the Christmas break and I am delighted to welcome several new students having instrumental tuition and taking part in inclusive music making, ‘Be in a Band’ and ‘Tiny Finger Takeoff’ sessions.


Phenomenally Progressing Pianists and Clever Clarinettisits!

It has been wonderful to see piano students who were absolute beginners in September 2019 flourish as we move into 2020! Students are developing their skills at a fantastic rate through effective practice and enthusiasm to explore new repertoire and technique. Beginner pianists are now exploring a range of pieces which alternate the left and right hand or combine both hands together. They are adding expression to pieces through articulation and dynamics and they are developing ensemble performing skills by exploring duets. They are also enjoying developing their finger dexterity, hand postion, fingering skills and music theory through scales using both hands independantly and together. I am also delighted that some students have expressed an interest in taking exams on piano and this half term these students have started working on exercises and pieces from the LCM (London College of Music) Pre prep and Step 1 syllabus.

Clarinet lessons have been focussing on developing a greater range through the introduction of lower register notes. We continue to develop breathing technique, intonation, embouchure, articulation and dynamics exploring a wide range of repertoire including solo pieces and duets.


‘Be In A Band’, ‘Tiny Finger Takeoff’ and ‘Dynamic Directors’.

Saltarie Music Tuition prides itself in offering a range of musical opportunities to suit all interests, ages and abilities.

‘Dynamic Directors’ is a friendly music group for children aged between 5 and 9 who are home educated. This half term ‘Dynamic Directors’ have been developing their ukulele skills with an emphasis on ensemble performing, piano ability using the correct hand positioning and fingering and music theory understanding focussing on rhythm using fun card games and activities.


‘Tiny Finger Takeoff’ is an especially designed programme that introduces early musical concepts to younger learners with a view to preparing them for piano lessons as they grow older. This half term pre-schoolers on the ‘Tiny Finger Takeoff’ programme have enjoyed singing and parachute play to develop internalisation of pitch. They have listened to and played along to music to develop a sense of pulse and rhythm and explored concepts such as high/low, loud/soft, long/short and fast/slow using famous music based on animals, singing, parachute play, playdough, the piano and drum kit! We have explored piano geography through ‘dogs and frogs’, ‘keyboard builder’ card games and exploration of the musical alphabet using duplo. We have also ambitiously prepared some younger learners for reading music notation through colour coded letter cards and desk bells!


‘Be in a Band’ is a group designed for those aged 8+ who want to develop their ensemble performing skills through singing, piano/keyboard, ukulele or the drum kit. This half term we have learnt to perform ‘Shotgun’ by George Ezra and are currently learning ‘High Hopes’ by Panic at the Disco


Music Making for All

Inclusive music making sessions this half term have developed a range of performing and composing skills. Students have used ukulele, percussion and singing to create their own arrangement of ‘It’s Raining, It’s Pouring’, recording each part individually on Garageband software to create an ensemble performance. Students have also enjoyed performing famous tunes on the desk bells and composing their own music using colour coded cards that match the pitches of each bell.

It doesn’t matter how we create music, it is just about making music and having fun!

I have really enjoyed providing a further 2 sessions of inclusive music making for the charity SNAPS Yorkshire (Special Needs and Parent Support), www.snapsyorkshire.org. The children and young people enjoyed a range of inclusive music making activites that included singing supported by parachute play, developing ukulele skills with help from parents/carers and siblings as part of the ‘Bring a Buddy’ ukulele band, learning about high/low, fast/slow and short/long whilst exploring Camille Saint-Saens ‘Carnival of the Animals’ and performing favourite tunes on the desk bells.


Celebrating success

Well done to Seren and Danny who both recently completed their 30 piece challenge. They both worked incredibly hard to perform a range of pieces either using 2 hands together or each hand individually with fluency, accuracy and confidence. Both students will now be developing their piano skills further by expanding their repertoire of pieces that use both hands simultaniously along side developing expression in their performances through constrasting articulation and dynamics.

This half term several students have also been working on the ‘Pentascale challenge’ which encourages students to learn and perform all major pentascales using each hand individually and both hands together. This supports the development of excellent finger technique, fluency, effective hand positioning alongside exploring differnet key signatures and sharps/flats. Well done to Benjamin, Alec and Danny who have completed level 1 of the challenge (all major pentascales), next stop minor pentascales!

It is always wonderful to hear that students are music making outside of their Saltaire Music Tuition lessons/sessions. I had the great pleasure of watching the ‘Be in a Band’ students sing with their school (and about 4000 other children!!) at Young Voices at Sheffield Arena in January, www.youngvoices.co.uk to find out more. Also a huge well done to Hashim (Dynamic Directors) for his role singing in a pantomine performance earlier in the term. What an amazing experience for all students involved in these performances and well done for having the commitment and confidence to get involved!


Next Half Term: Spring Celebration and SNAPS.

What an amazing start to 2020, so proud of the leaps and bounds in progress students are making! What a truely wonderful job I have! I am delighted that students will be showcasing their talent, hard work and exceptional progress at the next Saltaire Music Tuition concert ‘Spring Celebration’ on Saturday 14th March. Email sarah@saltairemusictuition.co.uk for tickets or further infomation.

As the next half term draws to a close I am delighted to be providing another inclusive music making session at SNAPS (www.snapsyorkshire.org).


Want to Join Us?

Looking for outstanding and exciting lessons on clarinet or piano, music theory lessons, GCSE Music Tuition or inclusive music making session. Don’t delay, limited day time and after school slots available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Email sarah@saltairemusictuition.co.uk.

*Not local or limited availability? Lessons are also available via the online learning platform Showbie (enquire within for further information).

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