Teaching

My Students
My students range from complete beginners who have never played an instrument to advanced players who would like to learn Classical technique, interpretation and expression or Italian tremolo. Age should not be an issue but you need to have fit hands and fine motor skills as well as good study skills. Students have ranged in age from 15 to 70. If you do not yet have an instrument, read about possibilities for buying and renting under instruments.

Lesson length and frequence
If you have never taken lessons before, you should make sure that you have enough time in your life not only for the lesson but for practicing most days of the week. It is more important to play often than to play for a long time, especially as your skill increases and muscles develop. I recommend lessons at a frequency of once a week, 45 minutes for the first few weeks and one hour after that. If you have special circumstances which makes this unsuitable for you, we can usually find a compromise frequency and length.

Lesson organization
The first lesson should be an hour in length and you will be asked to pay at the end.  If both you and your teacher enjoy the first lesson are communicating well, and we decide to continue, we will make a plan for lessons on a regular schedule. In general, at the end of the month, we will discuss the plan for the next month and agree the lesson times and days. If you are not available for a particular week, that’s fine in general (provided it’s not too often) and your teacher knows in advance and can make other plans to use the time. You are asked to pay up-front for your lessons before the month starts after which both you and your teacher are committed to these times. To see what can be done if there is an unexpected change of plan, read the lessons policy for cancellations and rescheduling.

Lesson locations and rates
In August 2015, Nicola is teaching in the York area. Individual lessons will cost £20/hr for the first month and then £25/hr

Group lessons may be offered if there is demand.

Lesson locations are still being determined.

What I teach
* Basic technique
* Precise, clean playing
* Classical mandolin technique (single picking)
* Developing a smooth effortless tremolo
* Reading standard notation
* Music interpretation and expression
* Ensemble and orchestra playing
* Music theory including keys, intervals and harmony
* Composition and arranging

I use a variety of standard European mandolin texts. These include some of the late 19th century Italian players and teachers: Calace, Munier, Ranieri and Branzoli. For beginner readers I use Wilden-Huesgen. Material for beginners and for those studying different positions is supplemented by some standard violin texts.

See also:
Nicola Swinburne’s Biography

San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra

Instruments

History of the Mandolin