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Dave J Ford Saxophone Teacher (Kirkcaldy)

Dave J Ford Silver Member

  • Almond (KY14) View on map
  • Last Logged In: 13 Aug 2014
  • Sex: Male

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Personal Message
‘What’s your favourite band’ is one of my first questions. We listen to something & work out a rif, or chord sequence, for you to play. Your practice involves you listening to your favourite music!
Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
We make an appointment & do some Skyping! I'm new to this - so my first students can have a 1/2 price lesson £11/hr. You need to pay in advance of the lesson by BACS transfer.
Which subject(s) do you teach?
I teach a lot of different instruments, and general music.
Tell me about your qualifications.
Grade 8 clarinet
Grade 5 theory (achieving 100% - age 15)
Grade 5 piano
Grade 3 fiddle

25 years playing in bands, mainly in Edinburgh
What kind of experience do you have?
I’m passionate about turning people into musicians & getting them playing the music they love the easy way – by ear. I use sheet music as a tool, only when it is useful, which is rarely.
I’m passionate about getting students playing with others & I’m happy to teach students together for no extra money. This is how bands form!
I’m passionate about show people the best practice fun of all - playing along with their favourite music. Why do so few people do this?
I’m passionate about getting students playing live in ridiculously short time frames, often inside a single year.
I’m passionate that playing live is seen not to be scary. That someone who is on the edge of their ability has the audience right behind them – more so than for someone we all know can play.
I’m particularly keen to persuade adults who ‘failed’ at music early on, that it’s the system that was faulty – not them. Those who played & gave up long ago are a pleasure to teach & to satisfy. If they have the confidence to come along to their first lesson (that’s the tricky bit) they’re open enough to accept that they might just be able to play after all…
I’m keen on developing listening skills, something which is central to musical communication & far more important than reading.
I’m ambitious about getting whole families playing together – in particular, across 3 (or more!) generations
I’m keen to host Newburgh’s annual Christmas talent show at The Steeple each year which showcasing his students & local talent.
How much do you charge?
I charge £22 no matter how many students I have. So do bring a pal! I love to teach mixed instruments & have no barriers where mixing instruments is concerned.
Where do you teach?
I’m happiest teaching from home. I have all my tools, piano, guitar, internet, hifi, all set up to help us along.

I will travel where there are more students to teach & for longer sessions. Distance is dependent on how many hours of work.
When are you available?
I prefer to fill weekday day times if possible as the most popular times are evenings & weekends but please tell me when you'd like to come. I try to keep Sunday free but will consider teaching then if no other time can be found.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
I'll happily teach 8 year olds or 108 year olds. what you need most is a passion to play. Talent comes second.
Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
There are far too many exams around killing enjoyment for music students. My goal is to get students to be able to play the music they love on the instrument of their choice by ear. I teach understanding of their instrument & of music itself so the student can self teach. Not infrequently I'm redundant within a year. 2 or 3 students have switched instruments when they find they have enough understanding to teach themselves. That's a great moment.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Musicians Union
Tell me about some of your current students.
One girl of 11 has been coming to learn piano for around 5 months. We've taken 4 songs of her choice, Adele, Emile Sande & Birdy. She's already able to sing & play these with stunning maturity. She arrived with no piano skills whatsoever. We've also tackled some accordion playing.

Another lad, one of my first students arrived with a desperate mother. Desperate because he was determined to give up the lessons he was having at the time. My first question to him was 'what's you favourite band?' Within 9 months he was out playing me so we switched to guitar. Here he was starting from scratch & found it tougher to get to be self-sufficient, but after a year, he got there. Them main skill I taught him - as with the piano, was how to work out the chords of songs he chose simply by listening to them.

Another instrument beckoned, & before long he was playing the also sax - then turned to the fiddle. Last time I saw him he was driving the family car! So I guess he'd have reached 17.

He joined a band of friends during this time & had performed live several times.

I have had a series of adults - all with terrible confidence & awful stories about how they were convinced they weren't cut out for music. ALWAYS I have managed to convince them that they CAN play by ear & after that - it's downhill all the way. The greatest pleasure is healing the scars of the traditional teaching method in the UK has inflicted on them.
Do you have a personal message for students?
Most of what I do is teach how to listen. Most peoples minds are too busy thinking usually negative thoughts to allow proper listening. I often feel like a psychologist / therapist & it’s heart melting to see people finding themselves doing something they’ve always wanted to do. Something they thought they would never be able to do.