Musicaliti Private Guitar Lessons
Musicaliti offers private GUITAR and UKULELE lessons for children AND adults!
We use the RSL (Rockschool) music syllabus which has 2 exam options, performance or grade exams (music theory). There are options of completing the electric guitar and now bass guitar, acoustic guitar as well as ukulele and music theory.
Performance exams involve choosing 5 songs (either from the syllabus or Hot Rock series – known rock songs) and playing along with the backing track. Grade exams involve choosing 3 songs (either from the syllabus or Hot Rock series – known rock songs) and answering a number of music theory questions and completing music theory exercises.
You may not know but achieving grades 6, 7 and 8 can be used as UCAS points for university applications, with both performance or grades.
What is music grading?
Music grading is an international measure of musical skill. From babies to early primary school (7 years), Musicaliti sessions are structured to give children the experience of the possible music techniques that they may come across in formal music lessons. In the UK, we have 8 levels of music grades followed by teaching diplomas (equivalent to a university degree). The advanced grades (6-8) involve a high level of skill and technique, which is why they count towards UNIVERSITY applications.
What are music exam boards?
Different music exam boards exist and each has different priorities. Some prioritise the classical style, while others prioritise contemporary or jazz music. Some have early access points that recognise the initial achievements of younger students, while others specialise in adult music training. Examples of these boards include the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Trinity College London, London College of Music (LCM), and Rockschool (RSL). These boards are authorised to award recognised grade certificates.
Which music lessons are available for younger children?
ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) offer pre-grade 1 awards for children taking lessons in specific instruments, and these depend on the music teacher you approach. Alternative early music courses include the Kodaly (singing) – based Colourstrings and Suzuki, who accept children from 3 or 4 years (expect a lot of parent involvement at this stage).
When will my child be ready to start guitar lessons?
On average, most music teachers prefer children to start at around 8 years old, once they have the fundamentals of reading (note names, left to right), have developed basic hand-eye co-ordination, and have the physical strength to play the instrument. Most children take their grade 1 exam once they are consistently practising their instrument regularly, approximately 2 years after starting lessons or as they begin secondary. Exceptions usually occur when parents are actively involved with lessons and deliberately schedule daily practises (together). Much like initially sitting down to read with your child, regular and independent music practising begins with sitting down to play together.
What to expect at each grade?
Grade 1 This involves music for students playing an instrument for 12-24 months. Crotchet (quarter) notes, minims (half notes) and semibreves (whole notes) are used, with some quavers (eighth notes). Specific notes are the main focus at this grade, usually building up to playing the notes in a scale.
Grade 2 This level is more advanced than Grade 1 and uses interesting rhythms like dotted quaver-semi-quaver (dotted-quarter-eighth-note) or “skipping” / “galloping” notes. More notes and different keys are explored so that the scale is extended.
Grade 3 Semiquavers or sixteenth notes are added to the music, including the introduction of syncopation (syn-CO-pa). Even more notes, scales and changes in key are used, including accidentals (mid-key change of notes to sharps or flats), making full use of the instrument.
Grade 4 This level involves a good basic understanding of music theory so that many pieces can be worked out without much outside help. Students are generally confident at playing, keep a good beat and enjoy performing.
Grade 5 This level involves more planning. Using skills from the earlier grades, students are expected to read the piece before playing, looking both for patterns and changes to patterns, such as key changes, accidentals, sudden changes in pitch and technical notes (planning finger or hand positions).
Grade 6 These songs or pieces are deliberately difficult, and are used to challenge the student’s technical and theoretical knowledge. And they sound amazing! Often they are written by composers who want the song to be difficult enough so that not just anybody can perform it. The intention is to “show off” the styles or skills that they value most because of the interesting or unique sound produced, often conveying specific feeling.
Grades 7 and 8 Depending on the exam board, the added emphasis is on understanding the history of music making, extending scale repertoire or extending the length and speed of the piece. At this level, most students begin to offer lessons at the earlier levels, seeking specialist teachers/performers to develop their technical skill and understanding.
Use the link below to contact Musicaliti for more information or to make an enquiry.