Nicholas has an instinctive ability to focus on each learner as an individual. He enjoys guiding the first steps of beginners and helping advanced learners polish the quality of their performance with equal facility whatever their age.
I have taught may teenagers from childhood to the time they leave for university. A number of them went on to study music at specialist music schools or university; others built up the skills and confidence to play professionally, solo or in bands.
I help adults take up an instrument or resume their progress after a break. I enjoy supporting older people realise long-held aspirations to learn an instrument.
I have helped university students struggling with some aspect of their studies. I now often teach the children of former pupils who want them to experience the same pleasure in learning music as they did when they were kids.
I also teach teachers. If you teach music but want to acquire a particular specialist skill, I will help you plug the gap.
Teaching is my passion, based on years of experience but continually renewed, recreated for the needs of each new pupil.
I don’t teach just for a living, I teach for the joy of it. I would not stop if I won the lottery, and I can’t imagine ever retiring.
I first encountered the piano aged 14 when an instrument was left behind in the house my family moved into, and it immediately became an all-absorbing passion. I reached grade 8 within a year and then studied at the Huddersfield School of Music, where I chose classical guitar as my second instrument.
I became a professional player at 19, mainly for two groups playing university and other venues, Plexus and One-Eyed Jack. We recorded albums together and I also played as a session player for other professional performers’ recordings.
I later gave solo recitals on the piano, guitar, mandolin and lute, offering programmes of music from the Renaissance to the current day, including my own highly praised original compositions.
From my late 20s, I have been mainly engaged in teaching. I worked as an instrument and theory teacher at Hipperholme Grammar School for a few years, taking on a variety of responsibilities for school concerts. But mostly I have been teaching from my home in Edgerton, in a spacious dedicated music room where pupils can enjoy playing in excellent surroundings and parents are always welcome to attend.
Acquire solid technical skills and progress in classical development or veer into folk, country, jazz or rock to fully enjoy music making.
Acquire solid technical skills and explore a variety of styles and periods of music from the vast repertoire of keyboard composition though the ages.
Learn to play mandolin, lute and harpsichord from beginner to any level. I also help singers and any instrumentalists over performance hurdles.
Theory & Composition
I teach pupils through theory exams, especially the grade 5 and 8 thresholds to higher grades and degrees. I advise on composition, particularly for GCSE and A' level exams.
Exams are not compulsory but many want to take them. I usually enter pupils to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) examinations from Grade 1 to Grade 8 and beyond to Diploma. Exams can be taken with other Boards if preferred. GCSE and A’ level students enrol via their school; I offer specialist help with these exams.
Statistics comparison with the ABRSM national average
These statistics are for theory and practical and all grades combined, based on the last 5 years for Nicholas and the last year of statistics obtained from ABRSM (2011) before they stopped publishing them.