CALLUM 13, (Email received after Callum's first lesson)
Callum says - "It was the best time I have had with my guitar EVER!!" So that tells you a lot! Thanks- he’s just rushed in from a weekend away saying "I must go and do my guitar practice homework". He's so pleased with the new things you have showed him even in 10 minutes - we are all amazed that we didn’t know those things before.
I have been learning guitar with Matthew for 7 months. I had previously had 3 months with a different guitar teacher and had picked up some bad habits and felt that I was beginning to lose interest in playing guitar.
Learning with Matthew has renewed my enthusiasm. There is a regular mix of technical lessons to aid fluency in playing as well as bring on new techniques, theory lessons to ground these new techniques, including reading/understanding TAB and music, and practical sessions where Matthew goes to great length to source music that I like listening to, to play along to. I have also learnt various drills to help improve speed and dexterity.
When in a lesson with Matthew I am always just out of my comfort zone of technique which really inspires me to go home and practice.
In all since starting lessons with Matthew I have become a more confident and enthusiastic guitar player.
From my first lesson Matthew always used his own time researching, planning and staying in constant contact with me to achieve to optimum results from each and every lesson. We often chat on a professional/friendly level to make sure we are moving the right direction.
Matthew is a phenomenal guitarist and inspires me to attain a good level of playing as much as any of my idols. He is a very patient and kind man of whom has taught me so much and filled me with the confidence to keep going even when I have doubted my own ability.
SARAH (JOSH, 10)
Josh has been having guitar lessons with Matthew for the last eighteen months. He really looks forward to his sessions with Matthew and is keen to practise in order to impress him. He has learned a wide range of songs and especially enjoys the fact that if he requests to learn a particular piece then Matthew is able to provide him with the requisite music and teach him. Josh has been playing recognisable pieces of music, short melodies and riffs from his first lesson and I think this approach has kept his interest in guitar playing up as he always has a sense of achievement. Josh has come on in leaps and bounds since being taught by Matthew. I am looking forward to his first gig!
SUSAN (HARRY, 14)
My son has had weekly guitar lessons with Matthew Gardner for two years, in which time he has progressed from a beginner in electric guitar to a Grade 4 (with merit) of the RGT exam system. Matthew established a good rapport with my teenage son very quickly and has kept his regard and respect throughout, not always an easy thing to do when you are also applying the discipline needed to achieve well in grade exams. Matthew gives of himself as well as of his knowledge and experience, and this pays dividends with students who are really 'into their music'. He is rigorous in ensuring a student's progress and expects an equal commitment from them in practice, but is equally sensitive to their tastes and goals. This student-oriented style of teaching suits my son very well and he has told me he would not willingly have another guitar teacher.
Matthew's attention to the organisation of his business is also excellent and communication by phone or email is friendly and efficient. He is always happy to discuss any aspect of the teaching and/or the student's learning. I would recommend anyone who wishes to learn to play the guitar, and enjoy the process, to go to Matthew Gardner.
CHRISTINE (RUSSELL, 16)
My son Russell has been having guitar lessons with Matthew for the last 7 months. During this time I have been extremely pleased and very pleasantly surprised at the huge difference this has made to Russell’s playing ability and personal confidence. Previously, Russell had only learnt to play and pick up the basics from his friends.
Russell thoroughly enjoys and looks forward to each lesson, he always takes away with him valuable tools and tips to enhance his learning and playing skills. Matthew investigates all the artists Russell is interested in then prepares and tailors every lesson according to what Russell would like to learn or develop. Whether this is a particular piece of music, playing style, or perhaps the setting up of his amplifier/pedals for a specific sound.
Matthew is hugely knowledgeable and has a natural ability to pass on this knowledge and experience to his students extremely well. Russell describes his teaching style as incredibly straight forward and easy to understand. He explains everything very clearly, with a common sense approach.
This, I believe has been the key ingredient to Russell making so much progress in such a short space of time.
His progress was recently recognised by a family friend who remarked on the fact that they couldn’t believe how well he was playing now compared to when he started having lessons. And that they were quite amazed that Russell could play as well if not better than himself, even though he'd been playing for a few years! What a great compliment to receive!
Having guitar lessons has also had another unexpected but positive effect on Russell’s life. His confidence levels have increased greatly. Previously when faced with a new situation or when meeting new people Russell used become very nervous - as he was when he had his first lesson with Matthew.
His initial concerns were obviously soon alleviated, as when he came out of his first lesson all smiles. He thoroughly enjoyed it and was really inspired to think that with plenty of practise and dedication he too could become a really good guitar player. This first positive experience and early encouragement from Matthew gave him lots of motivation to do well. His lessons have allowed him to become creative, which in turn enables him to relax – thus bringing out more of his confidence and personality too. A huge bonus!
I would highly recommend Matthew to anyone wanting to learn guitar, he really is a very patient, inspiring and motivating tutor, who always takes the time and effort to prepare his lessons well, meeting the exact requirements and needs of his students.
I had the pleasure of receiving roughly three years of Matt’s teaching, and it was all really great stuff.
From the beginning, the lessons were clearly sculpted to suit my needs, as the first thing Matt did was ask me to play what I could, and to name bands and influential players that I was interested in. This meant he could structure his lessons accordingly, and therefore make every lesson hard-hitting and relevant.
Now, having joined a college diploma course that is purely based on guitar playing and music theory, I can appreciate the full effect of Matt’s lessons.
Matt’s musical taste has completely influenced my lifestyle and playing style over the years, and I'm now a dedicated Zeppelin fan, and I can only thank Matt for this wonderful insight into such a rich and musical era, with bands such as Queen, Zeppelin and AC/DC now part of my playing repertoire.
All in all, without Matt’s guidance, incredible knowledge and true passion for his teaching and music, I would not have been accepted on my college course, as I did not know what an A Major 7th was before I knew Matt. He helped with setting up my new guitar, and gave me advice on band auditions.
Cheers Matt, I appreciate everything you did for me, I wont forget it in a hurry!
I was an intermediate level guitarist - I could play along to some songs quite happily, but hadn't progressed in years. When I got in touch with Matt, he offered to tailor my tuition to cover the areas that I wanted to focus on. My wish list included everything from understanding more about song structure and harmonising chords, which helped me to pick up how to play music I was listening to, to learning the scales and techniques that allow me to improvise. Along the way we've picked up other rhythm and lead techniques, how to practise effectively, and picked up a few songs that I've wanted to learn. Matt has helped me get much more from my playing, improved my technique and even given me the tools to write my own songs.
Our son, aged 12, has been one of Matt's students for over 1 & 1/2 years. He thoroughly enjoys the half hour weekly sessions with Matt, who explains well, demonstrates chords and finger positions. The lessons are well structured and paced and the practice music handed out is fun so there is never an issue with doing some guitar playing between lessons. Matt quickly established what our son found difficult and found a good range of music to help him improve. The lesson practice guides provided by Matt both electronically and as hard copy are excellent, as are the useful website links. Our son is currently learning to compose his own pieces and the work Matt has done on this to develop the pieces further and pointing to the use of different techniques has added to the enjoyment of the composition work.
On a practical level, the fees are reasonable and the ability to do block bookings and liaise via e-mail is really helpful, particularly for working parents! Matt is very organised, reliable, and has a friendly and engaging manner which ensures he gets the best out of his pupils. Both my son and I have no hesitation in recommending Matt.
I contacted Mathew for guitar lessons and have been a student of his for some time now. I can only say that he has a friendly and accommodating attitude with a wealth of Guitar knowledge to pass on to others. Lessons are in a purpose made studio with all the teaching aids required. Every lesson ends with handouts covering what has been achieved and things to practice before the next lesson. Some of the lessons that I have had to date have covered things such as, notes on the fret board, time signatures and notation, barre chords, basic chords, scales, warm up exercises and many others. After every lesson that I have with Mathew I always leave knowing more than before it, through this I know that I’m making progress. Mathew will teach you at your pace. I believe he offers a great service at a very reasonable price that is always punctual and for the fully allotted time of the booked lesson. Mathew has taken me from knowing next to nothing about guitars in a short time to knowing many things that would have taken many months to learn and understand from books. I would have no reservations about recommending Mathew to others.
Matt has been teaching my 14 year old son, Will, to play the electric guitar for over 2 years. I was initially impressed by how quickly Will was playing recognisable pieces of music. Matt has always chosen appropriate pieces to teach Will as his playing has improved. Matt has broadened Will’s horizons with regard to his music and has introduced him to a wide range of different styles, from Metallica to Simon and Garfunkel.
Matt is kind, patient, and encouraging, and he is always happy to give feedback when approached. Although Will’s playing has now reached a standard where he is in a band and has played at some local venues, he is still enthusiastic about attending his lessons with Matt and has now chosen to start taking his guitar exams.
Matt has been teaching my son, now aged 11, for some time now and I am very pleased with the instruction he provides. His teaching style is versatile and inclusive and my son is always keen to attend his lessons, even when tired after a busy day at school. His advice on practice techniques and encouragement is always useful and helps to maintain focus when it does slip.
He has built a good rapport with my son and is always careful to ensure that the pieces they are working on are relevant and interesting to an 11 year old boy. As a guitar player myself I am particularly pleased that Matt has taken the time to identify suitable pieces at the right level for my son and I to play together.
To me, one of the key attributes of a good teacher is the ability to adapt to the needs of those being taught and Matt has certainly achieved this with my son. I would have no reservations about thoroughly recommending him as a guitar teacher.
Perhaps the final words should come from my son. When considering this testimonial I asked him what he would want to say about Matt. His reply was “He is helpful and patient and he makes it interesting because he lets you choose the bands you like”, and I think that just about says it all!
Weekly Lesson Packages:
£110: 10 x 30 min lessons
£110: 5 x 60 min lessons
£220: 10 x 60 min lessons
One off lessons:
£28 per hour
£16 per half hour
Gift vouchers also available
If you would like to find out more, or would like to book a lesson, please contact me at:
T: 01235 526301
M: 07890 089497