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About Ford C.
Ford is a professional folk musician who regularly tours the UK and has teaching experience in a wide variety of settings. As well as teaching privately since completing his degree in music, Ford teaches creative music-making workshops at the National Centre for the Folk Arts, is a peripatetic guitar teacher in a primary school, and has experience working with SEND children in schools. Ford is a flexible and responsive teacher. He always tries to respond to the needs of each individual student, finding their strengths and working on their particular interests. He is very passionate about music, having spent many years exploring different instruments and genres through writing and performing his own music.
Teaching in Guitar
Ford teaches Guitar from beginner to advanced students of all ages.
Ford will build his lessons around each student and is happy to be directed to their interests and goals. He will focus on technical skills where necessary, but his strengths as a teacher are in developing listening skills through teaching by ear and encouraging students to develop their confidence in playing with other musicians.
He might do this by teaching songs that the student has requested, even without existing notation to work from, and exploring what resources can be used to learn the song, or even turn it into a piece for performance, perhaps as a duet for teacher and student.
Ford has Grade 8 RGT acoustic guitar and is happy to explore other grading options with his students, e.g. Rock School, classical grades.
Teaching in Tin Whistle
Ford teaches the classic high tin whistle, which is not only a great instrument for beginner musicians looking for an intro to Irish/Scottish traditional/contemporary folk and children with no instrumental experience, but also a highly expressive instrument for advanced students, with challenging techniques to master. There is a wide range of keys and sizes for students to explore, and Ford will encourage intermediate and advanced students to take the challenge of learning low D whistle (which is his primary performing instrument), and extend the possibilities and expressiveness of their playing.
Ford prefers teaching by ear and by demonstration and he believes this is an important and valuable musical skill, particularly for tin whistle, but always adopts a flexible approach, and can use traditional or alternative notation where it will help the student. He is happy to explore the possibility of working towards traditional Irish/Scottish music grades, but will generally encourage students to advance and get the most out of music by using public performances (e.g. an open mic), performances to friends and family, or collaborations with other musicians as goals to work towards.
Teaching in Saxophone
Ford teaches Saxophone from beginner to intermediate students ages 7 and upward. Ford has grade 7 jazz saxophone and can work on tone, technique, theory and notation, and improvisation with his students. Ford uses his skills and approaches from other areas of music and teaching to make lessons interesting and, as always, he focuses on the needs of each student and how they can be encouraged to stretch themselves by making music creatively. Ford will be happy to discuss taking students through their grades up to 6 or 7.
Ford specialises in contemporary UK folk, draws on a repertoire of traditional Irish music, and is strongly influenced by the rhythms of Indian classical music, gained from learning tabla since 2014. He is able to teach almost all genres and is always happy to look at something new.
Ford likes to start each lesson with a chat to figure out what, if anything, you would like to get out of lessons and what experience you may already have, or even just what music you like to listen to. It’s great to be able to hear someone play, depending on whether or not they are comfortable doing that, as this can be a good starting point for the lesson and finding out what will be most beneficial. Sometimes, especially for young beginners it’s better to start with a warm up or game, e.g. taking it in turns conducting each other to play loud or soft etc.
For beginners, just bring your instrument, any music materials (books, chord charts etc.) you might have already (but don’t worry if you don’t!), and if possible something to make notes with. We can spend some time asking each other questions to get to know each other if it feels like a good idea (e.g. what’s your favourite dinosaur?).