Piano

About The Piano

One of the most popular and versatile instruments in the world, the piano is used in nearly all forms of music including classical, jazz, pop and rock. Its full name is Pianoforte from the Italian meaning soft and loud, describing the instrument’s ability to be played both very quietly and very loudly. Pianos come in different forms and sizes such as the Grand Piano which is strung horizontally and the upright which is strung vertically.

Famous Pianists

  • Keith Jarrett
  • Tori Amos
  • Elton John
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Oscar Peterson
  • Andre Previn
  • Rowlf from the Muppets

The piano features in nearly every style of music either as a solo instrument or as part of bands, ensembles and duets. Some of the most popular composers of Classical Piano music are Bach, Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninov.

Try Listening To…

  • Chopin Preludes
  • The Entertainer (Scott Joplin)
  • Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3

Did You Know…

A Concert Grand Piano weighs approximately 100stone, that’s the equivalent of about 10 adults.

Is The Piano For You?

Are you interested in being able to play the piano as a classical soloists? Perhaps you would like to learn Jazz improvisation? Are you a singer who would like to accompany yourself? Do you want to learn in order to help your understanding of music? Are you choosing an instrument for your child to learn?

There are many different reasons that people choose to learn the piano. At Cherry Pie Music we teach every different style and will always customise the lesson to suit the student, so that they learn exactly what they want to.

The piano is great for everyone, from very young children to the oldest of adults. As well as being great fun to learn, it also helps with coordination, posture, aural development and music reading. The piano is the perfect instrument to start with if you have never played anything before and is perfect even for the smallest of children.

Guitar

About The Guitar

The guitar is thought to be descended from the Moorish ‘Oud’, the Scandinavian ‘lute’, and the Indian ‘Sitar’. It appeared in Europe in 12th Century, particularly in Spain, and gradually went on to develop into the 2 main families that we have today – the acoustic guitar (classical, flamenco, steel string), and the electric guitar, which was developed in the 1930s and has become a major influence on both popular music and culture.

Famous Guitarists

  • Andres Segovia
  • Julian Bream
  • Paco Pena
  • John McLachlan
  • Eric Clapton
  • Carlos Santana
  • Steve Vai

The guitar is a fun and very versatile instrument, and is used in many styles of music – classical, flamenco, jazz, pop, rock, blues, country, latin and bluegrass. Like the piano it can be used as both a rhythm and lead instrument, to accompany singing or to play solo melodies. The electric guitar has become more versatile still, with electronic effects capable of manipulating the sound even further.

Famous Guitar Music

  • El Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo)
  • Entre Dos Aguas (Paco de Lucia)
  • Jonny B Good (Chuck Berry)
  • Layla (Eric Clapton)
  • Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N Roses)
  • Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
  • Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

Did You Know…

Guitar fan Chris Black of London held a wedding ceremony in 2001 and married his Fender Stratocaster.

Is The Guitar For You?

Guitars come in different sizes ( ½ size, ¾ size, and full size) for different age groups. Due to the many different styles of music that you can play, the guitar is fun and rewarding, whether it’s acoustic or electric. All guitars have the same notes and strings so you can start on one type and transfer to another later on; contrary to common opinion, it is not necessary to start on the classical guitar.

The Electric Guitar

The electric guitar is one of the most fun instruments that you can play. It is different form the acoustic guitar in that the body is solid rather than hollow, and the sound is magnified by the ‘pickups’ which send the signal of the vibrating strings to the amplifier. That sound can then be manipulated to create an overdriven sound typical in rock music, or left ‘clean’ for eg. jazz/ chord accompaniment.

With the electric guitar, the strings are usually played with a plectrum or ‘pick’, which is a triangular piece of plastic of varying thickness. The left hand pushes down the strings at the ‘frets’ to make the notes, just as with the acoustic guitar.

Children and teenagers may choose to learn the electric guitar rather than the acoustic as it is less traditional and can be more instantly exciting. There is less focus on music reading and theory at the beginning which makes it more accessible, and within a relatively short period of time students can learn to play some of their favourite songs.

The electric guitar has grown to become a fully recognised instrument in music education, and students can take all of the grades from 1- 8, through to diploma and BMus hons degree courses. The grades and higher courses involve learning modern music styles such as jazz, rock and blues, and the techniques and music theory that go with these.

The electric guitar is very much a staple of modern pop and rock music, being used in everything from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to accompanying singers such as Amy Whinehouse or Adele.

The Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar includes classical, flamenco, and acoustic steel string guitars. These guitars are hollow bodied and the sound is produced from resonating inside the body and coming out from the sound hole. Acoustic guitars are more commonly played by fingerpicking with the right hand, rather than with a plectrum, although the notes with the left hand are the same.

Classical guitar is the more traditional approach to learning, and involves reading music from the outset. Players gradually increase this skill, along with left and right hand technique and music knowledge, and can progress to taking classical guitar grades 1-8, diploma, and BMus hons music degree. The classical guitar may take longer to learn than the electric guitar at the beginning, but does provide students with a solid musical foundation for other instruments too, and can be very rewarding. Classical guitarists go on to be very adept at music reading, and there is a vast repertoire of music available to them to perform.

Steel string acoustic guitar can be used as accompaniment for singing, or for the more ‘unplugged’ sound in blues, rock, pop or jazz music. It has a similar feel to the electric guitar, as it shares its metal strings and thin neck, and is often played with a plectrum.

Flamenco guitar is a faster, more rhythmic, and intense style of acoustic guitar that has its roots in accompanying Spanish flamenco dance and singing. The techniques and rhythms are demanding and the guitar is thinner and lighter to help its more percussive sound.

Singing

Everyone can learn to sing.

There are many different styles of singing and we have a variety of teachers who specialise in different fields. We have divided Singing into three main sections:

  • Classical Singing
  • Musical Theatre Singing
  • Pop/Jazz Singing

Drums

About The Drumkit

The modern Drum Kit is a collection of drums and cymbals, usually consisting of a bass drum, snare, tom-toms, hi-hat, and suspended cymbals. The first recognisable versions of the Drum Kit appeared in the early 1900s in America and Canada, where percussion instruments previously played by several players were put together to be played by an individual in order to save space in theatres. Later on, inventions such as the bass drum foot pedal and hi-hat stands served to pave the way towards what we now know as the modern Drum Kit.

Famous Drummers

  • Keith Moon
  • Phil Collins
  • Ringo Star
  • John Bonham
  • Neil Peart
  • Dave Grohl

The Drum Kit is a staple of modern pop and rock music, having gained huge popularity in the 1960s with the beginning of the’ Rock n’ Roll’ movement. Nowadays it is used in many genres of music, from jazz and funk, to pop, rock, and heavy metal. Drum Kits may vary in terms of numbers of drums, cymbals, and extra additions (such as the double bass pedal), and different drum kits are more suitable to certain styles of music than others.

Famous Drum Songs

  • We Will Rock You (Queen)
  • YYZ (Rush)
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  • The Real Me (The Who)
  • Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)

 

Are the drums for you?

Like other modern instruments, the drum kit is now a fully recognised instrument, on which you can take graded exams in various musical genres, as well as formal study at degree level. Drums have a huge appeal to children as they are loud and fun (!) but learning to play the drums will teach any student to listen to music differently, to learn the intricacies of timing and rhythm, and will hugely increase musical knowledge. To help with noise and space practicalities, there is a large range of electric drum kits on the market which mean that you don’t have to annoy the neighbours!

Violin

About The Violin

The violin is a string instrument which is positioned under the chin and played by drawing a bow across the strings to produce a sound. The strings are pressed down using the fingers of the left hand to change the pitch. The violin is used in many different genres of music, but most especially in classical music and folk music (where it is often referred to as the fiddle).

Famous Violinists

  • Yehudi Menuhin
  • Nigel Kennedy
  • Vanessa Mae
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter
  • Sherlock Holmes

Repertoire

  • Meditation (Massesnet)
  • Violin Concerto in G Minor (Bruch)
  • Spring from The four Seasons (Vivaldi)
  • Vittorio Monti (Czardas)

Did You Know…

David Garrett broke the world speed record for the violin, playing the Flight of the Bumblebee at a rate of 13 notes per second.

Is The Violin For You?

The violin is a great instrument if you would like to play as a soloist in either classical or folk music or in an orchestra or string quartet. It can be quite difficult to master in the early stages and requires a good technique and perseverance. Be prepared to put up with lots of squeaks in the early stages. However, those who do persevere benefit not only from developing their musical ability, but also their brain. Violinists have far more connections between the left and right sides of the brain than non-violinists. Violins come in different sizes which means that children can start learning from a very young age. We teach all levels of violin from beginner to advanced.

Saxophone

About The Saxophone

The Saxophone (often known as the Sax) was invented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian instrument maker. Despite being made of brass the saxophone is a member of the woodwind family. It is a single reed instrument, similar to the clarinet. There are a number of different saxophones in the saxophone family ranging in size and pitch, the most common are the Alto Saxophone and the Tenor Saxophone.

Famous Saxophonists

  • Charlie Parker
  • Kenny G
  • Marcel Mule
  • John Coltrane
  • James Moody
  • Lisa Simpson (from the Simpsons)

Repertoire

The saxophone is mainly associated with Jazz and Classical music. Famous classical pieces for the saxophone include:

  • Rapsodie pour Orchestre et Saxophone (1901) – Claude Debussy
  • Aria pour Saxophone Alto (1936) – Eugène Bozza

There are many famous sax solos in pop songs over the last two decades. Listen out for the sax in the following songs:

  • Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)
  • The theme to Men Behaving Badly
  • Simply the Best (Tina Turner)
  • Money (Pink Floyd)

Did You Know…

Ex American President Bill Clinton plays the saxophone. On a visit to Prague in 1994 he played at the Reduta Jazz Club with President Havel, now known as the ‘two presidents gig’.

Is The Saxophone For You?

The saxophone is a great instrument if you’re interested in playing both classical and modern repertoire. It is very versatile and can be played as a solo instrument as well as in bands and orchestras.

The saxophone is quite heavy and does not come in junior sizes so we would not recommend it for very young children, however if they are interested in learning they can start with the clarinet which has a very similar technique and fingering and is easy to transfer to the saxophone.

Cello

About The Cello

The Cello is a member of the violin family and has four strings which are tuned in fifths. Its full name is the Violoncello, but this is usually abbreviated to Cello. The cello has steel strings which are played by drawing a bow across them or occasionally plucking them. The Cello in mainly associated with European Music both as an orchestral and solo instrument.

Famous Cellists

  • Jacqueline Du Pre
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Julian Lloyd Webber
  • David Popper

Famous Cello Pieces

  • Elgar’s Cello Concerto
  • Dvorak’s Cello Concerto
  • The Swan by Saint-Saens (from the Carnival of The Animals)
  • Six Suites for Cello by Bach

Did You Know

In the James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights’ James and his cellist companion use a cello case to escape down a snowy mountain. The cello itself is used to steer them. We wouldn’t recommend that you try this trick yourself…

Is the cello for you?

The cello is a great instrument to learn if you are mainly interested in classical music. You can play it as a soloist or in an orchestra or string quartet. The cello is a very beautiful instrument and most people get a great deal of pleasure from playing it. Cellos come in different sizes, which means that children as young as five can learn (on a 1/16th size). String instruments are often the best way to develop a musical ear, as the strings are fretless – this means that cellists have to find the notes using their ear (or in the case of beginners, with the help of markers). We teach both adults and children from complete beginner to advanced level.

Clarinet

About The Clarinet

The Clarinet is a woodwind instrument played with a single reed. It was invented by Johann Christoph Denner in Germany in the 18th Century. The are many different sizes of clarinet, in various keys, but the most common is the B flat Clarinet. The clarinet is mainly associated with Classical and Jazz music and can be played as a solo instrument or in an Orchestra, Wind Band or Big Band. The clarinet has a similar technique to the saxophone, and many woodwind players find it easy to transfer their skills from one to the other.

Famous Clarinettists

  • Emma Johnson
  • Artie Shaw
  • Richard Stoltzman
  • Sabine Meyer
  • Woody Allen

Famous Clarinet Music and Clarinet Solos

  • Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
  • Clarinet concerto (Mozart)
  • Clarinet concerto (Copland)
  • Clarinet Sonata (Saint-Saens)
  • Clarinet Quintet (Brahms)

Did You Know…

Steven Spielberg plays the clarinet in a scene of an orchestra in the film ‘Jaws’.

Is the clarinet for you?

The clarinet is a very versatile instrument and is great if you would like to play both classical and Jazz music, join an orchestra, wind band or marching band. It’s smaller and lighter than the saxophone, which makes it easier for younger children, although it still requires good breath control, so for very young children, we would recommend starting with the recorder.