WELCOME TO 
MUSIC LESSONS LEWES

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME

MUSIC BACKGROUND

Hello, I am Sophie and I have played (and loved!) the piano for 33 years. I am a singer-songwriter on guitar and piano and I am currently making my debut album. I trained as a cellist, achieving my Grade 8 at 17, playing in the Royal Albert Hall for the Birmingham School's Symphony Orchestra, but it was the piano that captivated me. I had lessons from the age of 7 until I was 15 - then I decided I wanted to continue to play on my own. It was this transition that allowed me to enter the world of improvisation and where I fell in love with playing! But as well as loving the creativity of composing and songwriting, I still enjoy learning and playing new pieces - contemporary, classical or otherwise. 

My technical training has allowed me to read music and understand theory, whilst 'playing by ear' has enabled me to explore and improvise in a world of it's own. Combining these skills, alongside my social care work, has led me to be the teacher I am today.  

WORKING AND TEACHING BACKGROUND

I have worked in social care settings for over 14 years, mainly in the capacity as a Mental Health Support Practitioner for the N.H.S, and in various Youth Worker roles in community and hostel settings. I have been teaching piano to children and adults of all ages and capabilities, with different learning styles and needs, here in the U.K for 8 years. My B.A degree in Performance Studies enabled me to facilitate singing, drama and music workshops for children of all backgrounds, in Australia. Up until March this year, I had the pleasure of running a weekly singing group and teaching individual piano lessons to members of the Southdown Lewes Wellbeing Centre - a mental health charity in Lewes. 

I am a friendly, approachable, and creative teacher and I love to teach everyone and anyone who has an interest in exploring music. I enjoy teaching children wishing to play the piano or sing, for fun, and who are just wanting to ‘give it a go’!  I also welcome any young people who feel ‘unsettled in their bones’, who are perhaps lacking in confidence or feel a little anxious, and would like to explore the therapeutic side of music and see how it makes them feel.

I teach adults the piano too – those who are beginners to those returning, who wish to refresh their skills, build their confidence in playing or challenge themselves to learn something new.

I really enjoy what I do. I have reaped the benefits of having music in my life, for many years, and I feel really lucky to be able to share this skill and passion with everyone I teach. 

LESSONS - THE WAY I TEACH

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PIANO LESSONS - CHILDREN (AGE 5 UPWARDS)

I teach for pupils to enjoy what they are learning, rather than to take grades or exams or create stress or pressure. I believe playing music should be fun! The lessons are tailored to suit the individual needs of your child, depending on how they learn and what they gravitate towards. We will explore how it feels to play around with the sounds and get used to how it feels to play the notes and create melodies. I also use a more structured and task-oriented approach, where we go through piano exercises, scales, arpeggios, chords and basic theory, as well as learning pieces and songs. I will recommend piano and theory books, as well as You-tube links if I think these will be helpful. 

 

Lessons for 5, 6- and 7-year old's are taught on my electric piano, where the keys are easier to press down for little fingers! Children aged 8 upwards are taught on my baby grand Yamaha piano which has weighted keys.

SINGING LESSONS - CHILDREN (AGE 6 UPWARDS)

I will guide your child to explore their voice through relaxing the body, breathing fully and using fun singing exercises and songs. My main objective is for children to feel uplifted in themselves by the end of each lesson. We will start by warming up the voice with creative melodies, tongue twisters, familiar tunes and arpeggios. We will sing positive affirmations to build  self-esteem - and I will help them to make up their own so that they feel empowered by the process. With these exercises the words can be learnt by ear and I will sing them to your child for them to sing back to me! The lesson will then focus on a favourite song of theirs' ( or I'll introduce them to a nice song which I think will suit their voice and ability ) and we will go through it at their own pace, learning pitch, melody, rhythm and expression. Everybody learns differently, so the lesson is tailored to individual learning styles and lyrics can be read from a print out, or sung by me to be learnt by ear. 

Lessons are for any child wishing to have fun and gain confidence through singing, and who would like to learn to sing their favourite songs ( rather than 'to be a singer'! ) I have lots of songs to hand to choose from, but please let me know what your child’s favourite song is, so that, if I don’t know it, I can listen to it and learn it beforehand. The first lesson will be used to establish your child's singing range so that songs can be transposed to suit their voice. We will then sing these together, and then when they feel confident and comfortable enough, - separately, with piano as the accompaniment. I will give them lots of little exercises to hum and sing around the home in-between lessons!

PIANO LESSONS - ADULTS

I teach those learning from scratch and those returning to playing, from beginners to, and including, the level of grade 6. It’s your lesson, so it’s about what you would like to get out of it! Lessons can include scales, arpeggios, chords, pieces, songs, theory and techniques to get your muscle memory going. As with the children's lessons, I teach for you to have fun, not to take grades, and I recommend any useful books or exercises which I think will help you.  

SONGWRITING LESSONS - CHILDREN AND ADULTS

Ever wanted to write your own song? Have some lyrics but are not sure how to put it to a tune? Have the chords but are struggling with what you are wanting to say? I teach songwriting lessons to anyone who has basic knowledge of the piano and has a creative urge to pen down their very own musical story! We will work on your creation over several weeks, allowing for the development of ideas during and in between the lessons. Please email me with any questions, and feel free to check out my own music via https://songwhip.com/sophie-cousins

FACE-TO-FACE LESSONS : COVID REGULATIONS

All face-to-face lessons are spaced out ( usually with an online lesson in-between) to allow for airing of the room and to carry out vigorous cleaning . I will be wearing a mask/ shield until further notice (for all lessons ) Those under 11 are not expected to wear a mask but all other students will be asked to wear one, except where exempt. Social distancing of one meter will practised where possible. Antibacterial gel will be provided on arrival and temperatures will be taken. This is to protect all of my students, myself, and also my business. Online lessons also available if this is more comfortable for you. Thank you.

TESTIMONIALS

 

'Sophie is probably the best piano teacher in the world, I love going to my lessons and they make me feel good inside no matter what else is going on, even things like thunderstorms.' Bella, Aged 8

'I’m so pleased to have found a teacher like Sophie, she’s so kind and gentle in her approach and as a result Bella has really enjoyed her lessons and is learning so quickly.'  Bella's mum, Hannah

'I've got a lot out of my lessons with Sophie. I can play several of the more challenging pieces now which feels like a real achievement.' Andrew- Adult Piano Lessons.

'I love singing with Sophie! I feel more confident in myself since coming for lessons and I can sing some of my favourite songs now without feeling awkward!' Francess, 15 years old.




DBS CHECKED 

Friendly, Patient and Creative

Lots of experience in musicianship and teaching

There are a few ways you can contact me :  

 

  • via TEXT or leave a voice message:  07886 780 627

  •  fill in the form below,

  • or email me at musiclessonslewes@gmail.com mentioning what lesson you are interested in, who it is for and any music experience.                      

 

 I look forward to hearing from you! - Sophie

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