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By Rhys Lett

What We Are Teaching

Here is a look inside the lessons that have taken place at Eastern Suburbs School of Music in 2016. With over 250 students attending lessons every week at our music school it is always fascinating to hear the song choices. Here is what the teachers of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music have been teaching to start 2016.

To contact Eastern Suburbs School of Music for lessons call Rhys on 0421 705 150 or via the form to the right side of the page. 

Guitar Teaching

Rhys Lett – Boronia/Carrum Downs

I have challenged some of my experienced student to improve their lead guitar playing in 2016. To help wit this I have begun teaching Boom Boom by John  Lee Hooker. Beginners are working on power chord songs such as When I Come Around by Green Day as well as beginning to learn and memorise open chord shapes.

David Hartney – Boronia

Some of the wide variety of songs I have taught to begin the year are Love Yourself by Justin Bieber and Highway to Hell by AC/DC. I have helped students with their open chords by teaching Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd and I Remember You by Skid Row.

Jason Fados – Boronia

In 2016 a lot of students have been asking to learn Shawn Mendes’ Stitches. It uses open chords (with a capo). The simple song structure students find easy follow. Because of this students can play to the recording with relative ease. See my student Jasmine performing this song below.

Drums Teaching

Luke Shore – Boronia

I’ve been helping students with new rock band workshop songs and VCE Music exam songs like Aerials by System of a Down. I have also been teaching songs by bands like Avenged Sevenfold and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Noel Tenny – Carrum Downs

To start this year I have compiled a new batch of songs for students to jam to. Songs from artists such as Taylor Swift, Pink ,Katy Perry, AC/DC, & FooFighters. They range from beginners, intermediate & advanced. I always focus on students playing lots of music/songs, along with working on grooves & technique.

Dan Slater – Boronia

I’ve got quite a few ‘brand new’ students this semester and have been ensuring they realise the whole point of this thing… to play music! I have showed some patterns and skills that are common to many songs. Drummers have to repeat their basic beats over and over.  In lessons I play guitar along with them. They quickly realise a song can’t just go for 3 bars.  Working on staying relaxed and be disciplined in keeping the beats going as long as we can.

Alex Gooding – Boronia

I’ve been teaching songs by The White Stripes, Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson, as well as some fundamental technique exercises to help keep those hands moving!

Troy Eckhardt – Carrum Downs

I have been teaching my two 8 year old’s drum fills. Also have a lady in her early 60’s beginner and last student is on second song, Seven nation army and now Flame Trees.

Piano Teaching

Sylvie Tang – Boronia

I’ve been teaching most of my beginner kids pretty much how the keyboard works, basic theories like the C Major scale, treble/bass clef, note values etc. I use books such as Edna- Mae Burnam’s ‘A dozen a day’ and Joseph M. Estella’s ‘Everybody likes the piano’ to start off with most beginner students. For more advanced students I like to use the John Thompson book.

David Hartney – Boronia

Songs I have worked on with students so far in 2016 has been Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis, Imagine by John Lennon, Mad World by Tears For Fears and We Are the Champions, Queen. Some recent chart hits like Youth by Troy Sivane. Students have also learned Changes by David Bowie in tribute.

Heather Chapman – Carrum Downs

In the first two weeks of term 1 , I’ve been teaching a variety of music to suit all ages and stages. I am teaching beginners, students preparing for exams and adult students who want to learn how to put music to their songs and accompany themselves on the piano. Some students are studying songs from musicals such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ which can also be adapted to a contemporary style. Students who came back from last year are now progressing into pop style playing.

Singing Teaching

David Hartney – Boronia

Some of the songs I have been teaching my singing students are working on is Life on Mars by David Bowie and the always popular Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. We have also looked at Remedy by Adele.

Violin teaching

Genevieve Matthews – Boronia

I usually start the year going backwards just a little bit. Reminding students of their success from the previous year. I always like to put a big focus on posture right off the bat. Getting the feet, the arms, the bow hold and the shoulders just right. Making a habit of it sets up a comfortable routine before we plunge into something new.

Bass Teaching

Daniel Lijnders – Boronia

I have been teaching old classics such as Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, finger busters such as Hysteria by Muse and new songs such as Girls by The 1975. Suitable songs for beginners and experienced players. I have also been preparing student Jessie Vickery for his VCE Music Solo Performance exam at the end of this year.

Rhys Lett – Boronia/Carrum Downs

I have been teaching one student some of the advanced bass lines featured in songs he plays in his cover band. Songs such as Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi and Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool have now been mastered by Pete. I have been teaching my new student Sandy the song Sunshine of Your Love to get him used to using different fingers while fretting notes. This songs is also great for building hand strength in beginner students.

David Hartney – Boronia

My bass students have picked a wide variety of songs. I have been teaching Reelin’ In the Years by Steely Dan, UGH! by The 1975 and I Can Feel It by Hey Violet.

Ukulele Teaching

David Hartney – Boronia

My students are learning songs such as Let it Go by James Bay and the Star Wars Theme and Darth Vader Theme. We have also played Imagine by John Lennon.

Rhys Lett – Boronia/Carrum Downs

I have beginner ukulele students learning chord shapes for the songs Stay with Me by Sam Smith and Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac. We added strumming patterns to these songs once students could change between chords successfully.

Need an instrument to learn on? Instruments can be purchased from KC’s Rock Shop for students attending the Boronia location, or Guitars and Things in Frankston for those attending the Carrum Downs premises.

We thank these businesses for being loyal supporters of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music.