Welcome

to Barnwell Music

About Me

Hi! My name is Maxine Ansell (previously Barnwell) and I am a music teacher based in Shefford, Bedfordshire. Welcome to this website.

Lessons can cover piano, singing, theory, beginner guitar, GCSE and A Level tuition and more often several disciplines combined. I am patient, flexible, adaptable and constantly aiming to improve on my teaching through professional development, networking and taking on board feedback from customers and peers.

I have been playing the piano for 25 years and teaching for 14 of those years. Music is my passion and I love to listen to, play and talk about a variety of genres and styles. This aids my teaching as I have a wide area of knowledge to draw on to inform lessons and discussion with pupils. My devotion to music really began at 12 years old when my piano teacher moved away and I started to explore other genres of music I had never before tried… I taught myself Mozart’s Alla Turca and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to perform at a concert in London and while there heard a boy play the most beautiful performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C sharp Minor; I have been hooked on Piano, and music in general, ever since. It led me to make the choices in what I studied through school and university.

I studied music GCSE at Loreto College in St Albans, where I also began to learn Violin and Singing (which is now my second instrument) and taught myself how to play guitar. I continued to study music at A Level, again at Loreto College. In 2010 I graduated from Royal Holloway University with a second class honors degree in music (BMus). By this point I had already cultivated my other passion – teaching – and decided to study for a PGCE in Secondary Music at Middlesex University. After working in secondary schools in Hertfordhire and Bedfordshire for five years, whilst also building up my own music school ‘Barnwell Music‘, I decided to leave mainstream schooling to pursue one to one instrumental teaching.

I have now been running Barnwell Music in its current form for over 4 years, and have been a peripatetic teacher for another 10 years. I attend regular training to maintain and improve my knowledge in music and within my specific instruments, I have a current DBS and am also first aid trained.

If you would like to know more about lessons at Barnwell Music, please scroll down where there will be further detailed information. On this site you will also find information on the other services I offer as well as pricing details, a blog, links to my social media sites and a contact form if you would like to enquire about lessons.

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Services

Please see below the current services offered by Barnwell Music. All lessons are flexible and tailored to the student’s (and parent’s) requirements. Ultimately I aim to make sure that they are engaging, varied, inspiring and thought-provoking; whether you are working towards grades, achievements or learning ‘for fun’. Students learn at their own pace and within their own styles, they are supported to achieve and be challenged while being made to feel comfortable.

Barnwell Music operates an open-door policy: parents are always welcome to stay and watch lessons and ask questions at any point, and I am always happy to give feedback at the end of a lesson. Operating in this way ensures communication stays open between myself, students and parents and prevents any potential difficulties from escalating. It also gives opportunity for regular praise and sharing of achievements in lessons.

Piano

Piano

My first instrument is Piano, I have been playing since I was aged 5. I am classically trained but have a wealth of experience in composing, listening and performing in other genres including Jazz, Popular, Folk and Contemporary.

Depending on the learning style and age of the student, lessons comprise of an array of activities from drawing, to singing, to listening and discussing, and of course, putting what is learned into practise at the piano. I employ different pedagogies, depending on the learning style of the student and the music being learned.

Students often decide to pursue Grades. I follow the Associated Board’s (ABRSM) guidance on exam and knowledge preparation, their website can be found here. This is often very structured as there is a lot to cover in exam preparation, and lessons are taken at the pace of the student; taking into account their ability and the amount of time they are able to commit to practice. ABRSM cover both traditional and Jazz piano. Please click on the links to view the syllabuses for each.

Often, the graded route does not suit a student. This does not mean that they should not have access to the same opportunities for learning. These lessons are a lot more flexible and follow the student’s interests and rates of learning. They tend to be more varied, although no less challenging as there is a huge amount of knowledge and experience to cover outside of the piano grades syllabus.

I am always happy to construct lessons based on feedback and will always adapt to the student’s changing requirements as they progress in skill at the piano.

Pricing

Young Learners (Groups) £5

30 Minutes

Lessons for 3-5 year olds
Establishes knowledge in ‘Elements of Music’
A variety of instruments
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Instrumental & Theory £18.50

30 Minutes

Piano, singing, guitar
Theory, practical musicianship, music technology
Preparation for school exams
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Instrumental & Theory £37

60 Minutes

Piano, singing, guitar
Theory, practical musicianship, music technology
Preparation for school exams
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Accompaniment & Occasions £50

Per Hour

Parties, weddings & funerals
Exams, performances & recitals
Piano, singing, guitar
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Blog

Contact

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