I run a thriving Private Teaching Practice,
with students whose ages range from 10 to 70 plus.
All levels of ability are welcome; from complete beginners through to Diploma level. Learn solely for pleasure playing music you enjoy, or find new challenges and develop your technique by working through the grades. Instruments taught include 5-string and 4-string Banjo styles and Classical, Acoustic, Fingerstyle, Bass and Electric Guitar, Classical and Folk styles on the Mandolin, plus ukulele and Music Theory.
I also offer ensemble coaching for duets, trios and larger ensembles.
I can provide Gift vouchers for tuition in any amount.
I am a Graduate from Birmingham Conservatoire (B Mus Hons), a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (FISM), and hold an Advanced current DAB Certificate. Please submit a contact form to enquire about tuition.
"I've really enjoyed being involved and connecting with the music. You're a brilliant leader, and wonderfully generous and inclusive, and I love the way you play. The whole thing has given me a new lease of life playing music, I will look for a session of some kind in London and hope that I find somewhere as welcoming and positive as your session."
Friendly Folk attendee
"Danielle is an incredibly talented musician. She is a very patient Banjo teacher and has allowed me to learn at my own pace. I would recommend Danielle without hesitation to anyone seeking Banjo lessons. " M.F.
"I remember coming away from my first banjo lesson with Danielle thinking 'I can't wait to go back' I had never played a banjo before and here I was, learning a tune already. As a mom of two, that works full time, I thought I was too old and too busy to learn an instrument, it turns out I was wrong. Danielle is a wonderful teacher, who teaches not only the practical side of learning to play an instrument, but also gives you the confidence to become better at it. If you have been thinking about having lessons, then I would say just go for it, I literally cannot recommend her enough. " K.L.
I began learning classical guitar with Danielle two and a half years ago at the age of 56, having never before played a fretted instrument. I have my hour long lessons fortnightly and this gives me time to practise new methods and skills and for the music to settle in my fingers and mind.
"My lessons are thoroughly enjoyable. Danielle has a beautiful, good humoured and mindful way of helping her pupils to relax both in the lesson and in practice sessions at home. She is a supremely skilled fretted instrument player herself, but has a deep understanding of the skill progression necessary to learn guitar. She never overwhelms me with too many technical exercises, but gently leads me on one step at a time. The satisfaction I experience as a result of finding that my playing is improving is invaluable.
Danielle's musical knowledge is impressive and she has introduced me to lovely music of a broad range of styles from across five centuries. I have never needed to play what might feel like 'children's music' inspite of being a beginner. I thoroughly commend her as a teacher." J.N.
"I have had online banjo lessons with Danielle for a couple of years. They are an enjoyable, informative and ambitious experience. I am certainly progressing in my ability to play the banjo and understand and use tabulature. Danielle has a calm, gentle and encouraging style, using her knowledge and experience at the right level to construct lessons so as to build my confidence and enjoyment of playing the banjo. Without hesitation I would recommend Danielle as a first class banjo tutor." N.C.
"Danielle has been our teacher for several years. An excellent player herself, she still has limitless patience and good humour when dealing with us mere students. Her infectious enthusiasm inspires us all at both Friendly Folk and MFO rehearsals." J&C.B.
"Who would’ve guessed that at (very nearly) 60 I would decide to take up a brand new skill? But not only am I a long way in age from your average rock guitar pupil, I am physically some 200 hundred miles away from my teacher - and I am distance learning using Skype! I love my guitar sessions with Danielle – they go at my pace and the music choice is mine – it’s all a million miles from the much hated piano lessons of my youth – and I actually enjoy the learning and practising! If you want a friendly, fun, fretted instrument experience I can heartily recommend lessons with Danielle." R.R.
"For the last 14 years I have been schlepping from Birmingham to Stourbridge for my monthly banjo lesson with Danielle - and I wouldn't do that if I didn't enjoy it! She's brilliant!" B.C.
"Danielle’s teaching style is relaxed and supportive. She is not only teaching me how to play classical guitar but works with me on confidence to play. Completely recommend. " R.P.
"I went to Danielle wanting to learn to play the banjo. What she taught me was a love of music. Her infectious enthusiasm embraces the technical elements of playing an instrument as well as the sheer joy of making music! The workshops with fellow students of Danielle’s have been a great way to meet others learning their instruments and share tips and experiences. To anyone thinking of learning the banjo, guitar or mandolin, I would say “Do it!”. It’s never too late." J.K.
"Danielle is a lovely friendly teacher, she keeps me motivated to keep playing. I came to her about a year ago as a self taught Banjo player who was struggling to find the motivation to develop. She has a very adaptive approach, understanding that not all people learn the same and is always ready to find ways to keep me playing and progressing. I have lessons online and in person and both are great." A.J.
"I've been having online banjo lessons for quite a while now with Danielle and can honestly say its money well spent, she's great with the way she explains things and will also point out if she thinks there are techniques which will help you and make it easier to play, learning to play can be very frustrating at times and all to easy to quit, but with the help from Danielle I'm improving all the time which makes it that much easier and fun to play, and at the end of the day that's the point of playing an instrument" P.S.
"Danielle teaches in an encouraging, approachable , enjoyable and relaxed way that gives me the confidence to try and to practice as I believe I will be able to keep improving. She “gets” me too which is great!" V.R.
"Danielle was recommended to me by my son and daughter-in-law who both have lessons with her and since I have started taking Skype lessons with her my banjo playing has improved considerably. She manages to keep me motivated and is very sensitive to my needs and abilities. I enjoy her practical approach and the way she’s always kind and friendly and finds ways to explain things to me if at first I don’t grasp something. I am glad to have found such a highly qualified teacher. " U.H.
"I am currently on my second block of banjo lessons with Danielle and find the tuition very good as it is tailored to the individual needs and aims of the student. This means learning at my own pace and songs/tunes that I like, although I have also learned some new songs. Danielle is experienced in all types of music and is extremely knowledgeable but, does not overload me with technical information. Danielle is also happy to offer help via e-mail/txt outside of the class time, which can be very handy between lessons." B.G.
“For many years I always wanted to be able to play an instrument, especially the banjo I absolutely love their sound. Unfortunately for me I never had the chance to play an instrument when i was growing up (the best I got was playing a recorder in junior school for 3 terms) so I had come to the conclusion it was never going to happen. However, as a result of an insane bet I found myself with said instrument and the challenge of learning to how to play the thing with no musical experience at all! Initially I purchased a book to start with but my real stroke of luck was finding Danielle. I have several other hobbies and I know both from the perspective of being an instructor in one and a student in the others how very hard it is to make the first step; it is perhaps the hardest of them all. Believe me I was not in my comfort zone when i arrived for my first lesson with Danielle. I needn't have worried she is brilliant! As a teacher she is extremely patient and able to give really helpful clear instruction at the level you need. She also has the great knack of being able to stretch you just enough to improve without sinking you all hands lost out of desperation. She has a wealth of technical and practical knowledge about the instrument as well which also really helps. I can't recommend her highly enough.” G.C.
"I retired from an academic post in December 2015. Having played the classical guitar in my early twenties I would certainly return to this neglected craft that I had not practised for 40 years. In my early days I had taught myself to play some of the guitar classics (Bach, Tarrega, Sor, Sanz, etc) made famous by the illustrious Julian Bream and Narcisco Yepes. But my technique and sight reading was bad and I felt a need this time round to enlist the skills of an expert to improve them. Of course I wondered how far my strength and flexibility would stand up to the purely physical strain of playing the classical guitar, but I decided to press on regardless.
I then searched online for guitar teachers in the Birmingham area. I wanted someone who had performing experience and knew how to teach in a supportive way. I rang and spoke to several potential teachers and finally came upon Danielle, who lived only 25 minutes away by car and seemed immediately to satisfy these two requirements. My first lesson with her was in February 2006 Since then I have continued with her as teacher, initially with face to face meetings once a week, then once a fortnight and finally, after moving house, mainly online.
One thing was very clear from the start: Danielle is an excellent sight reader, knows the fingerboard of the guitar like the back of her hand and the correct fingerings for the pieces to be played. This means that over the years she has helped me greatly to improve my sight reading and rhythmic sense no end, which in turn helped me improve my performance steadily. She also has a lot of experience in music teaching (including banjo, and electric guitar) so knows how to negotiate the idiosyncrasies of different students to patiently optimise their performance.
Danielle is very respectful of the student’s ability and skills and gears her tuition to match. Instead of groaning at my numerous mistakes she tries to show me how to improve e.g. by focussing on parts of the score that are troublesome and by pointing out notes that I had misread or rhythms that I had got wrong. She makes notes of these issues and texts/emails the points which need to be addressed every fortnight.
She also refers me to recordings by guitarists that may help both rhythm and interpretation. Her skills at teaching without negative criticism means her students’ backgrounds and abilities differ widely. Students’ abilities seem to range from the ‘doubly incompetent’ at one end to the ‘singularly talented’ at the other and she seems to be able to cope with the whole spectrum.
Danielle knows a lot about the history of the guitar, its composers and performers. This means that she is eager to expose the student (where possible) to this variety of composers and compositions as their performance permits. This means you avoid boredom by experiencing variety, but, as important, you get exposed to the different styles and the techniques required to master them.I have no hesitation in recommending Danielle as a teacher of music, and in particular the classical guitar, to students of all levels of ability and learning." R.C.