Frequently Asked Questions
Who are you, and where are you from?
My name is Pete Farrugia. I’m a full-time professional tutor of the guitar, bass guitar and ukulele. I’m based in Carshalton, South London, UK, and that’s where I teach. If you can’t make it to my studio, I can still teach you online, using Skype or FaceTime. All you need is broadband and a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
How long have you been doing this?
Well I started playing in 1972, and I started teaching in 1977, so quite a long time!
What qualifications and professional memberships do you have?
I have an honours degree in humanities with music, as well as two diplomas: one in music, and one in guitar performance. I am a member of the Registry Of Guitar Tutors, and the Musicians Union. I am also registered with the DBS, which is the Disclosures and Barring Service, and that proves that I am who I say I am, and that I have no criminal record.
Do you just teach music, or can you also play it?
I’ve been a working live, recording and broadcasting musician since my first paid session way back in 1976. I still regularly play live with several bands. Come and see us play, it’s fun!
What kinds of music do you teach?
All kinds, but my specialist subjects are Blues, Rock and Pop, Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly, Soul, Funk and R’n’B, Jazz and Swing, Country and Folk. I have a huge collection of lesson handouts, including hundreds of songs from the 1920s, right up to today, and everything in between. Unlike some of the charts and tabs from the internet, mine are accurate. Plus, my in-depth knowledge of music theory and music history allows me to put each song in its correct historical context, and to point out and explain why and how each song was written that way.
Are lessons any better than teaching yourself?
Much better, and also much quicker. Books, and the internet, are both wonderfully rich resources for musicians. Except that if you’re learning to play an instrument, there’s one very important thing missing: there’s no-one there to tell you in what order you should look at things. You can waste years trying to learn from the internet in an unstructured way. A good tutor can save you years, and help you to build your skills as fast as possible. Plus I can prevent you from developing bad habits that can also hold you back from achieving your potential.
Where will lessons take place?
In my fully equipped teaching and recording studio in Carshalton, South London, where I’ve got all the instruments, equipment and resources to teach in the most efficient and effective way possible.
What ages of people do you teach?
Almost all ages. My youngest students have been only 4 years old, and my oldest are in their 80s.
Do students need any previous experience?
No, none at all. I welcome everyone, complete beginners, improvers, advanced students, everyone. I even teach experienced professional musicians, including other guitar tutors, who consult me for my expertise in specialist subjects like Blues, or music theory.
Do your students have to take exams?
No, quite a few of my students are only in it for fun, and that’s quite all right by me. If you do want to take graded exams, or performance awards, I’m a particularly good option as a tutor, because I’m also an examiner for the Registry of Guitar Tutors at the London College of Music. So I’m very experienced in knowing what the examiners are looking for. Plus I have a 100% pass rate with exams, and almost all of my students have gained distinctions.
Are your lessons affordable?
Yes, my charges are very competitive. You can either pay for lessons individually, or if you pay in advance for ten lessons, I offer a 5% discount. I also have a policy that as long as you continue to attend your weekly lessons, I never raise the cost of your lessons.
Are your lessons one-to-one?
Almost always yes. Although I also give combined lessons for siblings, and even couples. Joint ukulele lessons seem to be very popular with couples at the moment!
How long are lessons?
Usually one hour, but for younger children I also offer half hour lessons.
Can parents sit in during their children’s lessons?
Yes, I encourage parents to attend. Some even join in the music making!