From early beginnings, Chris and Laura McGinity set up Finchley Music School, with just two music courses; Keyboard and Guitar. At that point the school was a Yamaha Music School, using music and other material supplied by Yamaha, with teacher training provided by them as well. It all sounded great!
Sadly, the music courses that Yamaha provided turned out to be quite undeveloped, with a lack of material being the main issue, though not the only one. Worse, the teacher training turned out to be less than adequate, with insufficient support for the teachers post training and one training course being taught by an instructor with no teaching experience whatsoever!
It wasn't long before there was a parting of the ways and since then there has been no looking back.
The decision was made to drop teaching keyboard. The Yamaha teaching method wasn't good enough, and there were no suitable alternative methods available. Additionally, starting pupils on piano makes much more sense for their future progress, so that's what happened.
Following a great deal of research we now use piano and guitar methods from Alfred Publications as the basis of most of the teaching - well thought out books, with a clear sense of progress and plenty of extra material available to supplement the basic course work.
Since then further courses have been added, so the teachers working within the school can now teach piano to children as young as 6, guitar for children age 5, including all ages up to and including adults.
For 2018 we introduced violin lessons at our Hendon Centre. We had received a lot of enquiries, so it seemed a good step for us to take, branching out from our Piano and Guitar courses
For 2020 we've introduced lessons on Saxophone (Alto and Tenor), Flute and Clarinet. Students can follow one of two routes - classical or Jazz.
The classical route is ideal for those looking to play in orchestras, wind bands and other ensembles where music reading is key. For others, the jazz route is great way to get into improvising and playing the music of the jazz greats.
The impact of these two events have been sorely felt. With Brexit the parents of several pupils moved their familes out of the UK - some to Europe, others further afield. Additionally, we had just appointed a great guitar teacher, one of many great EU teachers we have had the pleasure of working with over the years. Not long after the referendum vote came in he decided to move to Paris. As we know, many other EU citizens have made a similar move, and is a small example of the challenges face by the music indusrty - an industry that has grown as part of the EU, and whose growth is now stunted.
With Coronavirus we had to make a tough decision, and move all our lesson on line. Challenging at first, we are now able to offer a range of tuition to a much wider audience.
However, its not just music lessons that Chris and Laura are involved in! Learning an instrument can be just the first step to a lifetime of music, and both are keen practicing musicians, most particularly involved in forming the award winning Phoenix Concert Band of which Chris is Musical Director.
We set up the school to provide affordable music lessons for those looking to learn in an environment that pupils would be familiar with from their regular schools.
Our aim is continually improve the teaching given by regularly inviting feedback from pupils and parents, observing lessons and updating teaching methods.
Times are uncertain, especially with the spectre of coronavirus and Brexit hanging over us. However, by moving on line we are continuing the work we have been undertaking since 2006.