Brian Wride Music


Frequently Asked Questions:

The following should answer most of your questions:
How much do lessons cost?

Lessons are currently $25 for a half-hour lesson.  There is also a one-time "materials fee" of $15 at the first lesson.  The materials fee covers all essential materials, usually a method book and a three ring binder.   Occasionally, supplementary materials may be recommended which can be purchased by the student at their discretion.  If the student already has materials that they have been working with, usually an arrangement can be made to waive all or part of the materials fee.

I reserve the right to charge for lessons missed without adequate notice.

What do I need to take lessons?

You will need a decent quality guitar and an electronic tuner is strongly recommended unless you are confident that you can tune your guitar by ear.  Also, if you can afford it, a metronome is an excellent tool for learning music.  A music stand would also be helpful.  There are tuner and metronome apps available for mobile phones.

Most importantly, you will need about half an hour per day to practice and study at least 5 days per week.

How old does a child have to be to take guitar lessons?

If a child is able to read and you can find a decent quality guitar that fits, then they are old enough.  If your child has difficulty reading or has any other obstacles to learning let me know and we can probably work out a plan.

The biggest challenge to young players is finding a guitar that fits.  "Parlour-sized" and "three-quarter-sized" guitars are the smallest size of acoustic guitar that are generally available though occasionally you can find a "half-size" guitar that is of sufficient quality to begin lessons with.  A child needs to be able to comfortably reach the strings while sitting comfortably with the guitar sitting squarely on their lap.  Some electric guitars are smaller if you can put up with the noise.  A smaller child could also get started on a Baritone Ukelele (larger than a regular Ukelele) if you were to get the vendor to replace the fourth string with a string pitched an octave lower than standard (they'll know what you mean).

Some smaller instruments may be available for rent as well.  Please ask for details.

Do you teach adults?

Yes.  Over half of my students are adults.

Can you tell me about your teaching style?

My teaching style is fairly formal in that I think that it is important for a musician to be able to read music, understand musical theory,  and be exposed to a wide variety of musical styles.  I also think that it is important to be able to perform for people, so I am inclined to teach complete tunes rather than just riffs and licks.  I also strongly encourage participation in the Sunderland Lions Music Festival to work on performance skills.  Of course I don't mind slanting the curriculum towards a student's musical tastes and/or strengths. 

Which guitar method do you use?

In most cases, I use the Hal-Leonard method.  With the very young I like to  start with "Guitar for the Small Fry" published by Beacon Music and with students who are already proficient on another instrument I will occasionally use the Berklee method.  In all cases I supplement the course with other materials. I charge a one time materials fee of $15 per student which will cover all essential materials.  I will sometimes recommend supplementary materials which can be purchased by the student at their discretion.

I am familiar with most of the mainstream guitar methods so if the student has already started on another method, I am quite comfortable continuing with that method, if desired.

When do you teach?

I am currently accepting students on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

Sorry, due to other commitments I am unable to teach outside of school hours at this time.

I'm worried about my child missing school for music lessons.

In most cases, music lessons improve academic scores.  Music lessons also help with self-discipline, confidence, and manual dexterity.  Obviously, if your child's academic performance is negatively impacted by missing school for music lessons, then you should seek other options.  I always recommend consulting with their teacher(s) when considering music lessons.

It is worth noting that the Ontario Education Act allows for missing school for music lessons (section 21, sub-section 2e).

Many of my school-aged students have found that taking lessons during the day is actually easier to schedule into their busy lives.  Organized sports and other extra-curricular activities are competing for space outside of the school day, and being able to schedule music lessons during the day frees up more time outside of school hours.

Also, many students will drop off their guitars before school and pick them up after school, eliminating the need to keep their guitar at school during the day.

Where are you located?

I am in Uxbridge on Centre Rd. near Brock St., which is an easy walk from both Quaker Village Public School and St. Joseph's Catholic School.  Students are welcome to drop off their instrument before school and pick it up again after school.

Where should I buy a guitar?

You should buy your guitar from a reputable music store:

The Interesting Music Shoppe - Pefferlaw
Long & McQuade - Markham
Cosmo Music - Richmond Hill
The Arts - Newmarket

You can usually buy a decent acoustic guitar for $400 - $450 and you can usually get a good tuner and metronome for under $30 each. You may also be able to negotiate a package price.

You should NOT buy your instrument at a "big box" store. While these instruments are less expensive and often carry reputable brand names they are generally of inferior quality and often they are not adjustable or repairable. It is noteworthy that studies have shown there is a 70% drop-out rate among students using an instrument purchased at a "big box" store.

Also, in the event that you drop out or upgrade your instrument, a brand-name guitar purchased from a reputable music store will retain much more of its value.

Reputable entry-level brands include:
Godin (Seagull, Art & Lutherie, Norman, Simon & Patrick)

Renting a guitar is another option. I often have a couple of smaller instruments available for rent, and Long & McQuade rents instruments at reasonable rates.

How long have you been teaching guitar?

I have been teaching guitar formally since 2004.

Want to sign up?  Still have questions?

Give Brian a call: 905-852-6131