Some Testimonials from Pupils:

Posted in teaching on 26 September, 2016 by flaviomatani
Some Testimonials from Pupils:

• David Gardham:

I’d had a few guitar lessons at school (over 15 years ago!) and enjoyed playing guitar in my spare time. I decided it was time to take formal lessons as I was keen to develop my skills and knowledge further.  I found Flavio randomly – but he has proved to be a fantastic teacher. He is knowledgeable, encouraging and inspiring- as well as an annoyingly good guitarist!  I’m a classical player but he teaches a whole range of stuff.  I’ve had lessons with Flavio for 18 months and am delighted with how my playing and theory has improved.  But most importantly he’s helped me rediscover my passion for the guitar.
(David reached ABRSM Grade 8 in 2015 after only a few years taking lessons).

• Patrick Duggan Jnr

You probably don’t remember but one of the first pieces you taught me was the beautiful acoustic “is there anybody out there”
I was in awe and thought my fingers will never be able to play that,then came Brouwer.
Before I knew what was happening I was playing the lead from comfortably numb and working on Steve Vai, Van Halen, Johnny Marr and John Dowland!

(more to come…)

We have recently help our pupils David Gardham, Marcel Armour and Zeynep Sun prepare for their successful ABRSM Grade 8 exams.


Guitar Lesson Fees:

Posted in teaching on 26 September, 2016 by flaviomatani

Flavio Matani
Classical and Electric Guitar Tuition
London NW5 1AS, UK
Tel. 020 72672268
mobile: 07958-527692
twitter & Skype: flaviomatani

We provide tuition on the classical and electric guitar, catering for all levels of abilities and most interests, including classical, rock, pop styles and bass guitar, as well as other acoustic and Latin-American styles.

We can provide coaching for the Associated Board (ABRSM)’s Grade examinations on the Classical Guitar, up to Grade 8 and beyond, also Trinity/Guildhall Grade exams and Rockschool.

Also, we teach Theory of Music and are able to coach for ABRSM Theory of Music exams.


The fees for Guitar lessons are as follows:
(fees quoted if you pay in blocks of four lessons. Add £2 if you intend to pay for each lesson apart).

£36.oo per 1 hour lesson, £38 visit lesson.

£27.oo per 45 min lesson, £30 visit lesson.

£19.oo per 1/2 hour lesson, £23 visit lesson.

payable in blocks of four in advance, as follows:

£140.oo per block of 4 one-hour lessons, or £152 for visit lessons

£108.oo per block of 4 45 min lessons, or £120 for visit lessons

£76.oo per block of 4 half-hour lessons. or £88 for visit lessons.

Payment of the next ‘block’ of lessons is expected on the last lesson paid for. There is a small £3 surcharge for visit lessons.

If you must cancel an appointment for a lesson, please give at least 48 hours advance notification, otherwise the lesson should be paid for.

Thank you.

Flavio Matani.

dilemmas and contradictions

Posted in teaching on 6 May, 2016 by flaviomatani

Another day teaching in a ‘low achieving’ school which, weirdly, is in a posh neighbourhood. My first pupil has a terrible guitar that won’t stay in tune, is difficult to play and is hardly more than a toy. I mentioned this to him and was told by the head of music that I shouldn’t remark on the unsuitability of the guitar as the family are poor and cannot afford to buy an instrument. Now, what do you do in such a situation?

I tune the guitar every time for him. Try to set it up and adjust it  insofar as it is possible.  It never lasts even the whole lesson, which in any case is way too short.

And yet, he’s learning to play and making progress.

teaching notes for a little piece by Fernando Sor (‘Andantino’, from Op 35)

Posted in teaching on 10 August, 2015 by flaviomatani

• ‘Andantino’  /F Sor , page 94 in Jeffries’ book started 31-10-14 not today

bar 15: practise this change apart. Put fingers 1,2  in place at the same time first of all, then finger 4. Aim always to put both fingers for a pull-off in place at the same time.

dynamics: we talked about ways to shape the phrases

– call and response: those two note motifs -call a little louder, response a little quieter

– literal repeats: first instance on the sound-hole, the repeat on the bridge.

–           notes from previous lesson: needs to be quite legato

– make sure you don’t release fingers too early -you tend to prepare the next fingers a bit early

– make sure you don’t over-prepare right hand fingers by touching on strings that should still be ringing.

in between lessons

Posted in teaching on 8 July, 2015 by flaviomatani

This guitar teaching thing… often swings wildly between being enormously rewarding and satisfying and being enormously frustrating. Often, not because of the teaching itself, although it can happen, particularly in the schools I teach at, for some reason I haven’t been able to fathom: pupils coast along or are not reliable in terms of attendance (or notification of non-attendance) or payments, in the case of private pupils. In the schools, it is often the inevitable bureaucratic procedures, the red tape, the way goals are sometimes defined, to favour the school meeting targets rather than the pupil getting something they will keep for life.

It is however still a fantastic feeling when you see that one of your pupils ‘gets it’ and begins to make leaps forward in their playing or their understanding of what they’re doing.

these guitar lessons… (part 243 of many)

Posted in teaching on 13 February, 2015 by flaviomatani

Teaching a 62 year lady who picked up a guitar for the first time in her life five months ago and is now at a Grade 1 level (more or less) and who is  enjoying it enormously. There are good sides to this guitar teaching lark.

new year

Posted in teaching on 6 January, 2015 by flaviomatani

Year begins with one pupil preparing a DipABRSM, several preparing their Grade 7 and 8. Interesting and rewarding, even if it is a bit difficult sometimes to make a living doing this.

My post-grade 8 pupil is currently playing several sets of possible pieces for his Diploma: two sets of Villa-Lobos (2 and 9, 1 and 5), a couple of pieces from the lute suite BWV997 by Bach, two pieces by John Dowland, the Estudio de Velocidad by Tárrega…


Posted in teaching on 29 September, 2014 by flaviomatani

Had an interesting couple of first-time ever lessons a few days ago. The second one was a sixteen year old who is already quite advanced, fired up with enthusiasm and asking all the right questions. A few issues with position and posture, etc but very promising. The other one was more complicated: middle aged man, had a reasonable first-time-ever lesson. At the end he said he would only take one lesson a month if that ‘and he’ll skip a month on occasion’. He also announced he would not be abiding to my system of charging for lessons in blocks of four. He was not prepared to put any more money or time than that into a leisure activity. I had to say that in my view then whatever little money he spent on lessons would be wasted -you only get out of this as much as you put in. I do believe this. He could get to play well, but on the basis of what he said, I cannot see how that may come to happen.

I’m quite fortunate in that my core set of pupils are people who are indeed willing to put in a little time and effort into something that is for them ‘only’ a leisure activity but an important part in the mix of their lives.


Posted in teaching on 24 June, 2014 by flaviomatani

Change strings in good time before a performance or an exam… worn out strings will sound dull; new strings take time to settle so you may get a guitar going constantly out of tune for a couple of days…

playing together

Posted in teaching with tags , on 9 June, 2014 by flaviomatani

Interesting how very stimulating the playing together has been for the handful of my pupils who now meet once a month to play at the local Literary Café.  It has also revealed some gaps in some of my pupils’ understanding, technique or knowledge of certain things so it has been useful in filling those gaps. It has also improved their sight-reading and their music reading in general. I recommend ensemble playing to players of all levels, it is fun and a bonding experience as well as a nourishing one.