TESTIMONIALS

“Before Abby started her guitar lessons I initially associated them with older children and adults. I wasn’t sure how much the lessons would keep Abby’s interest as this was so new to her. I now realise that younger children learn this skill very quickly. Abby has certainly been quick to learn and thoroughly enjoys her lessons. She loves learning new songs and practicing them at home with her music sheets. Johanna regularly asks the children what songs they would like to learn also.

Abby’s confidence has soared since starting her lessons. She has always been a very shy girl and at first I thought she would struggle meeting new people and particularly playing guitar in front of them but there has never been an issue, she loves attending every week.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Johanna for teaching guitar as every lesson is tailored to each age group and abilities. The lessons are made fun for the children whilst building their skills and confidence. I am so thrilled with how Abby has come along since starting her lessons, she loves attending and wishes she could come every day!”

Anne-Marie, Abby's Mum

“I had a perception of guitar lessons as being rather staid and academic, a serious pursuit. I expected it to be based on repetitive chord practice and similar drills. I now view the guitar lessons Archie has with Johanna as a joyful experience, where Archie learns to play in a more relaxed and fun way. He has been introduced to a wide range of genres, and he is very keen to investigate these further. He has also enjoyed learning tunes that he already knows from the radio.

Archie is proud of his achievements and will happily play in front of friends and family, and at the shows that Johanna puts on to showcase her students’ efforts. He is confident and motivated and the lessons are something he looks forward to, even if he’s having a bad week. Archie plays a lot of competitive sport and I think his lessons with Johanna are almost the antidote to this, he enjoys the relaxed and supportive environment of the group lessons. This positive experience means he is now open to trying new things even outside of his guitar lessons. If you are looking for a guitar lesson that will nurture your child’s interest in music then I would recommend Johanna.”

Kirsty, Archie's Mum

“I was a bit apprehensive about guitar lessons prior to Andrew commencing lessons. His sister plays cello and his brother plays piano but Andrew has never been keen on taking up an instrument. I was worried that he would get bored learning the notes and give up before he could actually get the chance to enjoy it. Johanna’s method instantly allowed him to play a recognisable tune and he loved it. From that day he has been keen to practice without much encouragement needed from me. He enjoys playing music he recognises and that appeals to him such as the Harry Potter theme tune which seems to be a favourite at the moment.

I think Andrew is far more confident as I think part of his reluctance to play an instrument was his fear that he wouldn’t be able to do it. He is now more keen to try new things and stick with them as he can see the results. He is also far more confident showing his skills and is happy to play us what he has learned even in front of his siblings who are his biggest critics. Johanna’s lessons grab their attention from day one and keep it. They are never boring or stuffy. The music is modern so it is easy for the children to relate to. Johanna has achieved something I thought was going to be impossible, getting Andrew to pick up play and play an instrument voluntarily without coaxing and it is because he truly loves it!”

Wendy, Andrew's Mum
“I thought music lessons were quite serious and a little dull. I also felt that for a lot of guitar tutors teaching is not necessarily their primary vocation – but something they do on the side. Johanna is extremely passionate about music and guitar tuition. It is very much her vocation and she develops an excellent rapport with her students. She is extremely positive and encouraging to her students and this is highly motivating for them and reassuring for parents, especially when they witness the great progress their child makes. Lessons have definitely increased Alex’s confidence and self-esteem – particularly the concerts which he loves – he enjoys practicing for them and he is very proud of himself afterwards!”
Andy, Alex's Dad

“I wasn’t sure what to expect with guitar lessons – I thought that the format would be quite formal and that Hannah would need to learn to read music first before attempting to play any notes. Johanna’s method has made it easier for Hannah to learn songs more quickly and her lessons have the right balance of being relaxed but challenging. Hannah really loves playing the guitar and likes to teach me what she’s learnt so that we can play together. She has become good friends with the other children in her group and looks forward to the classes each week. She’s also really looking forward to the concert in December and this has encouraged her to practice more.

I would recommend Johanna as a guitar teacher as her relaxed and fun teaching style creates an ideal environment for the children to make good progress in their learning. She is friendly and encouraging and allows the children to have a say in what music they learn to play, which keeps them interested and keen to learn.”

Fiona, Hannah's Mum

“Hugh wanted to learn an instrument and we knew guitar was for him as he loves guitar-based music from bands such as The Script. We didn’t really know what to expect from the lessons except that we wanted him to feel confident and enjoy it so when he started we were delighted to see right from the start how much he loved it. We had an idea it might be quite formal which would have been OK but Johanna has a way of teaching them while still making it fun – Hugh never moans about going to his guitar lesson! He loves the relaxed surroundings and the pace of the lessons. Hugh also loves that he is consulted about what songs to work on so if he has heard a tune at home and loved it he can maybe learn that one during the lesson.

I would certainly recommend Johanna’s lessons to another parent. The children learn well and never seem stressed about what they are doing, It is a lot of fun and Hugh is happy that he may just be a rock star one day! I feel Johanna is really interested in every child and takes time to get to know them a bit so they are comfortable with her.”

Amanda, Hugh's Mum
“I came along to First Strings last year with my eight year old daughter, had a free trial session which was very helpful to give us an insight of the surroundings and teacher. I find Johanna extremely knowledgable in her job – she is child friendly, reliable and professional. The lesson each week flies by my daughter tells me, she aways leaves full of beans wanting me to hear a new tune or chord she has practiced. We hear her improving all the time which is helped too from the homework given out. For me personally Johanna is an outstanding guitar teacher, and I feel lucky to have found her for my daughter.”
Nicola, Hannah's Mum

“I believed guitar lessons would probably take some getting used to for Jonah and maybe quite difficult initially for him learning all the music symbols/notes etc. Upon speaking with Johanna about the classes she offered I soon discovered she had a whole different and much easier method in the way she taught and I was bowled over after Jonah’s first lesson that he was able to play me a tune! Jonah’s favourite part of the lessons is learning new songs to play. Its also a great opportunity for him to meet new people out-with his home and school environment and he has shown leaps of confidence in himself which has contributed in his adjustment into high school.

Johanna has a very warm, caring, super positive and fun-bubbly personality. It’s so apparent she loves to teach and my son has definitely felt the benefit of her enthusiasm in class. The lessons are affordable and whenever he has had to miss classes she has been more than happy for him to make it up on other days, so its flexible and he never misses out! I would recommend these lessons with Johanna as they are a fantastic way to introduce or continue on guitar for your child! (Secretly hoping she will branch out to teaching adults soon!)”

Sharita, Jonah's Mum

“My own experiences with learning an instrument weren’t very good. When I took piano lessons at the age of 10 I was bored stiff with all the finger practice, I had no connection to the waltzes I learned and I wouldn’t practice. I gave up 3 years later, not really able to play anything. When Benno wanted to learn the guitar I was a bit worried that he might give up if the classes would be too formal, directed towards degrees etc. and the “wrong” music. Since Benno is into rock music I thought it would be difficult to find the right class for him. When Benno came to Johanna for the first time he left highly motivated and started practicing right away. The fact that Johanna teaches him songs he likes or he can relate to motivates him to practice, makes him play well and as a result he enjoys the whole experience. He loves his electric guitar and the relaxed, fun atmosphere during lessons.

We were amazed that Benno would go onto a stage and play in front of an audience since he can be very shy. The sense of achievement whenever he plays really well is very good for his confidence. He even taught a friend, who had never played the guitar, how to play “Smoke on the Water” recently. We can highly recommend Johanna’s classes. Benno loves the fun, relaxed atmosphere, the cool songs he learns and always comes out with a big smile on his face.”

Christiane, Benno's Mum
“I thought guitar lessons may be one to one, and quite intense. Needing lots of practicing, with fairly slow progress. However with Johanna and First Strings Adam has progressed quickly and smoothly. The group lessons seem to be relaxed, friendly and interesting. The number method used (rather than having to learn to read music) seems very efficient and easy to put into practice. Adam is much more aware musically, and has taught himself various tunes on the piano since learning the guitar. Adam has only ever been to First Strings for lessons, and we see no need to go elsewhere! I would recommend first strings as Johanna is friendly and approachable. Progress seems quick. Easy location, and good value for money.”
Marion, Adam's Mum
“Before Anna started taking lessons I thought that the only option was to have a one-to-one tutor at your own house and that it would be expensive. With the group tutoring it is more affordable and a more sociable learning environment. Anna was pleased that very quickly she was able to play a few tunes even although she hadn’t played the guitar before. She always looks forward to her guitar lessons and we often hear her practising in her room.”
Margaret, Anna's Mum
“Alex was keen to learn a musical instrument but didn’t have much confidence that he would be able to do it. We agreed with him that he would try and could stop if he didn’t enjoy it. We’ve been delighted with how he has learned the instrument and that he’s come to enjoy playing at home and showing us the new pieces and chords he’s learned. Alex isn’t always very confident, particularly about new things, but learning the guitar has given him something that he knows he can do and that he can impress others with. Alex genuinely looks forward to his lessons every week and has learned an awful lot in a relatively short space of time.”
Matt, Alex's Dad
“Katie has enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other kids in her class and enjoys playing with them. She enjoys the relaxed, fun atmosphere and the variety of songs and styles. She likes the fact that she can ask to learn songs by artists that she enjoys. I would recommend Johanna because she is passionate about music and shares her knowledge with enthusiasm. She develops positive nurturing relationships with her students and creates a fun, relaxed learning environment.”
Catriona, Katie's Mum
“Before Archie started lessons I wouldn’t have anticipated how much he enjoys playing guitar and how confident he is playing. Archie really enjoys the small group aspect and he very much enjoys performing. Guitar lessons with Johanna have definitely been very beneficial to his confidence and self esteem. I would and have recommended Johanna’s lessons. I always tell people how much Archie and the other children enjoy the group aspect of her lessons and also the music that they play. I also like the the fact that Johanna and Archie have a nice rapport.”
Helen, Archie's Mum

“Scott had previously been to another teacher and although he was learning new songs, there wasn’t much structure to the lessons or what goals Scott would be working towards. Since starting lessons with Johanna Scott’s skill base has vastly expanded and it gives him confidence when he can try new techniques. He loves rock music and being able to play songs that he likes. He has enjoyed his one to one sessions and also group lessons where he can play with other children too. He looks forward to his lesson every week and is always practicing what he has been taught the previous week.

I would recommend Johanna due to her natural ability in teaching children. The lessons provided are well structured and feedback is available after lessons with regular updates on your child’s progress. Johanna also organises concerts which gives the pupils an opportunity to show case their talents in front of their families. Scott has played in two of Johanna’s concerts and although nervous at first he was glad that he took part and said he felt more confident for having taken part.”

Yvonne, Scott's Mum
“During our year in Glasgow in 2013/2014, we wanted Chen Ying, then 4.5 years old to learn a musical instrument. That’s when we met Johanna. From the very first meeting we knew that we’ve found the right teacher. Johanna was friendly and engaging, she made the lessons fun and easy to understand. She makes children feel comfortable and at ease to learn. Chen Ying thoroughly enjoyed her lessons and looked forward to them every week. We also enjoyed the concerts that Johanna organizes as the students get to showcase the songs that they’ve learned.”
Lee Yen, Cheng Ying's Mum
“Ryan really enjoys the rock music that he has learned in lessons. The lessons have also helped Ryan to concentrate as he has to be more patient while other kids have their turn. Johanna provides a safe, relaxed and friendly environment. Her method of training is great and has children playing really fast. Her lessons are great value for money and Ryan really enjoys going.”
Patricia, Ryan's Mum
“Mitchell attended other lessons prior to attending First Strings. The lessons were not age appropriate and the tutor, whilst very pleasant, seemed to struggle to relate to kids. Mitchell would moan every time he was to go. However Mitchell looks forward to his guitar lessons every week now. I knew straight away from the first meeting with Johanna that Mitchell would really enjoy learning the guitar. I’ve realised that, with the right teacher, kids can learn songs fairly quickly so that it is more fun for them. Mitchell likes to tell people he takes guitar lessons – it seems to give him some kudos amongst his friends. Also, it’s good that he has to work things out and practice to get better at something – this helps all areas.”
Jacqui, Mitchell’s Mum
“I did not expect guitar lessons to be so interactive for the students. Eva has enjoyed many things about her lessons and is now more confident performing in front of others. She thinks that Johanna is a good listener, doesn’t let anyone feel stuck and that she makes guitar fun.”
Sarah, Eva’s Mum
“Johanna is professional and great with kids. Lily really enjoys learning songs that she knows, and the challenge of new work and trying to master it to be able to play back to us and others. I like Johanna’s approach to the material that she teaches – its relevant for kids, which makes Lily want to learn it.”
Nicola, Lily’s Mum