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 Many of the greatest pop musicians cannot read a note of music


Many pop musicians such as Paul McCartney, Elvis and Eric Clapton cannot read a note of music, yet have gone on to achieve high success and fame in the world of music. This is because they have learnt music another way, not by reading but through their musical ear. They have listened carefully to recordings and then tried to emulate they musical heroes by trial and error at their instrument. These musicians have been able to write music in a different way, not by putting notes on the score that becomes what is known as the “sheet music” but by coming up with a chord progression (the harmony) and improvising a sung tune (the melody) over the top. They will then, instead of writing the music down, record their music so they have an audio version of it to remember. If the song ever gets published later, after release, it will often be done by someone who is traditionally musically educated who can put the notes on the score. This is called “transcribing” when someone will listen to the track and transfer what they hear into notes on a score. 


Although lots of musicians can only play by ear, the traditional note reading approach is common among piano players. That is why the likes of pop musicians such as Elton John can read music. If you are wanting to learn how to play the piano, a multiple approach is normally welcome. No one can deny the incredible advantages of the ability to read music. Firstly, it enables the piano player to be able to pick up a piece of sheet music that they have never seen, or heard before and have a go at playing it. Being able to sight read notes helps speed up the learning process. However, the other process of learning music by ear should not be disregarded as there are many advantages to that too. In popular and jazz styles in particular, the ability to have a good musical ear and improvise is a wonderful task. Therefore, piano teachers should take multiple approaches with their students who want to learn how to play the piano.


Are you wanting to join a piano class in Cardiff?


One of the best piano teachers in Cardiff is without a doubt, Matthew Clayton. He has been offering Piano Lessons in Cardiff for many years and delivers his fun and inspiring lessons with great passion. Matthew has been playing the piano since age 6. Music has always been a massive part of his life - throughout his school years he performed in shows and made his way through his piano grades and eventually studied music as Cardiff University. Now, he likes to pass on all that musical experience to his piano students. Matthew’s students will learn music from all styles including classical, songs from the shows as well as songs in the charts. Matthew prides himself on the fact that his students learn “the proper way” and are set up to become great pianists. Many of Matthew’s students are thankful they took up lessons because the instrument has brought them so much joy. Matthew teaches primary school, secondary school students and adult learners - even retired adults who are looking for a new past time.


To make an enquiry with Matthew to start piano lessons with Matthew in Cardiff please contact him on 


32. How can playing the piano make you relax and destress?


Playing the piano can be as relaxing as going on a holiday in the sun. Lots of piano players say playing the piano transports them to a different place and they forget about their troubles and what is currently stressing them and focus instead on playing beautiful music. Some say this is because the piano requires a certain level of concentration because they are using both hands at the same time, so they is very little brain power to think of music else. Musicians absorb themselves completely in their music making and the psychological benefits of this are remarkable. Bringing all ones attention to the task can boost positivity and good feeling. Also, if a piano player is working on a a piece that is difficult, they will have a feel-good factor about how they are getting better and better each time they play the piece. This sense of achievement can be linked the feelings sportspersons can experience as they achieve new things and cross new boundaries. That sense of accomplishment is what makes piano playing addictive. Many piano players learnt how to play the piano when they were young and have never given it up. They may have stopped formal lessons but playing the piano still forms a big part of who they are. Creating anything, whether that be a piece of music, or a piece of art of even something in the garden can make you feel happy and revived. It can counter act against stressful feelings and get rid of negative thoughts. Starting up a new hobby like the piano can give people a new, encouraging outlook on life. 


Start up piano lessons with Piano Tuition Cardiff today


If you are living in the Cardiff area, and close to Cyncoed, whether you live in Lakeside, Heath, Llanishen, Thornhill or Pontpreanna and are looking for first class piano lessons, you should definitely consider Matthew who teaches under the name of Piano Tuition Cardiff. Matthew has achieved great success with his pupils - if you would like to read testimonials from his previous pupils please click on the homepage above at the top of the website. You can also find a full biography of Matthew on this website if you want to know his musical background. He holds a music degree from Cardiff University and has been DBS checked. Matthew has worked in primary schools and secondary schools for Gwent Music Service over the last ten years. There are many reasons why you should consider piano lessons in Cardiff with Matthew. First of all, his lessons are very reasonably priced at only £13.50 per half hour lesson. Secondly, he likes to have a fun raptor with his students and brings out the best in them. Matthew and has pupils have achieved great successes though the ABRSM graded music system


If you would like to enquire about piano lessons for you or your child, please send a message or a make a phone call to Matthew on 07967 836011. He may be teaching when you call, so do leave a message and he will get back to you at the soonest possible time to arrange your first piano lesson. 





33. What do the letter symbols mean in pop music?


If you are a pianist and have bought popular sheet music, you will notice that above the melody line they have written chords such as Gm and Asus 4 and so on. The purpose of these chords is so that the performer has a quick reference of what harmony is being used at that particular point in the melody. This can be useful if you want to play in an improvisatory way without having to sight read the notes and play them. Singers who are accompanying themselves will usually only follow the lyrics line and the chords. This quick way of playing is basically the modern version of a figured bass. Figured bass was used in the Baroque era by a continuo part such as a harpsichord or lute. They will get a list of figures (which would today be described as chords) and improvise along. Music historians have noted that Baroque music has links with jazz music.


If you are wanting the know the meaning of Gm is means play the G minor chord because there is a small m after the G chord. If it just says G alone, that means play an ordinary G major chord. The next most popular chord is the use of a seventh included in with the main chord such as G7 - this means play a normal G chord but add in the flattened seventh note of the scale- this gives a bluesy element to the sound. If however, the chord reads Gm7, that means you should play a G minor chord and add in the flattened seventh note. If you ever see Sus2 or sus4, this generally means that you need to either add the second or fourth note of the scale. In jazz music, piano players often what’s known as a “lead sheet” where there will be the main melodic tune with the accompanying chords. It is quite common to see chords that have a slash symbol in between such as G/D - this means you need to play a G chord, but with a D in the bass. It is known as G “over D”. For pianists, this usually is achieved by playing the G chord in the right hand and the D in the left hand. While these lead sheets can be very useful, they can only offer so much detail of what the performer should actually be playing. 



Piano Lessons with Matthew Clayton in Cardiff


Piano Tuition Cardiff is run from Matthew’s home in Cyncoed, Cardiff. He teaches lots of piano students, young and old, all from the surrounding areas who come for their weekly piano lesson. Matthew is an incredibly gifted pianist who has been playing the piano since a very young age. He plays for lots of ceremonies, weddings and events and also plays keyboards for a local function band. Matthew is very experienced in lots of styles of music which makes him an interesting teacher as he doesn’t only teach classical music like many piano teachers do. Matthew also teaches music theory and enters pupils for music theory exams. Playing the piano can bring great joy to peoples lives however old they are. If you are wanting informative piano lessons in Cardiff, please contact Matthew on 07967 836011






Tips on how to find a good piano teacher


When you have decided that you actually want piano lessons, it can be a thrilling moment. You have decided to commit to learning a new skill - so finding a good piano teacher is the next thing you need to achieve in your musical journey. There are many different factors one would normally consider when finding a piano teacher, however the one most important factor is finances. This is because piano teachers’ rates vary considerably depending on their experience and qualifications. Hourly rates in the UK can vary from £20 to £200 per hour. Now, for the average beginner, you would never need the option of paying out £200 per hour, however you will equally want a teacher who you know is reliable. It maybe an idea to ask for a piano teachers certificates in the qualifications that he or she claims to have. If they are legitimate teachers, they will not normally take offence to this and will understand your concern. It is also worth checking if they have a DBS certificate providing they can work with children/vulnerable adults. It is also best that you find out early on what the piano lessons are likely to include. For example, if you want to learn music theory as well as the piano, you don’t want to find out 2 years down the line that your teacher doesn’t teach music theory. Or you may wish to find out if you can learn popular and jazz style with your piano or do they only teach classical music? Then comes the more practical side of the lessons - do they teach regularly or have time off for their own performing career? As you don’t want long gaps of time in between lessons, particularly when you are starting off the piano. The last thing is to have a trial piano lesson to find out if you think you will get along with your teacher. A piano teacher shouldn’t expect there and then to sign you up for permanent lessons, but allow you thinking time to make your decision.


Are you looking for a great piano teacher in Cardiff?


If you are looking for a great piano teacher, look no further than Matthew Clayton who teaches from his home in Cyncoed, Cardiff. Matthew charges for piano lessons in six weekly blocks at the cost of £13.50 per half hour weekly lesson. You will learn a great deal of piano music with Matthew and you will progress quickly. Matthew has been professionally trained by an ABRSM examiner at Cardiff University so is very well equipped to teach you in the correct way to ensure that you don’t pick up any bad habits. Matthew teaches children from 7 years and upwards. In his experience, he finds as soon as children begin junior school they have the concentration levels required for good progress - however, some piano teachers in Cardiff do offer lessons for those younger than age 7.


If you would like further information about piano lessons in Cardiff with Matthew, please contact him on

He will then be able to tell you if he has any available slots in his diary to take you or your child on as a new pupil. If his diary is full, in can put you on a waiting list, and it shouldn’t be too long before you get a phone call back with more availability. 


How to choose the right piece for your level as a beginner pianist


If you are a student learning the piano, it is likely that you have a list of all your favourite songs or pieces of music that you want to play. However, it is important that when you are learning that you choose the right piano piece for your progression as a piano student. You will want to choose pieces that matches the level you are at - something that challenges you a bit, but at the same time something that is achievable and will help you grow as a pianist. Beginner pianists can download the sheet music of their favourite songs but then feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of the music. When students attempt a few difficult pieces in succession, it can effect their moral and enthusiasm and some end up giving up playing the instrument all together. That is why it so important to choose appropriate pieces of music that match your current level. First thing you should watch out for is the density of the sheet music- beginner piano music is often written with larger notes and this can really help the amateur musician. More advanced music is written with smaller notes and when it is full of notes, it can look overwhelming to the student. The next thing to look out for is the key signature - it is pointless trying to attempt a piece if it is in a key signature that you are unfamiliar with. You should test yourself to really see if you know the key signature by playing the scale. Then you will know if you are ready to tackle the piece. The other thing to point out is, songs are often written in easier keys for piano students so it is worth searching the web, by using useful sheet music websites such as and If there is an artist or song you want to play, type “easy version” or just “easy” after the name of the artist or song name. Easier songs are often written in more basic time signatures as well. The rhythms may not be exactly as the original composers intended, but that doesn’t matter as it gives the beginner piano student an opportunity to play music they love and are familiar with- which will in turn boost their speed of progression.


If you are looking for Piano Lessons in Cardiff please contact Piano Teacher Matthew Clayton today


Matthew is a marvellous piano teacher who has experience of playing the piano for functions and events, as well as directing choirs and playing with local bands. Matthew has a real love and passion for music and that comes across in his teaching. His pupils range from age 7 to age 70 - so he has a broad repertoire of music resources to draw upon in his home teaching studio. Many of Matthew’s students have gone from Grade 1 and progressed on successfully by taking a piano grade about every year. Matthew’s students are great sight readers of music as they are taught the correct way.


To make an enquiry with Matthew about piano lessons in Cardiff, please contact him on 






How to practise using the Hanon piano exercises 


A lot of piano students are familiar with Hanon exercises. It is normally something that gets introduced later in a students’ progression around grade 6 and beyond. The sixty exercises in the book are very helpful and really do improve the hand dexterity of pianists. They can be a bit boring to practise continuously, and a bit a of caution should be used so you don’t over practice and cause damage to fingers or hands. But frequent practise of them of shorter time lengths can improve your hand strength and figuring. This will help the piano student play more difficult classical and jazz music that require a higher level of finger dexterity. The Hanon exercises take you through various awkward fingers in a variety of keys, but the idea is that with lots of practice that they will no longer feel difficult. So when you come a piece that requires more imaginative finger positions, you will be better placed to achieve you goals. Finger exercises is something that all piano students should try and put into their practise at what ever level they are at. Yes, the Hanon exercises are geared up for the more advanced learner, but there are other tutor books such as Piano Time Sports version that has a lot of warm up exercises for the beginner piano student. 


Are you searching for a Piano Teacher in Cardiff?


If you are looking for someone who can give you good piano lessons in Cardiff, then you have come to the right website - Piano Tuition Cardiff. Matthew teaches piano students from all over the Cardiff area including Pontprennau, Lakeside, Whitchurch, Thornhill and Llanishen. Even some of Matthew’s students come travel from the valleys including Merthyr for weekly piano lessons in Cardiff. Matthew teaches piano and music theory from his home in Cyncoed and charges £13.50 per half hour lesson. 


If you would like to take a trial lesson with Matthew, please contact him on 


Matthew puts his piano students through the ABRSM and Trinity College London music exams. However, he also teaches older students who have no interest in taking piano exams and just want to learn how to play the piano for fun. Lots of the school children Matthew teaches though benefit from working through the pieces and scales in the exam syllabus. They also enjoy working for something and having the reward of the certificate. The higher piano grades are recognised qualifications and are useful to put on the CV or for university applications. If you would like to speak to Matthew about this further, please contact him on 07967 836011









Selecting the right tempo when you are learning a new piano piece


When piano students are trying to a learn a new piece, they often select a tempo that is too fast and adventurous. The best tempo you can select is a reasonably slow one where the music can sing out even when you are not that familiar with the music. This is true if you are beginner, or even if you are advance in your piano studies. The important thing is when you are learning how to play the piano, that you select a tempo and stick to it, so you are not slowing down for the more difficult passages. If you cannot keep up at the speed to selected at the start, go back to the beginning and select a slower tempo. However, at the same time you don’t want to get too bogged down with tempo if you are playing an expressive romantic piece. You don’t have to be to robotic in those styles, and do not have to follow tempo directions religiously - you will treat them in these instances as guidelines. Some styles, for example Baroque music and some classical styles are supposed to played in strict time with a rigid tempo, however later more contemporary styles allow the performer more freedom to interpret the piece of music on their own terms. It is however, important for any student learning how to play the piano to invest in a metronome. Today, that might be in the electronic form, and you can even find metronome apps to instal on your phone. These are very useful apps - because even if you cannot play the piece at the right tempo when you first start, the metronome can still beat out the beats per minute of the piece to indicate to you how the piece should be eventually performed. Remember that when you are using a metronome, you should remember that you will need to adjust it to beat out different time signatures such as 3/4 of 6/8 and so on. Most metronomes are preset in their default setting to beat out 2/4 or 4/4. You will not get a correct BPM if you fail to make this adjustment to match the time signature of the piece you are trying to play.


Start Piano Lessons in Cardiff with Matthew Clayton today


Matthew Clayton is an accomplished pianist and teacher who teaches from his home in Cyncoed, Cardiff. Matthew studied music in Cardiff University where he specialised in composition and music theory. Matthew has had one of his compositions by a local professional string quartet. Matthew went on to win the David Evans Memorial prize from Cardiff University. In his younger years, Matthew won the Dorothy Grace Atkinson price for high achievement through the ABRSM. Now, Matthew runs one of the most successful piano teaching studios in Cardiff. He has been teaching pupils, old and young, piano in Cyncoed for over ten years. Matthew believes anyone can have a go at learning the piano and encourages that as it brings such joy to peoples lives.


If you would like to make an enquiry with Matthew please call or text on 07967 836011. If you are living in Cardiff and want top quality piano lessons, Matthew will be able to provide with professionalism.






Piano Theory and how to write music


Lots of piano students like to compose at the piano. In fact, it is encouraged by lots of piano teachers. The art of being creative can bring great things to peoples live. No matter how old or young, piano students can have great fun composing new music at the piano. There are many different ways to remember what you have composed. Today, you can just get your iPhone out and record what you have done. While that is a great way to remember ideas while you are on the go, it is even more impressive if you can write down the notes down on the musical stave. There are many benefits in the piano student attempting this more traditional method because you learn all of the rudiments of music, and music theory by writing music down. You will have to know where the notes are on the stave, write the correct time signature, write the correct key signature. You will also have to transfer an melodic lines rhythm into written music. This is more tricky than it sounds. Most people can sing back a rhythm or tune that they hear straight away, but it is a different game trying to convert that into written music. This is something that should be encouraged as the student will so much. 


The piano is easiest instrument to learn music theory from. This is because of the layout of the piano keys- you can visually see notes, scales, chords and intervals that are far harder to see with the eye on instruments such as string instruments for example the violin or guitar. Learning music theory will make you a better musician because you will have a deeper understanding of the music that you are playing. Some pupils are reluctant to learn music theory as it has the reputation of being boring. It in reality, it is everything but boring. Knowing how music is put together and understanding all the elements of a music score is a wonderful skill. For example, being able to speak a language is a great skill, but we can all see the advantage of being able to read and understand meanings of words as well. That is a comparison than directly be applied to music. 


Welcome to Piano Tuition Cardiff


There are many piano tutors offering lessons in Cardiff. If you live near Cyncoed and are looking for amazing piano lessons for you or your child. Matthew is great piano teacher who has been teaching piano from his home in Cyncoed for many years. Matthew teaches in a fun style that inspires his piano students to practice. Matthew plays piano pieces for his students to encourage them to keep up their practise. He teaches all styles of music from Mozart to Adele and everything in between. Matthew understands, particularly children, like to play songs that they already know, as well as classical piano pieces. Music is to be enjoyed and there is something to be learnt in all styles of music. 


If you would like to start piano lessons in Cardiff with Matthew, please contact him on or call on 07967 836011 and he will get back to you with current availability. 





How to read sheet music


Although reading sheet music has become standard for lots of musicians, in particular pianists, for many famous musicians such as Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, they could not read music. With the developments of technology, it became no longer so important to have every note written down on a piece of paper in order to remember it. Developing musicians would sit down and learn their instrument aurally by listening to their favourite records on a record player or on the wireless. This process can be a longer one though, and sometimes not so effective. Note reading has been standard since the piano was invented. There will be details in the score that would take a long time to grasp if you were picking up just be ear. When you are reading the sheet music you will instantly be able to visually see the structure of the piece of music. You will also be able to identify what key the piece is in straight away by reading the key signature. Reading sheet music is the same as reading a book - you can just pick it up and do it. But the important thing for musicians to remember is that they must try and put expression into their performance. The ability to read music is also very useful if you intend, as a piano player to play with other instruments such as the guitar. All performers can follow the sheet music together so the music “fits together” like a jig-saw. Although, it worth stating again that this is not the only way to learn an instrument, and there are positives by learning an instrument by ear such as learning the ability to improvise which can also prove very useful when you want to play with other musicians in a band situation. Most piano teachers take the approach of teaching their pupils how to read music. As there is no harm in attempting to learn via this method.


Piano Lessons in Cardiff with Matthew Clayton


There comes a point in many peoples lives where they want to take up lessons and find a piano teacher for themselves or their child. If you are living in Cardiff and a looking for good quality, fun delivered piano lessons, you should definitely consider Piano Tuition Cardiff. Matthew is a great piano teacher that incorporates so many different aspects of music into his weekly piano lessons such as music from all styles, the ability to read sheet music, learning scales and chords and music theory. With Matthew, students are able to enter for their graded piano examinations with the Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music or Trinity College London. Students enjoy learning new scales and pieces associated with grade and progressing through the grades. It gives them a sense of achievement and reward. 


Matthew charges £13.50 per half hour lesson. So if you live in Cardiff and are looking for great piano lessons, please message Matthew on 07967 836011

Piano Note
Upright Piano
Piano Keys

What are the foot pedals on a piano used for?


At the bottom of real acoustic pianos you will often see two, or sometimes three foot pedals and each pedal has a different function. The pedal which is furthest left, whether you have two or three pedals is known as the soft pedal which is sometimes called the Una Corda pedal which makes the sound of the piano much softer when you play. Normally, when you press a key down on the piano, the inside hammer will hit three strings, however, when this pedal is pressed down, the hammer will only hit or two strings giving a softer sound. Sometimes you will see this written in sheet music directing the pianist to press down the left pedal. This is because the composer of the music is intending for that particular passage of music to quieter. If you have three pedals, the middle middle pedal is known as a practise pedal which considerably lowers the volume of the piano. These pedals can often be slid to the left which holds it into position without having to constantly having to press is down. The pedal on the furthest right is the one that will get used the most in common piano playing. It is used to sustain the sound, and is used frequently by piano players as it gives the piece of music fluidity. It helps pianists achieve a legato sound which is very appealing to the ear. If you own a keyboard you may not have any pedals at all. However, it is worth noting that many electric keyboards can have an electronic pedal fitted. This is often the pedal that replaces the most commonly used pedal, which is the one on the furthest right of a piano.


Welcome to Piano Tuition Cardiff


Welcome to the website of pianist and piano teacher, Matthew Clayton. Matthew is a piano tutor based in Cardiff that has been delivering piano classes to adults and children for over ten years. He has built up one of the most successful piano teaching studios in Cardiff as pupils enjoy coming to their weekly piano lessons in Cardiff and making fast progress. Matthew’s pupils have commented that he is very patient and calm, but knows when to push people for results when required. If you would like to read Matthew’s testimonials, please visit the homepage which you can click on at the top of this website. With Matthew students learn a range of piano songs while learning about scales, chords and music theory. Matthew currently holds a 100% pass rate with all his pupils that have entered for a piano exam.


If you would to get in contact with Matthew to enquire about lessons please contact Matthew on for further information. 











The piano practising plan


Everyone has various commitments in their lives so that will impact on how much time they will be able to devote to practising the piano. The daily routine will vary if you are a child or an adult, so there is no one set plan that works for all. But the important thing to realise is that all piano students, at whatever age should be regularly practising the piano at least once a day. The regularity is more important that the duration of each session. Piano students of all ages have notes that if they can keep their practice time at the piano frequent and consistent, this leads to fast and pleasing results. It is very dangerous to get into the habit of “Oh I will look at that piece tomorrow” or “I will practice at the weekend” - delaying the inevitable is never a good idea and will quickly impact of your enjoyment of learning. There are going to be difficult moments in learning the piano - it can be a very frustrating thing to try and pick up a new instrument, even more so if you have never played when you were young or have not read any sheet music before. It is important that when you first sit at the piano to begin your practise that you warm up the fingers before you attempt you pieces. This can take the form of running through the recent scales you have learnt, but it could also mean going through the chords related to that key. There are also lots of finger exercises that are widely out there on places such as youtube. This will help build up strength and improve your hand flexibility. More advanced piano students can practise going up and down the piano in thirds and sixths. The purpose of this type of piano practice is that when these tricky technical aspects crop in a piece, you will not be daunted but have an understanding of how it should be played.


Are you looking for piano lessons in Cardiff?


If you are thinking about taking up a new hobby in Cardiff, why not join piano classes with Matthew Clayton. Matthew has been a piano teacher in Cardiff for over ten years. He teaches from home in Cyncoed and is a very popular, in-demand piano teacher who offers lessons to those 7 years of age and upwards. Whether you want to learn the latest chart music, or want to learn classical works by Chopin and Mozart - Matthew is the teacher for you. He has a very broad interest in music - he has conducted choirs, played in bands as well as playing solo classical piano in a variety of venues over the years. Matthew graduated in Music from Cardiff University in 2009 then went on to achieve a post graduate diploma in music two years later. Since then he has performed and had a very active teaching career in schools and colleges, and in his private piano studio in Cyncoed Cardiff.


If you would like to arrange a piano lesson for you or your child, please send an enquiry to







Playing the piano helps our mental health during times of stress


The health benefits of playing the piano are unbound. Having a hobby like playing the piano can help your mind wander and your brain is not focused on the daily stress of your life. The piano requires concentration so it stops you thinking about other things - this helps reducing anxiety. Scientists have also proven that learning a new instrument such as the piano can help reduce depression. There are times in life when we all feel overwhelmed - but the act of putting fingers on the keys and creating beautiful piano music can help people through depression and grief. Playing the piano as a hobby has been happening all over the world for hundreds of years. Even with the development of technology and electronic instruments, people are still drawn to the traditional act of sitting at the piano and playing a song - it never went out of fashion. Also, by setting yourself a practicing diary, it places an element of control in your life. Whether you are in isolation, of if you have economic problems- practising puts you back in charge. You are in control of the rate of progression and how much time you decide to dedicate to your new craft. It is also true that practicing can improve your concentration. Piano students who focus in on daily practising, have noticed they can now hold concentration for longer periods of time on other skills or things like reading a book. The repetitive nature of learning an instrument will give you critical skills that help concentration. That is why learning the piano is so encouraged for children - as it helps them in so many areas. Learning the piano can help lower your blood pressure as you enjoy the process of playing amazing piano music.


Start piano lessons in Cardiff with Piano Tuition Cardiff


Why not start up a new instrument such as playing the piano in Cardiff today. You will not be disappointed if you start up piano lessons with Matthew Clayton. He gives fun lessons that are not so formal or strict as typical piano lessons. Matthew is patient and encourages his younger students to express themselves through music. Over his ten years of giving piano lessons he has seen shy young children develop into confident performers. Matthew’s piano students have successfully made their way through they graded music exams with Trinity and ABRSM. If you would like to read what Matthew’s students have said about their experience of piano lessons in Cardiff with him, please click on the above testimonials on the home page.


Matthew currently charges the very reasonable rate of £13.50 per half hour weekly piano lesson. So if you are living near Cyncoed, Cardiff and are looking for a first class piano teacher, please get in contact with Matthew on 07967 836011









Learn how to play the three versions of the minor scale on the piano


First thing to mention is that there are also major scales, but the point of this article is to explore the minor scales. The first being the harmonic minor - this is the scale that most people learning how to play the piano learn first. When pupils hear this scale for this time, they often comment on the fact it “sounds Egyptian” And of course it does - it has the exotic sound that we as an audience have become familiar with in films etc that have been set in Egypt. The harmonic scale is formed by using the notes from the relative major’s key signature, but also raising the seventh note by a semitone. For example, the scale of A harmonic mini includes only a G sharp, because it follows notes from the relative major scale which is C major - when the seventh note away from A is raised by a semi tone you end up with a G sharp. The other minor scale is called a melodic minor. It is called the melodic minor because melodies are formed from this scale. It follows a different rule to the harmonic minor. The first three ascending notes are the same as the harmonic minor, but then the remaining ascending notes follow that of the Major scale. For example, in the scale of G melodic minor, the first three notes ascending are the same as G harmonic minor, but then it goes into G major. Melodic minors descend with notes derived from the relative major scale - so G melodic minor scale would descend using notes from B flat major. The other minor scale is the natural minor - this often not taught as part of most learners piano studies. Practising scales is much more than just learning the pattern of notes - you can use them as a warm up, they will also improve the learners geography of the piano and help them to begin to understand keys.


New appointments available with Piano Tuition Cardiff


If you live in Cardiff and are looking for piano lessons, you may wish to know that new availability has become available with Matthew Clayton who teaches piano from his home in Cyncoed. Matthew run a fully equipped teaching studio that has a small waiting area at the back, a new Kawai piano and lots of educational piano resources to draw upon in the lesson. Lots of Matthew’s piano students are good sight readers because he gives at least one sight reading example in every weekly lesson. With Matthew, you will learn lots of piano music and within no time at all you will be progressing and be playing basic tunes hands together. 


If you like to make an enquiry, please contact Matthew on or call/text on 07967 836011

How learn a piece from memory and play on the piano


The first way to memorise a piece of music is through the visual method. This would be by trying to memorise the score and seeing what notes and chords your fingers are using. You will try to remember it visually where the notes are on the piano. The next way to remember a piece is through the ear - by what you hear. If you can remember the tune in your head, you should have the ability to then second guess which notes will be coming next. Yes, this process will take a degree of trial and error and you will be playing wrong notes to start with, but with persistent practise you will rectify these mistakes and then be able to give a confident recital “by ear” from memory. Performers really need to commit to the sounds they are playing if they are to adopt this method. Those who just read the score and switch and play like robots will find this method difficult. You need to feel the music, and understand the music. When pianists memorise a piece by ear, they can often recall the piece and play it several years later down the line without having played it in-between. The process of memorisation by ear works at its best if you do a little bit every day.  The brain finds it hard to learn long passages of music in one go - it is also hard to hold up effective concentration levels for that length of time. As a performer, if you do have the ability to play a piece of music without looking at the score it will give you the edge over other performers. If you look at most classical music concerts, the performer will have learnt the entire piece by memory. It gives the performance an extra layer of speciality knowing the performing has completely committed to the piece of music. It is also worth pointing out that if a pianist learns the piece from memory this leaves opportunity for the performer to give more expression in the performance.


Join Piano Lessons in Cardiff with Matthew Clayton


Matthew is a pianist and teacher based in Cardiff, UK who teaches from Cyncoed. Many pupils in the surrounding areas of Cyncoed including Pontpreannau, Lakeside, Lisvane, Birchgrove, Pen-y-lan, Roath, Cathays and Llanishen attend there weekly piano lessons in Cyncoed with Matthew. Matthew charges the reasonable rate of £13.50 per half hour lesson.


So if you are living in Cardiff and are looking for a great piano teacher, call Matthew on 07967 836011

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How to practise the piano


The most important practice ethos that any pupil should keep remembering is that you should never listen to anyone who tells you that you are not capable of achieving great things at the piano. Often this type of advice comes from a bitter place where people don’t want others to succeed due to their own short comings from learning. The second thing is, don’t be disappointed when there are times that you are not understanding or achieving. You learn from your failures- in fact without failures along the way, you will not be progressing. The art is over coming difficult times in your musical journey. It is those who persevere and learn from their mistakes that will succeed. The other thing to remember is always make sure you are practising music that you find enjoying as well as all the serious music given by your teacher. Any good piano teacher will know that is important for the piano student to keep playing music that they find fun and interesting. Playing pieces of piano music that you genuinely find enjoyable will come across in your performance when you play for other people. If you want to get good at the piano quickly, it is important set a practice routine that you actually keep to. Getting into good practising habits is the most central thing to success at the piano. Most piano students find setting the same time every day works well as they can be put into the daily schedule. It is tempting for anyone who needs to be knuckling down at anything to put off practising, but this is a never a good idea as a day away from practising, will often lead to the need for three days catch up, and this can make you lag behind a great deal. Always remember, whatever any family tells you, or any teacher - you are good enough- keep practising and you will improve every day.


Are you looking for a piano teacher in Cardiff?


Matthew Clayton is a fantastic piano tutor who is based on the outskirts of Cardiff in Cyncoed. He runs Piano Tuition Cardiff from his home in Cyncoed and teaches lots of different pupils and runs a busy schedule. He is a popular, in demand piano teacher because many of his students have achieved such great results in their piano exams, but more than that, they develop a life long interest in music making. Matthew teaches his pupils who to sight read piano music, scales, chords and how to improvise. They will learn how to play music in jazzy styles, as well as pop music and film. Matthew’s students will also learn all the technical aspects of playing traditional classical music so they will be confident musicians who will go on to play music in later life.


Matthew charges £13.50 per half hour piano lesson. If you would like to make an enquiry, please call Matthew on 07967 836011









The importance of practising with a metronome


Practising with a metronome will teach you how to play music and keep perfect time. You will learn how to play music keeping to strict rhythms which will greatly improve your ability as a musician. Lots of piano learners have the tendency to speed up on the easy bits and slow down on the hard bits of music. This is not advised. You’d be far better off if you learn how to play the piece as one set time, then as you get better at the piece, gradually speed up the whole piece rather than sections. Most electric pianos now come with an inbuilt metronome, but if not you can buy a real metronome, or use an electric one. You can even install metronome apps on your mobile phone - so there is no excuse for students not having access to metronomes. When starting to learn a piece, set the metronome to a slow tempo - but remember you will need to change the settings on your metronome if you are playing a piece in three beats in a bar. Take care if the piece is in compound time. At the beginning of a score, the composer will often set the BPM- this means the beats per minutes. This will give you the performance tempo - but don’t try and achieve that tempo straight away - you’ll probably need a couple of weeks of practising before you will get the piece up to a performing tempo. Some electric pianos have in built drum loops - these are just as good as practising with a metronome and will develop you as a musician. Piano students who learn how to play music along to a steady beat, often find it very easy to play with other musicians later in their development. If the piece you are learning is in the same key as the original, you could also try playing along to the actual track. It is also an idea to record yourself playing and then listen back as this will help you analyse your performance without having to think about playing all the notes. Students who make recordings of their music making will learn how how to self evaluate their playing which is a great skill.



Start piano lessons in Cardiff today


If you or your child is an inspiring musician and is thinking about taking up the piano, you have come to the right place. Matthew Clayton is an established piano teacher in Cardiff who has been teaching for over ten years since he graduated in music from Cardiff University. He has gone on to establish a very successful piano teaching studio from Cyncoed, Cardiff. He teaches children from the age of 7 and upwards, but is also currently teaching many adults, and some senior pupils who want to take piano up in their retirement. There are great benefits from learning how to play the piano, whatever age you are. So if you looking for piano lessons in Cardiff, please send Matthew an enquiry to


If you would like to find out more about Matthew and fees etc, please click on the above links on the Piano Tuition Cardiff website. 




Getting started on the piano and want to learn more?


It is great that you have begun your musical journey of learning how to play the piano. When you start learning how to play the piano, you will probably start one handed playing simple tunes of about three or four notes. When you become more familiar with the notes on the score, you’ll begin learning new positions and start to bring the left hand with the right hand, playing at the same time. It won’t take very long before you are playing memorable tunes that you can play for your friends and family. To supplement your learning of pieces, you will need to also begin learning the scales which will help with your musical knowledge of keys and chords. There is a great deal of information online about learning how to play the piano and you can find many online courses and lessons on youtube. This is a good starting point, but if you want to take up the instrument more seriously you will need to think about perhaps getting lessons from a qualified piano teacher. It is has been noted by many piano students that having formal one on one lessons with a piano teacher has aided their development and increased their speed of progress. There are many reasons why this could potentially be the case. Firstly, it is true to say that people put more practise in if they know they have got a piano lesson with a teacher coming up. If people are left to their own devices, they can put off practising, whereas if they got a lesson coming up, they will feel the pressure to put in effort so they can show their teacher how they have improved over the last week. The other thing is, if you are paying for piano lessons, you will want to get your moneys worth out of the lessons, which will also improve your development. And obviously the final reason is if you are having one to one lessons with an experienced piano teacher, they will be able to tailor their teaching to help you improve your particular weaknesses at the piano. Learning from you tube will never be able to pick out the areas which you need more practise on.


Start piano lessons in Cardiff today


You may have begun learning online, or you may be a complete beginner - which ever it is, you should definitely consider piano lessons with Matthew Clayton. Matthew is an experienced pianist and piano teacher who has been based in Cardiff for over 10 years. He is qualified in music up to and including post graduate diploma standard in music and achieved his grade 8 piano performance certificate back in 2009. Matthew had the privilege of learning with an ABRSM examiner during his time studying at Cardiff University. Matthew is a young teacher who teaches modern music as well as the traditional more formal classical music. So whether you are looking for yourself as an adult, or for your child - you should send Matthew a message showing your interest in starting piano lessons with him on 07967836011


You can also email Matthew on and he will get back to you at the earliest possibility. 





Piano Practice Tips 


When you are learning how to play the piano, one of the most important thing to keep your interest and motivation up, is to actually play music that you find interesting and enjoy playing. It is amazing how many people I hear who only play the piano music they are forced to play by their piano teaching which can build up resentment to practising. Music is an art to be enjoyed - that is the whole point of being able to play beautiful piano music. Being able to play the piano is a blessing, and if piano students are taking lessons they should always remember the reasons why they started playing in the beginning. Now, of course, it is important to play all those pieces your piano teacher has selected for you- they will probably have been chosen because they will be developing a certain skill or idea - but there is no reason why you cannot be learning the songs you enjoy at the same time. There is so much music out there that has been transcribed for piano - so perhaps you will like to play pop songs that are suitable for your level. If you visit sites such as you will be able to see piece written at different levels to suit you. The standard is normally set based on the density of the score i.e how many notes you will need to play and the difficulty of the key signature. If you are unsure about what standard you are at, it is worth asking your teacher. Piano students who have gone through the graded exam system should already know their level of playing. So it is recommended that you play music you enjoy- some good suggestions could be “Angels” by Robbie Williams or “Let It Be” by the Beatles. Have a listen to some songs on spotify - some songs will suit the piano better than others.


Looking for a piano teacher in Cardiff?


If you are looking for fun, informative piano lessons for all ages and abilities you should consider starting up piano lessons with local teacher Matthew Clayton. Matthew plays music in a range of styles and is familiar with teaching classical, jazz, musical and film music. Whatever style you want to learn, no doubt Matthew will be able to help with his fun and relaxed piano lessons in Cardiff. 


Matthew charges £13.50 per half hour lesson, or £25 for the full hour. Matthew likes to keep his rate down to an affordable level to keep music lessons upon to those from all backgrounds.


If you would like to arrange a trial lesson with Matthew, please send an email to and he will get back to you with current availability.











How to learn how to play the piano


Many beginner piano students learn what they can from videos that they find online - more often that not through YouTube. While this can be a way to start up an interest in the piano and learn the basics, learning from random videos can lead to the student picking up bad habits that will be difficult to undo in the future. One of the many problems is that learners will pick out random videos by various online teachers, where they would be better of following one course with one teacher that has some sort of structured form of learning. Dipping in and out of various lessons on youtube will lead to the student having gaps in their knowledge that will probably need filling later by a one to one piano teacher. A lot of piano learners get themselves stuck in the habit of only being to play the piano one handed. This is another related to self learning - they seem to put all their efforts into learning the tune without attempting the accompaniment in the left hand. Sometimes you need a teacher live in person to push you forward to achieve your goals. Learning to play hands together will require a degree of hand and eye co-ordination but it is fundamental to proper piano playing. There are many techniques that an experienced piano teacher could offer you to help with playing the piano with hands together at the same time. It is also worth noting that children will need to be taught in a very different way to adults - but that gets lost when students of all ages follow an online course as it is not tailored for the age group in the same way individual piano lessons would be. If the left hand is neglected in practise, you will never be able to play the piano properly so it is worth building up strength in the left hand and work on the left hands fingers to build up dexterity. You should also familiarise yourself with notes that are written in the bass clef. To play the piano correctly, you will have to be able to read notes in the right hand and the left hand.


Join piano lessons in Cardiff with Matthew Clayton today


Matthew has been teaching under the name of Piano Tuition Cardiff for over ten years and has built up an extremely good reputation as a great piano teacher in the local area. Some of Matthew’s students started with him when he first began teaching in 2009, and are now attempting the high piano grades. They have enjoyed piano lessons which involve music from all styles from Mozart to The Beatles and Ed Sheeran. Matthew makes sure his students are well versed in all the piano scales, chords and are proficient sight readers. The main thing that Matthew likes to install into his teaching is fun. Music needs to be enjoyed, and as much as Matthew recognises that there will be frustrating times when learning an instrument, music should always be a pleasure and not become a stress in peoples lives. In fact it should be the opposite, a stress relief.


So if you are interested in starting up piano lessons in Cardiff with Matthew, please send him an email on






How long does it take to learn how to play the piano?


Having been a piano for over ten years, this is probably the most popular question that I get regularly asked - how long does it take to learn the piano? And in many ways it is an impossible question to answer in the sense that everyone progresses at different rates. My answer is that on average most people progress at least one piano grade every year. Children and adults can progress at different rates. For example, an adult can often pick it up quicker than a child, but their progress often slows down a great deal as soon as things get more difficult. It can be more tricky for an adult to devote set times of practise if they have other responsibilities in their life that can often get in the way. But it is that word “practise” that is fundamental to the progression of anyones piano studies, and unfortunately there is no getting around that - there is no tricks you can do - it is like with any skill - the more time that you are willing to put into, the more you will improve. Regular and consistent practise will often lead to the best results. Also, how often you attend piano lessons will effect the speed of progress a great deal. If you are missing lots of lessons for various reasons you will not progress in the same way as a student who religiously attends every lesson without fail. If you have weekly lessons, it only takes one missed lesson and you have not had a lesson in two whole weeks which is a long time, especially when you are a beginner. Those who are quick at learning new things and holding onto new information are often the type who will pick up things like a new instrument quicker than others. But in my experience, the ones who will succeed in the long term are the type of pupils who genuinely enjoy playing and have a flair for music making. An enthusiastic pupil who is raring to go onto learn a new piece will often do well.


Are you looking for piano lessons in Cardiff?


My name is Matthew Clayton and I am a piano teacher who teaches from my home in Cyncoed, Cardiff. I have built up a great reputation, mostly by word of mouth in the local area. Students from all ages have said they really enjoyed lessons with me - I think because I have a calm approach and am not overstrict with my pupils. I have taken lots of pupils successfully through the ABRSM graded piano system. Many of my students have successfully passed grade 8 piano and have a permanent love for the piano, which will probably last for the rest of their lives. Many of my students have achieved high grades in GCSE music and A Level music which they have found very useful in university applications. 


I charge £13.50 per half hour lesson, or £25 for the full hour. If you would like to arrange your first trial lesson, please call or send a message on 07967 836011

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