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Frequently asked questions


Can I arrange a meeting with a tutor?


Yes. We are offering a free no obligation trial/advice session where you can speak to the tutor in person. Contact us to make an appointment.


Are you based near me?


We are located in Earlsfield SW18 very close to Earlsfield station and within easy reach of Clapham Junction and Waterloo. See our location details. We can also teach at your home or provide remote music lessons via audio/ video link.


How much do you charge?


Lessons start from £13. There are discounted rates for senior citizens. In terms of price /quality, we aim to offer the best deal in London with top quality tutors delivering top quality learning at an affordable price. Check our prices.


What is the best age to start?


For guitar and violin, 7-9 year old is usually a good age to start. For piano, keyboard and singing, 4-6 is usually fine.


What guitar should I get?


As a general guideline for children, any 3/4 size nylon classical type works best. Smaller children might require half size instrument but metal strings instruments should be avoided. If in doubt, call us and we will be happy to help.


For adult players, both nylon and metal string instruments are suitable depending on their style of music - metal strings for pop/rock; nylon for classical and pop. Nylon strings are easier to play for beginners but metal strings produces a fuller sound. Full size is usually suitable for most adults.


I don't have a piano, can I still have lessons?


Yes. The best alternative to a real piano is to get a digital model. If possible, get one with weighted keys which replicate a real piano touch. Getting something second hand is fine. Check Ebay, to see if there are any being auctioned in your area to save on delivery costs. If on a limited budget, home keyboards can be another alternative. Overall home keyboards are best suited for keyboard lessons but can also work for piano lessons in the short term. Try to choose one with a sustain pedal option. Visit our online shop for great deals on digital pianos and home keyboards.


How much should I spend on a guitar?


For children, £30-£50 is good for a starter. Most music shops offer several models in the £35-£50 bracket. Some recommended models: Yamaha, Encore, Stagg.


There is much choice for adults in the £40-£100 range. Recommended models: Yamaha, Fender, Ibanez, Tanglewood, Takamine.

  • Metal strings guitar star pick: Yamaha F310
  • Nylon strings guitar star pick: Yamaha C40

Visit our online shop for great deals on guitars for children and adults. Used guitars (Eg. from Ebay) can also be considered, but avoid any instrument which has been played a lot and produces buzzing sounds.


How long does it takes to learn to play properly?


It depends what "playing properly" means to you. If it means being the next Eric Clapton, a lot of extra practice and patience will be required. If it means being able to play something to your family and friends that they recognise, then with regular practice, you should be able to achieve this within 2 or 3 lessons. From the very first lesson, we aim to get you playing easy melodies and chords and to make learning enjoyable and fun.


How often should I practice?


For children, the minimum weekly requirement is two practices of 15 minutes. For adults, two practices of 20 minutes. Less than this and it will take longer to achieve any meaningfully improvement. Any extra practice from this and your progress will be noticeable on a week to week basis.


I am a complete beginner and can't read music. Can I still learn with you?


At SWS School of Music, we have lessons for everyone. As it happens, most of our beginner students have no knowledge of music theory. All our teachers have extensive experience in teaching beginners and are trained to make you feel welcome and supported in your studies.


How often should I have lessons and for how long?


We recommend you start with one lesson a week, especially if you are a beginner, so you are able to arrange your time for practice. For children, 30 minute lessons are usually best, whereas adults can start with 30 minute lessons but work up to 45 minute lessons after a few weeks.


Do you teach grades?


Yes. We have specialist tutors for all main grade exam boards, ABRSM, Guildhall , Rockschool and RGT for grade eight and beyond.


I do not live locally. Is there any teacher in my area you could recommend?


We are currently setting up a database of music teachers for the London area and surrounding counties. All teachers will be fully CRB checked and be chosen for their experience as teacher and musician.. Contact us if you require this service.


Why should I choose SWS School of Music?


By choosing SWS School of Music, you will be guaranteed to receive the best teaching standards from professional tutors and musicians. We aim to make lessons fun and interesting and offer the best learning support to our students.



Our studios are in Earlsfield, South West London - close to Garratt Lane, 4 mins. walk from Earlsfield railway station and several bus routes (44, 270, 77, 156).


From Garratt Lane, turn into Penwith Road (there is a pub called The Wandle on the corner). SWS School of Music is on the left of the road and is after M&S Food and before the bridge over the river. View our location on Google Maps for directions.


Underground: Wimbledon Park  0.9 mile/ 1.4km (17 mins. walk)
  Southfields 1.0 mile/ 1.6km (20 mins. walk)


Rail: There are regular trains from Waterloo to Earlsfield, taking 12 mins. Alternatively, Earlsfield is 20 mins. from Victoria with a change at Clapham Junction. Wimbledon is just 3 mins. away.