Music Lessons in Westown

You’re just a few clicks away from your child’s next musical adventure!

Great choice – our group classes are the perfect way for beginners to get started.
Our weekly lesson price ($15) is all-inclusive and there are no hidden costs.

Since 2015, Dynamite Music has specialised in group piano lessons.
We also offer guitar and drums lessons on a limited basis.

Sign up for a free trial today!


How does a group piano lesson work?

No matter how much time a beginner spends with a teacher,  students can only learn so much in a week – They need time to practice new musical ideas. Group lessons take the pressure off young students and make the process more enjoyable.

As a first priority, we teach students to read music so they can practice independently – and this is where the magic happens! Under our guidance, students teach themselves to play the piano.

As long as the pieces are fun, students become active and engaged learners. This allows a teacher to move around the room and help students work at their own pace.

We don't have a keyboard/piano at home - does this matter?

While having an instrument at home does make a different to progress we appreciate there will be some hesitancy while you try to gauge your child’s level of interest and commitment. There are piano apps for tablets that we can recommend.

We also have a rent-to-own keyboard deal where we can help you pay down a keyboard over successive schools terms (or simply offer you a really good price on a brand new keyboard)

Guitar Lessons

There is a lot to handle when first starting guitar lessons!
Students need to find a comfortable body position holding the guitar, learn to coordinate their fingers to form shapes on the strings, and strum and pluck in time.
Students in group guitar lessons spend a mixture of lesson time working on playing chord songs as a group, as well as independent time reading and playing single note melodies.

To ensure they achieve success, students must be 8 years or older. Younger students can begin with ukulele and transition.

Drum Lessons

Some kids have a primal need to whack things – rhythmically of course.
Our lessons focus on stick techniques (grip, bounce, coordination), reading rhythms and playing drum beats/fills along to the piano/guitar and backing trackings.

Recommended starting age is 7.

Purchasing a Guitar/Ukulele

Students will need bring their own guitar or ukulele to lessons.
As a bonus we can help with tuning and string changes (as an added service).

Entry level ukuleles can be a bit ‘hit and miss’.
We recommend the ‘Makala’ brand for value for money. They have a good sound and are robust.

A few things of note:
Guitars comes in 3 main sizes: half, three quarter, and full – Choosing the correct size is based on student height.
They have steel or nylon strings – Nylon is recommended for beginners.
Nylon guitars are usually (but not always) designed as a ‘classical guitar’ made of wood with no steel reinforcing.

There is nothing wrong with a second hand guitar (and there is often a decent instrument to be had for $50).
If you hear buzzing when playing the instrument, it is because the neck angle is wrong or the strings are too low.
The plastic guides at either end of the guitar can wear down over time and are cheap to replace. Bent necks are tricky.
More of an issue is if the strings are too high. There is no risk of buzzing BUT they are very hard for young fingers to press and play.

Purchasing Drums

A simple practice pad – $25 New

Students don’t have to buy a kit immediately, but being able to practice sticking patterns, technique and coordination daily is essential.
A practice pad is essentially a piece of rubber that imitates the bounce of a real drum head.

Acoustic Kits – from $200 second hand / $1000 New 

Pros: Big second hand market. Can start with a cheaper kit and upgrade them slowly (part by part) over time.
When they break you know exactly why!

Cons: Noise. Drum skin mutes are essential for in home sanity!

Electronic Kits – from $400 second hand / $800 new

Pros: Quiet. With headphones. Lots of different sounds at the click of a button.
Some units allow for backing tracks to be added into the headphone mix using an Aux cable.
Trigger pads can be replaced and are not hugely expensive ($60-$100 new.)

Cons: Will need an external speaker system to play along with others.
If something breaks in the master controller, you are looking at the whole kit breaking without any DIY remedies.

Lesson Details

Venue: The Barclay Hall, 158 Tukapa Street.
(The Red Hall just off the roundabout that connects Tukapa and Waimea streets)

Cost: $15/session (Max 4 students per class).

Teacher: Simon Manning-Jones

Lessons scheduled Monday to Thursday during the term.

Meet the tutor

Lessons in New Plymouth are taught by Simon Manning-Jones, the founder of Dynamite Music. Simon has a Masters of Teaching and Learning and is a very experienced music educator. He also works part time as a primary school teacher.

“Dynamite Music represents everything I believe beginner-music-lessons should be: affordable, effective, and fun! We give students the opportunity to explore and develop their own musical tastes and as a result, they practice more and make more progress in lessons. It has been a privilege to be that great first teacher for so many students over the years!”

Simon Manning-Jones

Nuts and Bolts
If you are a new student, your first lesson is a free trial. You’ll then have the option to keep your time for the rest of the term (and every term after that for as long as you continue with us).