Former Wallace High School student Samantha McMillan has recently started her own business teaching music to both young and not so young.
After studying music at the University of Ulster and attaining her teaching diploma, Samantha began to establish her own music school, teaching singing, piano and flute at St Patrick’s Parish Centre in Lisburn.
With 28 students on her register and hopes to expand even further in the new year, including plans to launch a new choir in Lisburn, Samantha has a busy day with up to twelve students on each of her teaching days - Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
I get up at 8am and after getting ready and having my breakfast I start all my preparations for lessons.
I have students from the age of four to the age of 58 and every one is different so I spend a lot of time researching music for them and working out what would best suit each student.
I will start off by checking my emails and responding to any enquiries I have about lessons. Then I will research music and work out exactly what I will be doing with each student that day.
A lesson lasts for half an hour and what happens in each lesson depends on what I am teaching. For example, a singing lesson will begin with breathing exercises and warm ups. Then I will go through pieces the student is working on. I think it is very important to get to know each student and know what they enjoy and what suits them. There is nothing worse than having to do something you don’t like.
I teach a wide range of styles in singing, including musical theatre, rock and pop. Musical theatre is very popular and a lot of my students also attend Fusion Theatre.
It is important to tailor a lesson to a student so that they get the most out of the lesson and improve as time goes along. I teach a lot of different ages, from very young to more mature. You are never too old or too young to learn music.
As well as teaching, I am always making sure I keep up to date with what is popular in the world of music, if there are new films or shows coming out that my students would be interested in.
I am always developing myself as well and part of my day is spent learning the drums and the saxophone.
I am something of a workaholic and I also love organising events. At the minute I am organising a Christmas Concert for my student. Fourteen individuals will perform at the event at St Patrick’s Parish Centre on December 17 from 7pm-9pm. It will be a real party, with food and even a visit from Santa.
Teaching music really is my dream job, This is something I always wanted to do and I love every minute of it.
To find out more about lessons with Samantha contact 07741273968.