Guitar Lessons in East London

Alice Emerson is an experienced guitar teacher available to teach students of all ages:

  • Learn at your own pace.
  • Have lessons in your home.
  • Learn your favourite songs.
  • Compose and develop your own music.
  • Learn music theory and prepare for grade exams.

I am a patient teacher who loves sharing music with others and helping new musicians learn to express themselves on an instrument. I am constantly looking to spark students' interest and imagination by teaching them to play music they know and love already and by introducing them to music they've never heard before. 


"It's no exaggeration to say that Tom loves his guitar lessons and always looks forward to them. We couldn't ask for anything more than that."

Tanya, mother of Tom (aged 9) who's been having lessons with Alice since 2013



Alice Emerson


07828 406122


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Why learn the guitar?!

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You will find many studies out there linking musical training to higher IQ, improved reading skills, ability to concentrate, increased memory, improved self esteem, and many other skills and qualities. You will also find studies that claim to disprove some of these assertions! I believe that learning to play the guitar should be fun from the beginning not just once you 'get really good at it', and that enjoying the process of learning and exploring music is the important part. Everything else – for example, showing off your talents to family, friends, adoring fans – is an added benefit. Having taught guitar to students aged from four to 65, I believe that everyone has the right to enjoy making music, whatever their age or experience, and I can help you get started or continue your journey with the guitar.

My Lessons

Styles and repertoire

My lessons are led by each student's goals and musical tastes. This is because I've found that students enjoy their lessons more, practice more and therefore progress further and faster when they are playing songs and styles that they actually like! I am able to cover a range of styles and genres on both electric and acoustic guitar, including rock, pop, soul, funk, blues, folk and more. Some of my students' favourite artists include: Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Taylor Swift and Bob Marley.


With beginners we usually start with simple rock riffs and move on to open chords, strumming and fingerpicking. As students progress I move on to soloing and lead playing, improvisation, barre chords, extended chords and chord-melody playing. I bring all resources with me and teach all of my students to read guitar tab, chord boxes and rhythmic notation. Students have the option to also learn to read traditional music notation but this is by no means a requirement.

Musicianship and listening

Aside from technique I also focus on core musical skills such as rhythm and timing, aural training and how to analyse music. Once students get to grips with these fundamentals we then develop their ability to express themselves through their own musical interpretation as well as improvisation and composition.

songwriting & composition

As a composer I also encourage my students to start composing early so that they can enjoy having musical autonomy in creating their own pieces. I work with students to compose and record pieces during lessons, as well as helping them develop any of their own musical ideas that they bring to the lesson. As a vocalist I am also able to give students tips and techniques for singing and playing and composing melodies and lyrics.

Theory and exams

I didn't begin to learn music theory or how to read music until I studied GCSE and A Level music, and therefore I know well the specific struggle of trying to understand these concepts on the guitar. As such I am able to make music theory relatable to guitar students and have helped students studying towards grade and GCSE exams. All of my students who have taken grade exams have passed, with two students achieving distinctions.


(Please note I do not teach classical guitar – if you would like to learn classical technique you will be best served by another teacher!).

Advice for beginners - practice!

If you are learning an instrument it is important that you set aside time to practice in between each lesson, this will enable you to get the most out of the time you have with your teacher. Ideally I spend the lesson time warming up, going briefly over what we covered last time and building on this to cover new techniques and concepts and perhaps starting new pieces. However, if you have not practiced beforehand, much of the lesson will be taken up with practising so that you are ready to move on to new things.

I recommend different amounts of practice per week depending on your age, level of experience and goals. Many new students pressure themselves to practice for long periods at a time, but I have found setting unachievable goals actually stresses students out more and means that they practice less! As with many things it is quality not quantity that counts, and so frequent, short bursts of focused practice (e.g. 20 mins x 5 times a week) are much more productive than a long slog once a week, the night before your lesson, once you have forgotten everything from last week!

Understanding how to practice and what to practice is also very important and it is something that I cover regularly during my lessons, often writing down notes for students to refer back to during the week. I am also happy to spend a few minutes at the end of each lesson describing to parents what we have done so that they can better support their child's practice.

Advice for parents of children learning an instrument

If you are a parent of a child having music lessons you can play an important role in supporting your child's musical progress. Many parents think that they need to be musically proficient themselves to best help their children, but I have witnessed great progress made by students whose parents had very little musical knowledge, but who sat with them while they were practicing, helped sustain their concentration and simply took an interest in what their child was learning. I have seen that children enjoy sharing their new knowledge and skills with their parents, and being able to teach their parents new things gives them a sense of pride and thus a real confidence boost.

I would also encourage parents to share the music they enjoy with their children in order to develop and broaden their child's musical tastes. Creating a dialogue around music at home can introduce both children AND their parents to new music and new experiences. I often talk to my dad about music, who was kicked out of the school choir aged six for singing 'out of tune', and we've shared many an evening going to gigs and concerts since I introduced him to jazz music over 10 years ago!


Tanya, son Tom aged 9 has been having lessons with Alice since 2013

"Alice has taught Tom to read music and amazingly quickly taught him simple tunes and pieces which gave him confidence and a sense of achievement. He wanted to learn various pop and rock pieces which Alice has sought out and taught him in a very fun and engaging way. He likes that he gets to choose the direction of his learning and can play 'cool stuff'. It's no exaggeration to say that he loves his guitar lessons and always looks forward to them. We couldn't ask for anything more than that. He is now starting to write his own pieces and has had such a positive experience that he wants to learn a second instrument".


Connie, aged 13 has been having lessons with Alice since 2014

"I got an acoustic guitar and the promise of lessons for my thirteenth birthday. It was a total surprise, but I'd always been interested in learning how to play. We investigated local teachers and looked at many, but chose to meet Alice. I knew I wanted her to teach me after we met. She's very experienced as a performer and a teacher and she is so patient. I've learned heaps in a very short space of time, and my confidence keeps building. She's kind and gentle and a great tutor; I'd recommend her to any new student just starting out!”


Daniel, aged 13 has been having lessons with Alice since 2011

Daniel started learning guitar when he was nine. Now a proficient guitarist, Daniel has learned to play the music he enjoys because Alice takes the time to find the songs he likes, learn them herself, and then teach them to him. With Alice's support Daniel has also done a couple of Trinity Rock and Pop music exams.

Daniel says: "Alice is an extremely patient teacher and doesn't get frustrated if you get something wrong. She's very good at guitar so she's got lots of suggestions for how you can improve your own playing. I really enjoy my guitar lessons."


Carolyn, retired, has been having lessons with Alice since 2013

I have been taking guitar lesson with Alice for the past 2 years and would be very happy to recommend her as a teacher whatever your age, style or interest. I am learning for pleasure to play along to tunes and accompany friends singing or playing other instruments. I had absolutely no experience with any musical instrument and have never learnt music before, so I am quite amazed that I can now strum away, recognise and play different chords and feel confident to negotiate my way round the guitar. I am even starting to be able to read music. Alice is very accommodating, and happy to teach me whatever I ask. It’s great that she is so reliable and enthusiastic.










About Me


I started playing guitar when I was eleven years old and haven't thought about much else since. Back then I learned as many songs as I could by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimi Hendrix, and soon started writing and recording my own music on a four-track tape recorder. I have since achieved a distinction in my higher diploma in guitar performance at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and a first class honours degree in Music Composition at Middlesex University, where I won the David Turton prize for music.


Since I graduated in 2010 I have taught freelance guitar lessons across London while completing the Community Music Workshop Skills course at Goldsmiths University, London. I have also worked as a learning advisor and cover lecturer for Access To Music and currently work for The Strings Club, providing group lessons on the guitar and ukulele and running music workshops with groups of up to 35 children.

I am also a professional guitarist, vocalist, composer, electronic music producer and music technology enthusiast. My own tastes range from jazz to experimental classical music to electronic and pop music. I have played guitar for singer-songwriter Alan Bonner at venues throughout London and Brighton, composed the soundtrack to a catwalk at London Fashion Week (which you can watch here) and lead my own band which you can find out about at:


Currently I travel to my student's houses to teach within the Hackney and Islington area. Prices vary based on length (30 mins, 45 mins or 60 mins) and are cheaper when block-booked.

If you would like advice on what kind of guitar to buy and where to buy it, or you would like to book a lesson, feel free to contact my via phone, email or the contact form below.


07828 406122



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