Whether you’re starting from fresh or you’ve had lessons in the past and want to give it ‘one more try’, then it is very important to get the right teacher. The result could determine whether you get better or even give up entirely.
Generally speaking, people want to learn to play the piano as they love hearing piano music, either with other instruments or piano solo. That is no big mystery. Yet how do you know whether you’ve found the right teacher for you? This can seem like one of life’s great mysteries!
Well maybe it isn’t. Firstly you need someone who not only can play well, not only be able to teach but who really wants to teach (this is a rare combination outside of a university/conservatory).
They must have a passion for teaching and know the subject inside out. They must realise that music is a very simple subject so that they can explain it in simple terms. On top of that, they really need to be a practising musician. And that means that they should still be learning pieces and performing them!
As for myself, music is my life – I have devoted my life to exploring it, performing it and teaching it. It has become a natural process for me; any one that knows me will completely agree. I’ve been lucky with my teachers, but I was also very careful in my selection process – with each of those teachers that I was successful with I had tried and rejected another teacher before I found out they weren’t what I was looking for. But then I had known nothing about them beforehand!
This was before the golden age of websites!
So this was before I could have heard them play, or read what they were about or discovered what other students had said about them.
Nowadays if a teacher has a website is suggests that they are good communicators. And is also allows prospective students to get a fair picture of what to expect.
For every teacher that you are considering, find out:
- What music qualifications do they have?
- Do they have a website?
- Does this website have testimonials, so you can get an idea of what they are like?
- Does this website have examples of their musical ability?
- Does this website prove that they are a practising performer?
- Do they belong to any music unions/societies?
- Do they teach for your level (e.g. beginner, intermediate, need of a refresher course, etc)?
I graduated from Christ Church’s music department in 2005 with an honours Degree in musical composition. And since then have continued pushing my musicality to greater lengths through performance, composition, private tuition, school based tuition and research into modern piano technique.
I use a method of tuition which focuses on practice methods to enable fast results without the hours of scales and exercises, that most teachers have incorrectly imposed on pupils for the last 200 years! Among other elements, this methods encourages and develops memorising techniques that enable students to speedily advance
I have been fortunate enough to have had two very inspirational piano teachers, namely Dr. Kim Burwell and Lord Gawain Douglas, who have motivated me to reach my present level. In addition to these people I was mentored and taught composition, conducting and orchestration by Dr Paul Max Edlin from 2001 to 2005, whose skill, enthusiasm and charm was (and still is) boundless! Another teacher I have had many tutorials with is the noted composer Prof. Paul Patterson, visiting from The Royal of College of Music
Both of my piano teachers have independently traced their teacher lineage back to the teachings of J.S.Bach. And so, therefore, can all of my pupils!
I have examples of my playing on this website. And I am a gigging musician (!)
I also belong to the Musician’s Union, which requires proof of your qualifications to join. I also belong to the Performing Rights Society, which means I get paid for every composition of my own I perform.
I teach at any level and start from Secondary school age and upwards
Maybe speak to you soon!