Off the back of the release of Rockschool's new Piano Method books, it only seemed fair to feature a Piano teacher in the latest instalment of Rockschool Stories. Introducing, Vicki Stavrinos.
Inspired by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Chopin, Vicki is utilising the wealth of repertoire found in the Rockschool Piano and Keys grade books to inspire the next generation of musicians. We sat down with Vicki to find out more...
How long have you been using Rockschool, and why has it worked for you?
"I have been using Rockschool for 4 years and the kids love this syllabus because of the repertoire and freedom to include optional material. I’ve found that it’s great for rhythm development due to the use of backing tracks, and I’m always thrilled with the sense of achievement they feel after they pass each grade."
What’s your favourite performance piece to teach, and how does it improve your learners?
"I simply cannot choose one piece! These books contain a fabulous array of all genres and styles, which provide me with a fun, but challenging canvas of material to engage my students with."
What’s your favourite supporting test to teach, and why is it important for your learners?
"Sight reading, without a doubt! I feel it is very important for children to read sheet music. Whilst I do appreciate that improvising melodic lines to chords is fun and creative – and certainly has its own educational relevance – I’ve always appreciated how Rockschool’s material ensures that fundamental skills, like sight reading, remain a vital component throughout."
What’s your favourite student success story?
"I will always remember one 9-year-old student of mine passionately announcing “I LOVE MUSIC!”' after they had finally mastered a really challenging grade song that had been frustrating them for a long time. It’s always extremely rewarding to see a student really persevere because you know they will always appreciate what they’ve just achieved."
What musician(s) inspired you to start playing, and why?
"On the Classical side, Chopin. His music is romantic, passionate, intense and so musically dynamic. The spectrum of emotional highs and lows can be felt from an entire lifetime throughout his work.
On the contemporary side, there are simply too many to name! I have always loved Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, to name a few. Natural players that were absolute geniuses."
If you want to find out more about Vicki's teaching services, head over to her profile on our Teacher Registry for all info relating to VS Music Tuition.
If you're interested in taking part in our Rockschool Stories series, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Simply drop us an email introducing yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Rockschool Stories" as the subject header!