My goal is to inspire my students to want to gain the skills that will enable them to be able to play the piano for the rest of their lives. In order to be able to do that they need to have good technique, excellent sight reading skills and a good understanding of music theory. I am a strong sight reader, and I work with my students to ensure they develop those skills too as this will allow them to continue to play for their own pleasure even after their lessons have stopped. Taking exams allows the student to more easily measure their progress and also ensures all aspects of playing the piano are being developed. However, this is not a requirement and many of my students are not following an exam path. In addition, gone are the days where sitting exams meant having to study classical piano music. Nowadays, you can also take graded exams in rock and pop by following both Rockschool and Trinity College programs. Although I took all my exams playing classical music, I always enjoyed playing music from films, musicals, etc. In later life, I have become a performer playing in a number of pop/rock bands and had to learn new styles and techniques for this. I try to pass what I have learnt through this process on to my students. My students tell me that I am very calm and patient. I want to create an environment in lessons where anxiety is minimised so that the student is free to make mistakes. As in life, it is learning from the mistakes that improves us. I am very comfortable teaching beginners. I find it refreshing to work with a blank canvas. I enjoy being an early influence so that they get the fundamentals right. Beginners are usually quite nervous and apprehensive, perhaps lacking in confidence. I look to build their confidence, alongside developing their technical skills. I also enjoy teaching adults – about 60% of my students are adults, and many of them are beginners. Apart from the learning in the lessons, we are also likely to talk about football or local news with a cup of tea. I want their lessons to be relaxed. I have a good sense of humour, and we tend to laugh a lot in our lessons. I am inspired by the adults that are prepared to make time in their busy lives to learn something new, and am sympathetic when life gets in the way and stops them from spending as much time practising as they would have liked. Having a broad range of taste in music ranging from progressive rock to ska, through classical to jazz, I try to open my students’ minds up to other music genres. I want them to see how modern music has its roots in folk tunes and classical music. When discussing music theory, I try to make some of the concepts more engaging and ‘real’ by analysing one of their personal favourite tunes and identifying aspects of music theory that we are studying.
RSL is not affiliated, nor endorses, any of the teachers listed on this page. Studying with a registered RSL teacher does not give a candidate any advantage or guarantee a better result in a RSL examination. If you have any feedback regarding any information provided then please feel free to contact us.