What I teach on the piano.
As I am classically trained I find teaching others to play classical comes most naturally to me. However, if you wish to play some pop styles or learn some basic jazz or blues improvisation then I can quite happily help you acquire these skills too.
Most children starting out on the piano learn this style early on as it is an excellent grounding for learning music theory and basic piano techniques. This then enables them to work towards exams. These are graded from 1 to 8. There are a few different exam boards, the most well known (and therefore respected) are ABRSM, LCM and Trinity Guildhall. I am able to teach from Grades 1 – 6 and would enter you into the exam board of your choice, or one that most suited your needs.
However, if you did not want to sit exams I am happy to teach you to those standards without you sitting the exam.
I am also more than happy to teach basic keyboard skills for those wanting to use the keyboard to help understand music theory better, to enable song-writing and / or to improve your sequencing skills (should you be a budding producer).
As an adult, you may wish to learn some songs you like or a particular style e.g. in the style of Elton John and I am happy to arrange lessons for this.
Composition & Improvisation
As an established composer I like to compose ‘bespoke’ music for my pupils. Sometimes this is done in collaboration with the student, and sometimes I compose the entire piece for them to learn.
I actively encourage my students to explore composition if they are interested, as it encourages a deeper understanding of music theory as well as helping them expand their creative skills.
I encourage all my students to improvise as it is an invaluable skill that enhances their playing and creative understanding. Composers from Bach through to Britten have all used improvisation as a creative tool and it is a skill I like to encourage in all my students.
Aural Tests and Sight-reading
This is also part of the piano lesson and is essential for students taking the graded exams.
For those students not sitting the exams, I still include this element in the lesson but it will be tailored to you and what you want from the lessons
My Piano Credentials
I have extensive experience as a classical pianist. I was trained by Jillian Skerry (Vienna Akademie) and focused on performance, composition and technology for my degree. I have premiered several new pieces for festivals in Cambridge, at the West Road Concert Hall and Kettles Yard (Cambridge University). Some of these premiers have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
I have also played keyboards in bands, most recently in a country band alongside BJ Cole (Shania Twain, Robert Plant, Bjork).
I also compose for piano and have had some of my work professionally recorded by Kate Ryder.
I continue to compose for the piano and am working on a series of educational pieces.
My Teaching Credentials
I have taught piano to individuals for over a decade now and now teach at Mossbourne Community Academy.
I have also taught keyboards in classroom settings and tutored bands and rehearsal sessions for young people. I have run song-writing workshops for a wide range of people, from youngsters to adults.
I have a thorough knowledge of music theory and will incorporate this into your lesson for no extra charge. Of course if you want specific music theory lessons then I can also teach that, but that will cost the same as instrumental lessons; see the page on prices on this website.