I have been teaching piano privately in the Durham and Chester-le-Street areas for about ten years. As a child I was privileged to receive classical piano training at the Royal College of Music (Junior Dept.), tutored by Thalia Myers, before going on to study for a degree in Music at the University of Reading. After gaining my teaching qualification (PGCE) I taught music in secondary schools for a while before becoming a freelance piano teacher. Although classically trained I also have a great interest in Jazz and Musical Theatre. Currently, apart from teaching piano, keyboard and theory, I am Musical Director of the Durham Harmonics choir – a unique and fun vocal group which sings a wide variety of Pop songs, Jazz standards, Musical Theatre and ‘Great American Songbook’ tunes, all in challenging four-part harmony. I am also the Musical Director for Durham Youth Theatre which is a Musical Theatre Stage School for children aged 7-18.
My approach to teaching piano is friendly and relaxed. I believe in making lessons as enjoyable as possible and then students are much more likely to want to keep on learning to play the instrument! But, of course, a good fundamental technique is essential for playing the piano or, indeed, for playing any other musical instrument! As regards practice, children will eventually find their own level of practice with some encouragement from their parents and myself.
Weekly lessons are not absolutely necessary, so in normal circumstances a fortnightly lesson should be fine! However, if you’d really prefer a weekly lesson just let me know.
Finally, Music is a Performing Art and therefore I encourage my students to perform as much as possible in as many different settings as possible. To that end I always organise a Spring concert for my pupils where they get the opportunity to play a grand piano in a pleasant setting with a supportive audience. This concert is entirely optional for pupils but I’m pleased to say that nearly everyone always wants to play!