My aim is for students to experience the sheer joy of playing piano. Students are encouraged to develop the skills as efficiently and effectively as possible. I aim for students to have a positive musical experience every time they have a piano lesson and throughout their journey as a music student. Students will experience the joy of knowing the language of music, and will keep the skills for life.

The making of a true musician

I aim for our students to be able to do more than look at the dots on the page and play the appropriate notes on the piano with the correct rhythm. To be a true musician, students will learn to look at music notation and hear the music in their heads.

They will also learn to hear music and write it out in music notation – a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Finally, students learn to compose, improvise and read chord charts.

All these skills are hallmarks a true musician.

Pedagogical philosophy

Students are taught using a ‘sound before symbol’ approach that is a prominent feature of the Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk methodologies, adapted for piano lessons.

The Orff Schulwerk methodology emphasises effective learning through imitation, and breaking complex tasks into manageable steps. These proven pedagogical techniques are heavily utilised in my piano lessons.

A process of review helps the student to regularly recall information they have learnt and in doing so, cement the knowledge they have learnt.

Fun versus joy

I make my lessons fun and enjoyable. Students learn interesting, great-sounding repertoire, and play many fun games to reinforce theoretical concepts.

However, learning to play piano is a skill that takes regular practice and hard work. It won’t always be fun. Students will go through peaks and troughs in their enthusiasm.

If students choose to push through, they learn the skill of playing piano which ultimately brings them joy, even if it is not always fun.

Exploration

The world of music is one of exploration. Students learn how to listen to and understand great music, while developing a thorough knowledge of music history and the development of style. Students also learn the tools and methods to improvise and compose their own music.