Approach and Philosophy – Piano Teacher, Ely

DSC_0024Why Mindful Piano? My aim as a local piano teacher in Ely,  is to make learning the piano enjoyable and fun. It can be a solitary pursuit and if you are going to spend hours practising, this time needs to offer great rewards. My aim is to help you:

  • learn the piano and to have fun and enjoyment whilst you are doing so
  • relax and have pleasure whilst playing
  • achieve your full potential
  • have confidence to play musically in front of others
  • to enjoy a complete musical experience as mentioned below and
  • to develop a mindful approach to playing

I find that when I am focusing on the piano, this becomes my sole focus and the worries of the world are put aside whilst I am making music. To get into this zone is a wonderful thing and I want you to be able to explore this and really enjoy making music.

My own values are:

  • honesty and integrity in all I do
  • to deliver quality and excellence and to continuously improve my teaching through professional development
  • to be open and offer constructive and positive feedback
  • to be focused on each pupil as an individual and to tailor all lessons to an individual’s needs
  • to always maintain a good sense of humour

My approach is flexible and aims to design an individual approach to piano for each student. There is no requirement for you to take examinations, although these are an option if you wish to do so. Each potential new pupil will be offered a free initial one hour consultation to discuss your ambitions and agree an approach. What this is would depend on current proficiency, ambitions for the type of music you would like to play, how you like to study and learn etc.

I have adopted the values of the Curious Piano Teachers for my lessons, namely that:

  • Making music is at the heart of all lessons
  • Learning is placed within a structured and progressive framework
  • Separating the development of pianistic skills from the teaching of musical concepts
  • Every pupil is treated as unique and is given an individual and tailor made approach
  • Encouraging a sense of exploration and discovery in pupils
  • Engaging the imagination, energy and creativity of pupils and the teacher
  • Teaching with honesty, commitment, integrity, professionalism and passion
  • Being committed to a process of ongoing professional development and personal music-making

As mentioned in the introductory page I am now a Certified Curious Piano Teacher.

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All lessons focus upon:

  • Developing a tension free posture and sound technique
  • Pulse and rhythm of the music being learned
  • Production of the best possible sound
  • Musical expression and interpretation

In addition to this by looking carefully at pieces being learned and making connections with various aspects of music – this might include, in addition to the above:

  • Scale and arpeggio patterns in the music
  • Technical issues and technique
  • Links to theory of music
  • Improvisation – it’s not as hard as you may think!
  • Composition – which may just take the form of writing down your improvisations
  • Playing from memory
  • Sight reading – but making preparations for this, so it is not as scary as it sounds
  • Aural work – again something which can be enjoyable if seen as integral to pieces you are learning
  • Understanding all notation and
  • Thinking about performing the music

This approach has been advocated by Paul Harris, one of the UK’s most respected music teachers and educationalists and more information can be found at simultaneous learning