My approach to teaching is to gently introduce a child to the joy of making music. I aim to foster curiosity and freedom of expression. As the pupil gradually masters notation (vital from the word go - progress is impossible without learning to read music first), they play pieces that are fun and then gradually progress to more advanced and stimulating works.
We begin by examining the piano inside and out. Afterwards, and only for as long as a child is 'on board' we play the notes whilst reading the music. It is as simple and easy as kicking a ball - there is no need to look down at the keyboard. Knowing instinctively where Middle C is, the other notes are naturally found in relation to it.
This all takes time to inwardly digest, and I make certain that there is no stress or sense of urgency. I want to curate an enduring love or passion. Whilst learning to play notes from reading the music, I attend to a child's hand and finger position, and make sure that they don't come 'down' and 'in' to the piano but remain poised. Gradually, they will play finger exercises and eventually scales. Writing and drawing the notation can be a fun distraction when energy is flagging.
We have informal termly concerts at which even the littlest beginner plays. I want my pupils to have a sense of risk, to be audacious and spirited. To begin each movement 'in the moment' and reinvent ways to play the piano. My hope is for the audience to be transformed after hearing a performance, and for performers and audience alike to come away exhilarated and elated.
Classically trained at the Royal College of Music under Angus Morrison, I am also an Alexander Technique teacher from Walter Carrington's School in Holland Park.