I am a dedicated and encouraging piano teacher. I believe that the enjoyment of playing a musical instrument is important for every young person. It can be a source of enormous pleasure, build self-esteem and boost confidence. A sense of humour and imagination is fundamental in my approach to teaching. Every student is different and it is my job to unlock their potential.
As Head of Keyboard at King’s College School (KCS) in Wimbledon, London, I teach a wide range of students, from age 7 to 18 and from beginner to post Diploma levels. I also teach piano students privately.
I regularly enter students for ABRSM graded exams, as well as in Festivals and encourage my students to perform often, whether in concerts, to each other or to their family members at home.
I have organised various piano events at KCS.
- In 2009 there was a concert where ten students played Schumann’s Kinderszenen (complete), as well as other works and collaborations in the form of piano duets and trios.
- In 2010 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin. There was a masterclass given by Andrew Ball (former Head of Keyboard, Royal College of Music) and students also attended a piano recital given by Maurizio Pollini on Chopin’s birthday at the Royal Festival Hall. There was also an all-Chopin concert given by 18 piano pupils and various staff members.
- 2011 was the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt and we celebrated by presenting a piano-concert of his works and of those of the many composers that he himself supported in his lifetime.
- In 2012 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy. The renowned Debussy Scholar Dr Roy Howat gave students a masterclass on the works of this innovative composer. There was also a concert of Debussy’s works and of those composers that had inspired him (Bach, Mozart, Chopin, amongst others).
- In 2013 a concert celebrating contrapuntal music took place which including Bach’s English Suite no 6 divided between several pianists. There was also a masterclass and lecture-recital by Andreas Boyde and a trip to hear Piotr Anderszewski perform Bach, Janacek and Schumann at the RFH.
- In 2014 a concert featuring repertoire from Mozart to Prokofiev. There was also a masterclass with Andrew Ball and a trip to the Queen Elizabeth Hall to hear a recital by the veteran Argentinian pianist, Nelson Freire.
- So far in 2015 we have enjoyed a stimulating presentation entitled ‘The inner life of a Steinway Concert Grand’ by Steinway technician, Ian Burgess-Simpson. Leandro Silvera (Head of Strings at King’s) and I did a presentation for parents entitled ‘How to supercharge your practice’. We had the King’s Piano Competition for pianists in both junior and senior schools which was adjudicated by the distinguished piano professor from the Royal College of Music, Niel Immelman. In November there will be a piano concert dedicated to the music of Scriabin and the composers that inspired him (such as Chopin and Liszt), as well as a recital and masterclass to be given in by the Scriabin authority, teacher and concert pianist, Håkon Austbø.
I encourage my students to perform 4, 6 and 8-hand piano works, or to be involved in other chamber groups, such as piano trios or quartets.
More advanced students learn piano concertos and are encouraged to enter competitions. Recent student performances have included Haydn’s Piano Concerto in C major, Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major, K414 (Richmond Festival), Grieg’s Piano Concerto (Kingston Festival and in Cadogan Hall), Shostakovitch’s Piano Concerto no 2 in F major, Op 102 (in St John’s Smith Square) and Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto, Op 1.