As well as working towards a sound technique using classical pieces, I also encourage playing popular tunes and where appropriate jazz piano. I always feel that my pupils come not just to have another lesson but to be able to play something that they actually want to play. Whether that's one of the latest chart releases or Beethoven, is up to each pupil's personal taste and I openly invite their suggestions.
Theory is an important part of anyone's musical education. It is where a pupil finds out 'why' music is the way it is and ultimately helps towards making a more creative musician. At the appropriate time I offer theory lessons to my pupils. This generally means extending the normal lesson from its usual 30 minutes to 45 minutes. The chief aim is to be able to pass the ABRSM Grade 5 theory paper which is essential for doing practical exams after Grade 5. The other aims are to make a more intelligent musician. Whatever type of music someone may be interested in, the foundations are always the same - scales, harmony and its notation. The better you understand them, the better you can understand the music that you're playing.
Jazz piano is usually offered only after reaching an ABRSM Grade 5 level. This is mainly because of its nature. Jazz relies heavily on the pupil's confidence, knowledge of the instrument and musical creativity. I feel that it is better for the pupil if sufficient work has been done in those areas, then when Jazz is introduced, the maximum enjoyment and understanding can be attained.
I also offer support for the GCSE and A Level Music Composition elements. While I will not write a piece for someone, I can help with the decision making involved and discuss possible ideas and suggest ways of expressing them.
"I am more than happy to welcome pupils of any ability or age."