All of us are entitled to learn about music - it is a universal language of feelings and part of our culture. As a teacher I have the responsibility for providing this tuition – something I take very seriously – it must be of the highest quality and delivered professionally.
I greatly respect ‘the music’ and ‘composers’ and the feelings they put into their music. The importance of teaching correctly how to express this music is essential. Students who go on to follow another career always have the option to return to music later, without difficulty, if their previous experience has been professional and lovingly tailored to their needs.
Not all of us want to become a concert pianist but we can all learn to love music and play with passion. To achieve this, at any level, it is essential to be taught correctly from the outset.
Students who want to become professional musicians are guaranteed the highest quality training, guidance and help to achieve this aim - all Examination Boards are available to them – and with determination and hard work they will be successful.
If a student wants to learn ‘just for pleasure’ they are not underestimated because they may not wish to sit examinations.
Right from the first stage of learning we need to discover what the composer wants to say in his music. Whilst music is an art it is only one of the arts. As a teacher I must first identify and develop with the student a correct understanding of the image. When we are attracted by the image we try to find a way of reproducing it in our performance using our technical skills as a means of expression.
Our work on acquiring the technical skills is closely connected to the image of the piece we are learning. It is not separated from the musical image of the piece being played. It is not enough to teach ‘staccato’ or ‘forte’ on their own – the student needs to understand the reason for these elements and how to express them from the very beginning.
Students are all different. They have different personalities, abilities, backgrounds and are of different ages. I try to understand the personality and needs of each student so that I can find an individual way of learning for each of them – they are not all treated in the same way – and this helps me to find the best way for them to enjoy their lessons.