My Teaching Philosophy
I am committed to providing a learning environment which allows students to feel comfortable and happy whilst learning skills to inspire them to enjoy music making.
Whilst learning technical, theoretical and pianistic techniques students are also encouraged to:-
use their imagination to breathe ‘life and emotion’ to further their enjoyment whilst playing and their understanding of the music;
direct their creativity into playing their own music through improvisation;
engage with and enjoy music from a varied repertoire.
The goals of each lesson are:-
– To ensure students perceives lessons as time to relax, learn and explore, create and have fun whilst making beautiful music and achieving personal targets.
– To ensure the student leaves each lesson with:-
- Clear and achievable practice goals,
- A realistic practice timetable embedded in their daily routine,
- Music they can play for pleasure.
Resources are regularly reviewed and tailored to each student to accommodate individual learning styles. There are opportunities to learn to play by reading notation, by ear and improvisation.
The Teaching Environment
I teach from my home in a separate building so lessons are not disturbed. There is a waiting room next to the teaching room so students can come and go without disturbing other lessons. The waiting room has a keyboard for students to warm-up on if they arrive early or to practice if they are waiting during a sibling’s lesson.
Parents are welcome to sit-in during lessons, so long as they don’t interact with their child, this helps parents of younger to students to understand what they should be practising. If this arrangement is detrimental to the child’s learning, parents can sit in the waiting room with the connecting door open so they can listen.
Before signing up for lessons students and parents need to commit to attending lessons regularly and to setting up a practice routine at home and ensuring this is maintained. I can advise on how often and for how long, depending on individual circumstances.
Students will not progress if they don’t practice effectively. They have a 30 or 45 minute lesson once a week, which is hardly any time out of their week, therefore, practice time is essential for skills to be developed.
All students have practice notebooks for me to write specific notes for practising, this is sometimes backed up with a short video demonstration from me via Whatsapp for older students, with parental permission, or details of a Youtube link to listen to a performance.
I can always tell when students haven’t practised and I realise there are times when this has been unavoidable. Parents/carers need to let me know if students are regularly showing reluctance to practice or follow the practice notes, then I can address any issues, revise strategies.
Communication with parents/carers is two-way and vital for students’ progress. Parents are encouraged to let me know if they have any questions or concerns and I keep them updated with progress and any concerns, either by brief conversations at the end/start of a lesson, which can be followed up by a longer telephone conversation if necessary, or via text message.