TEACHING PHILOSOPHY 

Unconditional Positive Regard 

Independent Learning

People are great! They are resourceful, talented and full of dreams and potential. I believe everyone is musical to some extent and can enjoy and benefit from learning piano. I love to encourage musical achievement and challenge my students to explore their full potential. I enjoy warm rapport with my students and find that they are open, honest and genuinely wonderful humans. My desire is that they leave my studio feeling encouraged, stimulated or inspired musically and personally.

As a passionate music teacher, my students can expect a lot of questions during lessons! This is because I want to produce students who are independent learners, actively interested in and enjoying their piano pursuits. There are three values underpinning my commitment to independent learning: simplicity; curiosity; and creativity. And so, my students are enabled to simplify a problem, break it down and deduce the answers from information and principles they already know. I endeavour to spark curiosity about the who’s, what’s, where’s, why’s and when’s of the repertoire and their musical experience. We explore the expressive nature of music and creativity is encouraged.

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Idealistic… with a touch of reality.

I aim for the ideal of consistent progress, accuracy in reading notation, development of sound technique and communication of the expressive character of the music, whilst understanding the realities of life can get in the way.  I aim for the ideal of ‘musical’ piano tuition, in which the musical sound is explored before the written symbol, singing before playing, whilst understanding that deadlines can place constraints on that activity.  I aim for the ideal of a broad repertoire extending way beyond ‘the three exam pieces per year’ and expanding students’ love for and knowledge of the instrument, whilst understanding that other structures in students’ lives (like school exams) can affect our strategic planning.

 

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Every student is unique

Every student is unique and so it is impossible to have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum. Many of my students enjoy working towards external exams with ABRSM and Trinity, but I also cater for those who wish only to play for pleasure. Together we set realistic goals and I expect students’ commitment and co-operation. I love to praise good work and I challenge poor commitment to progress. My students usually are honest about how their practice has gone and receive an understanding response when life’s roller coaster makes practice time hard to find. In this case we work together to readjust goals to ensure some progress is maintained during life’s trickier seasons.

 

If you are in Killinchy or anywhere around Newtownards, and you'd like me to provide you with tuition, please get in touch.

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