I started to learn the piano at the age of 7 and enjoyed weekly lessons. However, after the novelty wore off, I do remember practising being a bit of a challenge and wanting to stop but my parents encouraged me to continue. I’m so glad they did, as I wouldn’t be where I am today had I given up.
I also took up the clarinet at about the age of 10. By the age of 17, I had two grade 8s under my belt, to the detriment of my A Levels! Fortunately, I achieved the grades needed to go to Bretton Hall college to study music (with dance as a subsidiary subject). I had already started to teach the piano just before I left home to go to college and knew it was something I wanted to continue.
I graduated from college and took a year out to broaden my experience. In that year I volunteered in a special needs school and a primary school, which confirmed my love of teaching. I then went on to gain a PGCE which led me to my first full-time teaching job in a primary school in Leeds.
My classroom teaching career spanned 16 years, where I was always responsible for music across the various schools in which I worked. During this time, I also taught the piano from home and had many pupils through my door, from as young as 7 to retired adults.
Since leaving the classroom to focus on my own private teaching practice, I have had a very high success rate with pupils sitting ABRSM grades. My biggest recent achievements were during the Covid Lockdown when, after virtual remote lessons, a pupil sat Grade 7 and passed with Distinction! Another took grade 5 and passed with Merit! However, I understand that sitting exams is not for everyone and I certainly don’t put pressure on pupils to do this.
My aim is always to provide fun and engaging lessons, where pupils leave with a real passion for the piano and music in general.