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'The teacher and the taught create the teaching'

I am very much inspired by the energy of my students and by the ongoing process of creating metaphors to bring helpful ideas and solutions to life.  At the City Lit in Central London I teach classes of music theory, score reading, musicianship (using Hindemith's wonderful Elementary Training for Musicians) and chamber music.  In the City of London I teach piano and cello to City workers, creating a musical oasis in their day, and in SW London I teach cello, piano, music theory and composition, privately.  

In both my teaching and playing, all components of music-making work together. I was fortunate to have teachers who both instilled in me a love of and awareness of musical detail and nuance, and who helped me to understand the mind/body connection and the physical side of playing an instrument.  My time as an orchestral musician broadened my musical perspective as did the privilege of playing two instruments.  I try to bring all of this to the lessons I teach.


MADEMOISELLE: Conversations with Nadia Boulanger

byBruno Monsaingeon


My first teacher, Peggie Sampson often spoke of her time in Paris studying with the legendary teacher of composition, Nadia Boulanger.  Boulanger shaped the artistic path of almost every notable composer of the 20th century; she was immensely wise in her approach not only to music but to life.  Bruno Monsaingeon has created both an  inspiring documentary about her life and an accompanying book which contains her own words and reminiscences by students, friends and colleagues. 

An invaluable resource, Hindemith's progressive and brilliantly conceived method begins with exercises for the complete novice and ends with fiendishly difficult challenges to aural awareness, rhythm and coordination.  His goal is to lead the student to a place where he naturally and easily can hear and execute what he sees and can 'see' (conceive the notation for) what he hears. 

THE ART OF PIANO PLAYING by Heinrich Neuhaus 

Heinrich Neuhaus, the renowned Russian teacher of piano wrote this inspirational account of his teaching and thoughts on the art of piano playing in 1958.  As a teacher of Sviatoslav Richter,Emil Gilels and Anton Rubinstein among many others, he had collaborated with the piano elite.  But earlier in his teaching career, he had equally worked with many less talented aspiring pianists. Full of tips, insights and anecdotes from a warm and compassionate man.

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