Students at secondary school may be total beginners – a number of mine have now gone on to university having only started at secondary school and achieving grade 6, to obtain UCAS points or grade 5 to show what can be done in a short time with determination and ambition- a wonderful example to demonstrate your suitability to go to university on your UCAS form…
Others work towards grade 7 or 8, for UCAS points, or to take exams such as Leisureplay (offered by London College of Music) to follow their musical interests, to show commitment, and to demonstrate their great learning!
I know from my own experiences as well as that of students that as a teenager it is really special to have a good relationship with your music teacher- to be able to have some 1:1 time with an adult who really wants you to be happy, to enjoy what you’re doing, to encourage your interests and skills and to help you on your way to adulthood. I know what an incredible difference my music teachers made to my life and hope I can pass on some of that…. And I’m pretty sure that such a nurturing relationship makes for both a good musician and well adjusted person- the results seem to speak for themselves.
The best thing about working with teenagers is that we can really work to their strengths- if they like jazz, or composing pop, or light classical, that’s all good. The essential thing is for the students to ensure they make the time to practise as otherwise they get frustrated, their parents/carers are wasting money and it’s a bit boring for me! Often it’s just a question of sitting down and working out when those 5-10 minute slots can be found in the day and then just doing it, to quote a well known advertiser. Little and often is still the name of the game, although we need nearer 10 than 5 minute slots for longer pieces… Scales and exercises still can fit into 3-5 minute sessions, as you pass the piano to make a cup of tea… or pick up a banana or biscuit!
In the spotlight…
Dan, age 14.
Lessons with Catherine are great. Catherine is an interesting, kind and all round lovely lady. I have enjoyed my piano lessons for over 7 years. Her lessons are engaging and always challenging to push you to your potential. Catherine is a very good piano teacher and I would recommend her to you.
...lessons are engaging and always challenging to push you to your potential.
Students are entered for practical exams with ABRSM, Trinity and LCM and theory exams with ABRSM and Trinity.