Teaching Philosophy

I believe what we want most from music is to enjoy it; the joy and sense of accomplishment gained by sitting down at a piano (or picking up an instrument), looking at a piece of music and being able to play it.

The piano is a great instrument to learn first, as it not only teaches both clefs, but also reading both clefs simultaneously. Later adding another instrument to your repertoire will then be much easier.

At merri bell music I will aim to maintain a good fun-to-work ratio. I am constantly on the look-out for additional learning tools such as games and iPad apps to provide variety in learning. Piano technical work can seem like a drag at times, particularly for young children, but it serves two very important purposes in the pursuit of enjoyment.

  • The more obvious purpose is to develop the dexterity to enable the pianist to play music at different skill levels. It is frustrating to want to play a piece you love but not have the nimble fingers to do so.
  • The more subtle purpose is the things that become second nature through the repetition of practice. Fingering becomes more automatic. Fumble a page turn? You’ll automatically make a good guess about what comes next. These factors you no longer need to think so hard about will leave more energy for just enjoying the music and the magic you are creating.

To make good progress, daily quality piano practice is necessary. It is also important to have an acoustic piano or at least a weighted (hammer action) keyboard. Small electronic keyboards that do not have weighted keys will not allow you to learn touch, tone, dynamics or good technique.

Each and every student is valued, in a positive and enthusiastic teaching atmosphere. It is not a race to move through stages and I will take the time necessary to explain concepts completely and patiently.

I look forward to working with you on your new journey.

Please contact me with any queries or for further information.

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