Category Archives: teaching

Saturday 7 January 2023

I’ve started listening to Jeremy Denk’s memoir, ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’. He writes beautifully about music and it’s fascinating to hear his reminiscences about his musical education and his life’s journey.

We’re also back to school! Students were a bit thin on the ground as, it being just a two day week at the end of the Christmas holidays, many of them were still away with families in exotic locations. It was good to see the half dozen or so that I did. Elongated breaks meant I could chat with fellow teachers without the usual feeling of rushing off to collect a child from their classroom to bring them down to the music block for their lesson. (Something I’m going to try this year is asking each student to go and tell the next one to come down to me. They’ll hopefully enjoy the responsibility and it’ll give me a valuable few minutes to make notes and get ready for the next lesson.)

I’m excited by the prospect of teaching more pieces by Robert Schumann this term. The ‘Little Study’ from his Album for the Young is on the Royal Irish Academy of Music Grade 3 syllabus this year. I’ve been applying the Whole Beat Metronome Practice to Schumann’s music with very satisfying results (namely, it renders the pieces actually playable). I’m also working on his second Op. 28 Romance with a Grade 8 student and both pieces require a sustained melody be foregrounded against an undulating texture. I’ve been studying Penelope Roskell’s authoritative book ‘The Complete Pianist’ and gleaning some helpful insights that I will be able to use with my students.

Advent calendar: 7

Today I’ve got two great Christmas tunes for beginner piano players to enjoy — ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ and ‘Frosty The Snowman’. This video will help you learn them by heart (there’s no music reading required). Have fun, and get everybody to join in and sing with you at Christmas time 🙂

Click here for more information on my music teaching.

Teaching

 I teach piano, guitar, clarinet, and music theory to students of all ages. I also offer piano accompaniment to exam candidates.

  • music lessons
    I teach one-to-one with students of all ages and stages. Maybe you’re a complete beginner; maybe you had lessons as a child and have been meaning to get back into it; maybe you have a family member or a friend who’d like some lessons; a child who has a Junior Cert or Leaving Cert practical coming up… My aim is to foster a love of music in a relaxed and enjoyable way…

  • composer / musician / facilitator
    I have helped deliver music-making and songwriting workshops to primary schools in Ireland and the UK, ranging in length from a single visit to two weeks. I worked on a number of great projects with Tim Steiner, a leader and educator in this field.
  • music facilitator with Helium
    I helped develop interactive performance pieces and workshops for very young children with Helene Hugel.
  • Education & Community Outreach Assistant at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, 2004-2007
    I organised education events at the NCH and around the country; masterclasses, open rehearsals, parent-and-toddler workshops, primary school improvisation & songwriting workshops, guided tours.