What I Offer1 to 1 piano lessons
One-off or Ad hoc Lessons
Grade 8 Exam Aural Preparation
Developing Practice Skills Workshops
Advice on choosing an instrument
I aim to develop thinking musicians. I encourage each student to become objective about their own work and performance and to be in control of their learning. This means students develop musicality and skills which stay with them forever rather than merely learning individual pieces as they were taught. I draw on different methods to achieve this depending on the learning styles of each student.
I do not have a set series of books or pieces which are played, regardless, by all students. I feel private tuition has an important role in childrens' lives and I like to get to know a student and then choose material which will be most suited to each individual. The personal aims of the student are taken into consideration and students are encouraged to take an active role in picking pieces to work on and in outlining goals for the term and year.
There is always time to play by ear; we regularly include improvisation, composition, jazz and pop as part of learning to be a rounded and spontaneous musician.
I teach on a one to one basis but the joy of music making with others and the advantages it offers when learning means that students often team up to play duets and trios. We have also teamed up with the students of a violin teacher to spend a few terms playing chamber music.
Although I specialise in intermediate and advanced classical grades I welcome students of any level and with any stylistic preference providing they bring enthusiam and determination to their lessons and practice sessions.
These are useful in a variety of circumstances. They suit a student studying music who would like some feedback before an exam or audition. They work for someone who doesn’t require regular lessons but wants to discuss aspects of a piece; there is always something to be gained from another's viewpoint. One-off lessons will also work for you if you play for pleasure, when time permits, and enjoy occasional meetings and discussions with a teacher.
If you have a busy schedule there is no need to feel tied into a weekly time slot. Simply book ad hoc lessons to suit your schedule
We all know how frustrating it is when nerves and that annoying inner voice messes up a performance of a piece that is confidently performed at home. If you are looking to increase confidence, I can offer a tailor made approach including practice and learning techniques, muscle coordination, mindfulness, breath control and visualisation. For those happy to share and develop their new skills there are also performance groups and open classes on offer.
The most extreme case I have experienced involved a deeply embedded exam phobia. This student ran out of an exam in 2002 and did not sit another exam all the way through University. In 2013 she came to me looking for a way to get over this exam phobia to take her grade 4 piano, she went on to pass this exam with distinction. Last year she passed her grade 8 piano and is now working towards her piano teaching diploma with me.
What better way to boost your learning than a 3hr workshop session with like minded musicians. These exciting and stimulating sessions are held regularly throughout the year, please get in touch for more details or to book.
I frequently carry out mock exams for other teachers. The aim is not to predict a result but rather to watch a student take a mock exam and then build confidence and coach them on performance, pacing oneself, mindfulness and any other specifically relevant musical concerns which may not yet be secure enough to be carried off in a new environment. Young Maddie came to me for a grade 1 mock exam, she did not take the prep test so her teacher wanted her to benefit from a pre-exam run through. This is the feedback I received from her mother.
"Thank you so much, Maddie felt much more relaxed about the whole exam after seeing you!! This has been a very positive experience for us both!" Lorraine Bond
Grade 8 Exam Aural Preparation
The grade 8 aural syllabus is demanding and, due to the length and difficulty of the pieces being learnt, there is often a shortage of time during lessons. Students who don't play a harmony instrument can also find it more challenging. I have had great success on as little as a term of extra lessons before an exam. Students include flautists, pianists studying with other teachers, students enrolled on junior conservatoire programmes, adults and non singers.
Believe it or not sight-reading can be taught and learnt, so to other instrumentalists, as well as my regular piano students, I offer dedicated Sight-Reading sessions. This skill does not necessarily develop at the same rate as playing, very often it just needs a bit extra focused time and attention. It is well worth your while to invest and dedicate a block of time to developing sight-reading skills.
I love teaching sight-reading and have had very positive feedback from many pleasantly surprised students who discover a passion for instant music making and who in the process learn a lot about their learning.
Actually this is the basis of all my lessons. However, for those looking for a deeper insight and understanding of the music they play or those looking to speak more directly and instinctively through their instrument, these are worthwhile sessions to opt for. These sessions can also include Kodaly training.
I love teaching theory and have had great success with a large variety of students. I recently helped a very talented guitarist take his grade 5 theory exam and consequently be accepted to the Academy of Contemporary Music. Here is what they had to say:
"Roberta is an extraordinary individual and a wonderful teacher who inspires, encourages, guides and supports above and beyond the lesson itself. My godson became her student in November 2015 to learn Music Theory which he had no prior knowledge of. In four months he passed Grade 5 with a point away from a Distinction. He has often said that Roberta is amazing. I agree! As a musician myself I can see how impressive Roberta's teaching methods are and I will always be grateful that we found her." Amanda
I am currently working closely with several new teachers, supporting them as they prepare for their teaching diploma exams and start up their teaching studios. Sessions are held individually and, where advantageous, in small groups. They include pedagogy, repertoire, confidence in demonstrating, support in essay writing and quick study preparation as well as general brainstorming. Please contact me if you would like to know more about piano teaching as a profession. It is a wonderful one! Please read these testimonials from two recent teachers.
"I have been encouraged and inspired by my lessons with Roberta. She has helped me in improving my own technique, and is generous in imparting her wealth of experience of teaching piano students. Especially with respect to keeping the learning process stimulating (and fun!). It is easy to respect her views, because she plays exceptionally well, and her students perform with poise and musicality." Bronwen
"Roberta teachers with infectious enthusiasm and as a mentor and a teacher is both inspirational and inspiring. Roberta motivates and guides with patience and expertise, encouraging you to explore all musically related paths. As a very mature student, Roberta has gently encouraged me to push boundaries and realise my goals." Yvonne Tozer
Please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more about local performance groups. There are several and they cover a variety of levels.
Piano Teachers, Students and Parents, join me for an inspiring session on developing practice skills. Help young musicians maximise their potential and productivity during practice time and enjoy the results, weekly.
Please contact me to find out more details or to book
I provide accompaniment for grade exams. Please get in touch to arrange a rehearsal schedule prior to your exam.
Being able to practise between lessons is vital and choosing the right instrument can be daunting. Whether you are opting for a keyboard, digital piano or piano I am happy to offer advice based on my experience and my work on pianos.
I am happy to make myself available at any time to discuss concerns. I enjoy a good, friendly relationship with all my students and their parents.
I have found the value of parental support in a child's learning cannot be overstated. Learning an instrument requires great discipline and perseverance. Parents who have experienced this themselves can offer support. For those who are giving their child an opportunity they did not have I offer sessions on practice techniques and note reading. These sessions would be based on the student’s level and their aims.