I'm a friendly musician from Swansea with a wealth of teaching and performing experience. I truly enjoy teaching and helping others develop their love for music and the harp.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
Harp - all grades, as well as special preparation for exams, auditions, competitions or music college applications.
Theory - Grades 1-5 ABRSM
Chamber music and ensemble lessons
Beginner piano lessons
Harp Start lessons - a programme of lessons for those with no prior experience in the harp, including a demonstration and a chance to try the harp. These can be tailored for children, adults or composition students, and are available for individuals or small groups. These sessions are 30 minutes.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
Advanced Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music
MMus from The Juilliard School, New York
BMus First Class Honors from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
'A' Grade in the class 'The Art of Teaching in the Music Studio' with Dr. Virginia Allen, Fall 2012, The Juilliard School
'A-' Grade in the class 'Insights into Learning' with Dr. Ed Bilous, Fall 2011, The Juilliard School
Completed a module in Music Pedagogy, Academic year 2008-2009, RWCMD
- How much do you charge?
For lessons taken at my own home in the Orpington area, my fee is £40 per hour, £20 per half hour and £15 per 20 minutes.
Extra fees apply when traveling to your home and are determined on travel time. Please contact me for exact pricing.
If you've never tried the harp but want to see if it's right for you, book a Harp Start session at my home. I can also help you find a harp to rent (usually 3 months minimum) so that you can decide whether the harp is right for you.
- Where do you teach?
I teach harp and piano in my own home in Orpington, as well as in North London along the Northern line on Wednesdays (Brent Cross, Belsize Park, Camden Town). With my current teaching and performing schedule, it is unlikely that I'd be able to come to your home to teach (apart from North London), but if you'd like to discuss the possibility of lessons at your own home please do get in touch.
I am happy to teach theory online, but ask for payment by bank transfer 24 hours in advance of the lesson.
- When are you available?
I currently have spaces for lessons in Orpington on Mondays and Tuesdays, but we may be able to discuss other days. In North London, I have one space in my schedule on Wednesday nights. I do not offer regular lessons on the weekends due to my teaching and performing schedule, but may offer a make-up lesson for missed lessons on the weekend if needed. For one off or trial lessons, please get in touch and we can work out a suitable time for everyone.
I'm flexible in terms of teaching in the summer holidays. In general I would say that we continue lessons, but ask for a week's notice if you will not be able to attend one week.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
All ages and all levels welcome!
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
As harp teacher for KCL, I prepare the students to complete their performance exams for their BMus degrees. I am very familiar with the ABRSM syllabus and have also taught students for the Trinity Guildhall exams. I have helped students prepare for GCSE and A level performances, as well as prepare for auditions to national orchestras and conservatoires.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I am happy to teach theory online and have used FaceTime and Skype before for lessons. Payment must be made by bank transfer 24 hours in advance of the lesson. I have also taught harp via Skype, but generally would only do this as a one-off rather than regular lessons.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
The most important thing to bring to my lessons is your willingness to learn. Music is meant to be enjoyed! I don't mind if you want to do exams or just play to enjoy. Each student is unique and the lessons are tailor-made to help you achieve what you want.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have been teaching the harp for over 10 years and have experience teaching students as young as 5 all the way through to retired adults. I have a 100% pass rate for ABRSM exams. Many of my students have been invited to perform in the High Scorers Concerts held annually, with one student winning the prize for the highest mark of the year for our county. Other student successes include:
Places in the National Children's Orchestra
1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes at Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru
1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes at Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Semi-finalist in the Rotary Competition 2009
As well as private teaching, I have had experience teaching in primary and comprehensive schools under West Glamorgan Music Service, as well as on festivals and music courses. I'm currently teaching theory and harp for the Latymer Saturday Music Centre. I have taught Hands on Harp workshops in conjunction with Camac Harps, and taught ensemble classes on Llangrannog Harp Courses. During my time in New York, I also coached chamber music sessions at the Pre-college division at The Juilliard School.
I am also experienced in teaching music theory and can help you prepare for ABRSM exams or help with general musicianship such as rhythm or aural skills. I've also taught beginner piano lessons and am able to teach piano for beginner students of all ages.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Yes. I have a portable DBS.
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I currently have students of different levels. I do have a lot of beginners at the moment, but they are all so unique and our lessons vary a lot!
One student has started from the very beginning, including reading music. I have written a lot of pieces over the last year to help with learning to read music and they have helped enormously. The student just received a Distinction at Grade 1 and we are now working on developing note-reading further and learning fun non-exam repertoire.
An adult student has recently started with me after a spell away from the harp, and we're having fun exploring contemporary harp music. A lot of contemporary harp music is written for students at a higher level, so it's been interesting trying to find the right pieces that will be challenging enough but are within reach. We've also worked a lot on producing a rich and round sound.
Two of my students have had fantastic success in their Grade 3 this year and are very keen players. They have both decided to move on to a pedal harp, so we're having fun learning relatively easy pieces to get used to using pedals.
My eldest piano student came to me as she needed a change from her teacher. She had fallen out of love with playing, despite having achieved Grade 5. Instead of focusing on grades, we have been playing pieces that she picked - outside the classical repertoire - which she's enjoying more. She also hates sight reading, so we've been working on understanding the keys and major chords in music to understand how music is written to help with this, as well as sight-reading fun duets together.
• BMus Honours, First Class, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
• MMus, The Juilliard School
• DBS issued through The Latymer School
• Live Music Now
It sounds a bit cheesy —I never met a music teacher as good as Gwen!
She is so good with children, full of love and passion! My daughter loves doing her harp lessons— clear creative explanations and fun lessons ( my daughter’s words), not only to learn the harp skill also to learn the positive attitude to music!
She is an amazing musician and we are just extremely lucky to have her in my daughter’s life.
Gwenllian was recommended to me as a kind and patient tutor who was able to effectively support and develop an adult beginner.
I have been most impressed with the way she has thoughtfully tailored her programme of teaching to address my individual strengths and weaknesses whilst enhancing my enjoyment of playing and leaving me very motivated to improve further.
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