Welcome to my tutor page! I am an experienced teacher and musician and am passionate about helping others to enjoy and develop their musical interests. I hope the answers below will give you an idea of what to expect from me and my teaching.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
- Piano (Classical / Jazz / Pop / Soul / Blues / Boogie-woogie / Funk / Rock)
- Keyboard / Synthesiser technique & sound design
- Jazz Organ
- Music Theory
- ABRSM Classical / Jazz Grades
- Music scholarship / college audition preparation
- Tell me about your qualifications.
- BMus (Hons) Trinity College of Music
- Grade 8 Piano ABRSM
Whilst studying at Trinity I won the Gladys Puttick Prize for Extemporisation and the Jon Hassell Memorial Prize for Jazz.
- How much do you charge?
At my studio:
- 30 mins: £20
- 1 hour: £40
- 90mins: £60
- 2 hours: £80 (useful for combining practical teaching on the instrument with theory work / listening / transcribing)
Lessons elsewhere e.g. at your home or a separate music studio may be subject to additional expenses to cover transport costs and time spent travelling to and from.
I can also teach shared lessons (note a minimum 1 hr lesson to ensure enough time is spent focusing on each student):
- 1 hour: £45
- 1Â½ (90 mins): £60
- 2 hours: £70
(shared lessons at a student's house will also be subject to additional travel expenses)
*** NEW FOR 2014 ***
I am now offering lessons over Skype - these are not intended to replace 'face-to-face' lessons; the idea with these is that they can be used as short check-ups in between regular tuition, especially useful if your lessons are infrequent (once every few weeks for example). They can be used for refocusing, addressing any immediate concerns or questions, and adjusting / planning goals until the next lesson. Prices for these will be:
15 mins: £10
30 mins: £15
If you would like a longer Skype lesson then get in touch for more details, although I would only recommend these used as 'one-off' substitutes for face-to-face lessons.
- Where do you teach?
I can teach from my studio which is located in between Peckham / New Cross / Bermondsey, South East London SE15 and will travel to all surrounding areas and throughout London (including Dulwich, North Dulwich, East Dulwich, Brixton, Peckham, Peckham Rye, Lewisham, Bromley, New Cross, Greenwich) to teach in students' homes.
- When are you available?
I am flexible and may be available during the day or evening on any given day.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I am happy to teach all ages and abilities.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
I can prepare you for examinations (jazz / classical / theory - ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall) and auditions for music scholarships or entry to schools / music colleges.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I am available for Skype tuition (see above for prices and detailed information). My internet connection is very fast and reliable, and by using a condenser mic you will be able to hear my voice (and any playing I might do) clearly and in detail.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
Enjoy what you are doing! My main concerns for students when teaching are that they are enjoying themselves and feel like they are making progress. I also want to work with students to use their creativity and ability to its full potential.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have been teaching in different capacities for more than 14 years. I have experience teaching on a one-to-one and two-to-one basis (both as a peripatetic tutor in a number of schools as well as private tuition) and have been a tutor on various jazz courses including: Trinity Summer School ((concealed information) Cambridge Jazz Co-Op ((concealed information) and Dordogne International Summer School ((concealed information) where I have worked as a piano tutor and ensemble project leader.
As an active performing musician I have played with many established artists. In 2010 I toured the UK arena circuit (performing in venues including the O2, London; Liverpool Echo Arena; Birmingham NEC) with the Drifters and the Three Degrees alongside Motown greats The Temptations and The Four Tops. In 2011 I worked with Eliza Doolittle, and also began playing with UK artist Michael Kiwanuka ((concealed information) This led to a very busy 18 months, involving lots of travelling and extensive touring throughout Europe and the US / Canada. We played at most major international festivals and appeared on numerous major TV and radio broadcasts including: Glastonbury 2013 – BBC UK, Mercury Music Awards Live 2012 – Channel 4 UK, Hard Rock Calling 2011 – SKY UK (UK); Skavlan, Taratata, Harold Schmidt (Europe);Â The David Letterman Show, Craig Ferguson, Conan O'Brien (US). In November 2012 I recorded a live album in Amsterdam alongside Michael with the world-renowned Dutch â€œMetropole Orchestraâ€œ, conducted by Jules Buckley, shortly after having recorded a live studio EP for Spotify in Austin, Texas.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to play at many internationally-recognised venues including: The 02, Royal Festival Hall, Liverpool Echo Arena, Shepherd's Bush Empire, Ronnie Scott's, Glastonbury, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Tokyo Opera House and The Troubadour (LA). Other artists I have worked with include: Joss Stone, the late Abram Wilson, Denys Baptiste, London Neophonic Orchestra, Clark Tracey, Jonathon Bratoeff, Alan Barnes, NYJO and Linda Lewis.
Aside from playing and teaching I have recently become involved with collaborative production company GoodGrace ((concealed information) here we work with artists at various points along the creative process in order to help them realise their musical vision, and our role can include writing, pre/post-production work, recording or playing, with a strong emphasis on putting the artists' values first.
My approach to teaching:
I have a flexible and dynamic approach to teaching and will tailor each lesson to the student's individual needs and aims, with the emphasis being on enjoyment, creativity and measures of progress. I have multiple keyboard instruments available for teaching (see below), which provide great flexibility for teaching different styles and allow the student and I to play together if appropriate.
For piano / keyboard teaching some example topics that we could cover in lessons include:
- Instrumental technique / body awareness
- Tone Production
- Music theory (including harmony / scale awareness)
- Sight reading
- Rhythm exercises
- Listening to / transcribing from recordings
- Aural skills
- Transition from classical to other styles
- Playing with other musicians
I can also teach keyboard and synthesiser programming / sound design, and my home studio features the following resources:
- Kemble Quantum upright piano
- Fender Rhodes Mk 1 73 + various pedals / amps
- Wurlitzer 200A
- Hammond A100 organ + Leslie 145 / 122
- Nord C1 organ + leslie 2101
- Nord Stage EX
- Roland RD-300SX
- Yamaha Motif ES
- Macbook Pro / Apple Logic 9 / Mainstage 3 / Various plugins and soft synths
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
- Where and with whom did you train?
I trained at Trinity College of Music in London. I studied jazz piano with Simon Purcell, Liam Noble and Andrea Vicari; classical piano with Douglas Finch and arranging with Paul Bartholomew.
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Musician's Union (MU)
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I currently teach a wide range of pupils: the ages range between 5 and 70 and the abilites from absolute beginner to advanced music-college standard.
I have worked with an adult who had been playing stride / boogie woogie piano throughout his adult life (he was 52 at the time!) and whilst he was very fluent, he was completely self-taught so had some very deeply-seated bad habits which were hindering his progress. In his case it was his technique that needed looking at - we worked together to improve his awareness of his body and release unnecessary tension, and he began to notice improvement very quickly. I also gave him a more thorough grounding in harmony and basic jazz piano theory so that he was more aware of the harmonic information in the pieces he was playing. By doing this he was able to change the harmony and improvise more convincingly.
I have also worked with lots of disillusioned teenagers who have only ever studied classical piano and taken grades, and so believe that is all the piano can be used for! In these cases I aim to find something that they have a genuine interest in: we will listen to (and watch videos of) lots of different musicians and styles together and work out parts and arrangements that can be played on solo piano. I will also show them other keyboard styles (using Rhodes / Clavinet / Organ / Synths) and hopefully give them some motivation to practise and enjoy playing.
• BMus (Hons) Trinity College of Music
• I am DBS certified.
• MU (Musician's Union) Member
Steve has a calm, friendly approach to teaching that helped give me a solid foundation on which to progress. He has a clear way of explaining musical ideas that make them seem much easier to grasp and is an extremely talented pianist himself. Whenever I became confused when learning a piece or with improvisation he could always identify problems and explain the solutions in a clear and concise manner. Would definitely recommend.
Steve is a great teacher who always listens and comes up with new ideas to move you on all the time. He makes each lesson different, and I've learnt more in two years learning with him than the eight with other teachers. I always look forward to each lesson, and as a result I'm inspired to take my music in new directions all the time.
As parents we consider ourselves very lucky to have found Steve to further develop our sons piano skills. He has a quiet confident, enthusiastic way of teaching and is always a positive influence.
Sam thoroughly enjoys his lessons (not sure if we can really call them this as he never sees them as any kind of chore) and has been opened up to more musical input than we are sure we actually pay for!
We are happy to leave Steve to plan Sam's tuition, timing of exams and future direction.
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