Updated: Jan 30, 2019
A few words about Hampstead Piano Lessons
I could not start this blog without thanking you, students and parents.
Teaching and playing the piano are among the most important things in my life, so without you, a significant part of me would be missing. Thank you all and welcome to this blog.
Why a blog?
In my piano studio, I strive to give my students the best music education. Starting a blog allows me to talk to you even more about music and piano playing. Therefore, I will use these posts to share resources, advice, and information that could be helpful in your day-to-day practice and music study.
Hampstead Piano Lessons
Hampstead Piano Lessons is the studio where I teach the piano and music theory. The piano is a Yamaha baby grand and is a great instrument for all student levels. It is good for beginners because they can experience and learn how to approach the unique features of a grand piano since the very first lesson. It is also excellent for intermediate and advanced students because they can exploit the wider sonority range and improve their musical expression and technique thanks to the peculiar mechanisms and sound of the grand pianos.
The Teacher and the Method
I do my best to make my students feel comfortable during their lessons, and I support them constantly. I believe that teaching means to give people the resources to appreciate and understand something new. Music is a language, so I let my students experiment with it as much as possible by adopting creative methods. This way, they learn how to use this language to express themselves and to understand music when they listen to it.
To become a qualified teacher, I learned how to deal with children, adults, and people with disabilities during my TFA. I found this course of study extremely helpful, not just because it gave me a preparation to my teaching life, but also because it taught me the most basic and important principle: pedagogy is a field in constant development. The way educators used to teach in the past is now obsolete and research show that today's methods are much more effective and inclusive than the old ones. Of course, there are also old teaching principles that are still powerful, but a lot has changed since when teaching was just transmission of knowledge! As a teacher, I keep myself up-to-date on the current teaching methods and I mix old and new techniques (Kodaly, Orff, Gordon etc.) on the basis of what could be more effective with every single pupil. I also use many piano books, flashcards, apps and more to bring as much variety as possible into the lessons.
Naturally, I have my own views on piano technique, which I developed thanks to the wonderful pianists I had the privilege to work with when I was a student. These involve a piano approach that gives the player complete physical control, warm sound and wider possibilities in musical expression. You can find further information about my studies and career here.
Students and their Lessons
I teach students of all levels and ages. Naturally, the lessons are structured in different ways according to every stage.
With preschoolers (3-5) I recommend 30-minutes long sessions. I prepare many gamified activities for every lesson and work on many aspects of music. Every lesson involves listening, singing, rhythmic patterns, exploration at the piano and pieces from the rote learning repertoire. Children get gradually acquainted with symbols and elements of music that will be naturally assimilated.
With older children (6-10) I recommend hour-long lessons, as they can focus for longer sessions. Having more time, they can enjoy the activities mentioned for preschoolers with the addition of sight-reading and a little focus on the technique. The games are a bit more challenging and a little more work during the week is required.
With teenagers, I recommend hour-long lessons. At this age, the decision to start learning an instrument is more likely to be connected to their personal taste and experience. Maybe a friend is learning an instrument too, or they are now developing a particular interest in music. For these reasons, I always start their musical path with something they really like. It could be a specific piece of music or a particular aspect of piano playing. They like to be independent and enjoy accomplishing goals quickly, so it's important for them to realise that they can build up something they like on their own. Graded exams could be a great experience to grow confidence and satisfaction.
With adults, hourly sessions are generally more effective. In my experience, the majority of them decide to start learning at this stage of life because they took a few lessons when they were younger and now they regret having quit. In other cases, they always wanted to learn, but they didn't have the chance. Anyway, they all can't wait to start learning! I generally teach them pieces, technique, and theory with more emphasis on music history and music theory, as they are usually more curious about these subjects than other students. Many of my adult students took successfully graded exams, and I think they are a great example of determination.
The Studio Philosophy
My goal as a teacher is to spread my passion for music as much as I can. In my studio, I do my best to maintain my students engaged and curious about music even when things become tough. I believe that everybody can learn how to play the piano and enjoy their musical journey at any age and level. My role is to make this process smooth and clear until the student becomes independent.
Learning is an infinite process, the beginning of which is lighted up by a good teacher.
I hope this post was useful to give you a better idea of me and my studio, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to talk about my studio with you!