5 Minutes with …Australian Piano Teachers

 

Christina Bond from QLD
Christina Bond from QLD

Christina Bond – QLD

I love to play … music from the Romantic period and Jazz. I also love Hungarian and Spanish music too (so much passion)

My ideal number of students…. enough that allows me to earn an income, but not so many that I can’t give them individual attention and cater to their specific needs.  Around 40 students.

I’d love to learn more about …. history of music and piano.  My students are always asking those curly “why” questions and I like to explain things from an evolutionary standpoint.

To unwind from a long day of piano teaching I…. surf the internet, looking for new teaching ideas.

 

Angela Turner from QLD
Angela Turner from QLD

Angela Turner – QLD

I’ve always wanted to teach… actors in movies and TV shows who pretend to play the piano… many of them look far too awkward!

My favourite time of the teaching year…After mid-year break.  Discovering how much the students have worked and learned themselves, or what new pieces they have started.  Or hearing about their holidays!

Earliest/latest lesson you’ve ever given? The latest piano lesson finished at 1am!  My student was recording a CD in a recording studio at the time.  In a normal teaching week, there are two long days where I routinely finish at 10pm.

Best concert I’ve been to this year…. Yvgeny Kissin’s recital at the Brisbane Festival.  One of the most memorable concert experiences of my life.

http://www.angelaturner.net/

 

Tim Topham from VIC
Tim Topham from VIC

Tim Topham – VIC

I find inspiration for my teaching… from my teacher, Caroline Almonte! Every time I go for a lesson I feel inspired – by watching her play and how she teaches – and it all rubs off on my students. I’m also a voracious reader of biographies (eg. Chopin, Liszt, Barenboim), blogs from other teachers and books about teaching and talent development (Talent is Overrated, The Talent Code, etc.).

Best concert I’ve been to this year…. I love dance music so I’ve been to quite a few dance parties but as far as recitals go, Jovanni-Rey De Pedro’s performances in Wagga in July were absolute stand-outs. James Rhodes at the recital centre recently was also great fun – I don’t think I’m too likely to hear the f-bomb dropped so casually by a concert pianist on stage ever again!!

http://timtopham.com/

 

 

knolllKathryn Knoll – WA

I find inspiration for my teaching… from other teachers.  I have learnt so much from meeting and talking with other teachers, and am grateful that we have a great network of them in my area.  One of the best things for my teaching has been to start playing and having lessons again.  It helps me remember what it’s like as a music student, and puts me more in touch with my own students.

Best concert I’ve been to this year…. I received a phone call at 10am on a Sunday morning, asking me to play the Timpani for a 2pm concert of Handel’s ‘Messiah’.  I hadn’t played that work before, but it was a real buzz!  Playing Timpani for the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ was extremely exhilarating.

 

 

 

Thembi Shears from QLD
Thembi Shears from QLD

Thembi Shears – QLD

I love to play … Chopin! And Tchaikovsky! I’m such a Romantic girl.

Best thing about teaching the piano in the 21st century? The ability to say ‘Listen to as many different recordings as you can, search iTunes and YouTube’, and recording pieces / difficult rhythms for students on their iPhones!

My favourite time of the teaching year… I love the end of the year period when AMEB exams are over, and we wind down with duets and carols. Although I just had a ‘Halloween’ themed studio concert (complete with over-the-top decorations and costumes) which was so much fun.

I’d love to learn more about …. One day I would LOVE to study jazz piano.

http://thembishears.com.au/

 

Adrea-Harrison

Andrea Harrison – NSW

My favourite time of the teaching year… just before exams when everyone can play their pieces & actually perform AND my “Extravagandrea” – twice yearly student  concert/parties!

Earliest/latest lesson you’ve ever given? 7am is earliest…but many uni students lessons/discussions can go on towards midnight or later!

I’d love to learn more about ….everything, especially the universe, thanks to Professor Brian Cox

I find inspiration for my teaching… in everything! Every experience affects how you teach. But seeing & hearing – or playing –  music live probably has the biggest effect. Certainly going to teacher workshops makes a huge impression – sharing ideas & strategies, hearing new ways of doing things & new pieces of music. The Norton/Milne workshop in July was awesome!

 

Kyle HallP1030137_cropped

Kylie Hall – SA

I love to play … Wonderful ballads than can take you on a musical journey full of interpretation and style.  Disney music and musicals are also a favourite – usually very melodic and some with a fun “novelty” style.  Gershwin is also a favourite composer.

My ideal number of students…. Teaching is not a chore for me, although my career is teaching and running a music school (with a nearly 400 students).The number of students  I currently teach is approximately 40.

I find inspiration for my teaching… Many of my teachers provide me with new, youthful and inspiring ideas, bringing their joy and love of music and teaching to students.

http://hallmarkmusicstudio.weebly.com/piano–keyboard.html

 

Meg Sullivan636323

Megan Sullivan – VIC

I’ve always wanted to teach… well into old age as my tutor did.

Best thing about teaching the piano in the 21st century? I meet fabulous young people (and I won’t hear any criticism of the current generation), ipods, digital recording devices.

To unwind from a long day of piano teaching I….have a glass of red but only on 5 days – mandatory 2 AFDs per week.

I love to play … accompaniments, and make music with other people.

My favourite time of the teaching year…Local eisteddfod time when I can sit for 3 days relaxing and enjoying the performances.

I’d love to learn more about ….teaching tips from other teachers, how to organise technical work soirées, how to organise Practice-a-thons.

 

Brenda Hunting from QLD
Brenda Hunting from QLD

Brenda Hunting – QLD

I find inspiration for my teaching… anywhere I can. I’ve found lots of great teaching tips on Facebook recently! I enjoy our MTAQ teacher network meetings, where teachers can get together and pool their ideas.

Best thing about teaching the piano in the 21st century? Having access to the internet – looking up great performances on YouTube, finding recordings of unusual repertoire, uploading videos of my own students’ performances, accessing amazing student resources that I would never have enough time to prepare myself, having some Skype lessons with Edna Golandsky in New York (and musing about the possibilities of my teaching via Skype next year when one of my students will be moving too far away to travel) … the list goes on.

https://brendahunting.musicteachershelper.com/

 

Josie Thomas from VIC

Josie Thomas – VIC

Best thing about teaching the piano in the 21st century?

  1. The massive interaction possible with technology such as the exposure through You Tube, Social Media. Observing many musical interpretations, research, access to fun musical games linked to many of the orchestras. The Australian Piano Teachers Hub, has many excellent links to relevant music education matters!
  2. Using music software to create!
  3. Perhaps best of all, the many excellent methods and information available, online and off line, enabling us to reach out to students. Learning music has become so varied and many fun ideas help to make it more relevant. This equals lifelong enjoyment and connection with people in a meaningful way. Whether or not students become professionals is irrelevant.

 

 

Angela fox from SA
Angela fox from SA

Angela Fox – SA

My favourite time of the teaching year…Term 4 and Christmas time is great to re- enthuse students with Christmas carols etc. I love the look on beginning students’ faces when they play ‘jingle bells’ and can actually hear what they are playing and can sing along!  By the 10th student it’s time for another carol!!! It’s also fun for the students who have done their exams. Fresh, fun repertoire to look forward to.

Best concert I’ve been to this year…. Wicked! – for the second time. Once in Melbourne, once in Adelaide. Love the musicals!

To unwind from a long day of piano teaching I….read a good book, watch mindless TV and search the internet for more music!!

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