APPC: My Perspective

Courtney March-Peach is currently completing year 12 in Queensland and aspires to teach piano professionally. Her teacher is Cynthia Delany and her favourite genre is classical music. In her spare time she likes to compose!

Hello! My name is Courtney March-Peach, I live in Northern Queensland and I am currently in Year 12 . When I leave school, I want to build a piano teaching business. I see a big part of this as building a tool kit to become an excellent piano teacher. I live in a small, rural town so whenever the opportunity arises to go to big cities and learn about the art of teaching piano, I jump at the chance.

In 2017 (I was in Year 10), I attended my first ever Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference (APPC) in Adelaide with my teacher Cynthia Delany. This was my first time travelling outside of Queensland, and my first time travelling without my family. It was an amazing event and I learned so much. One of the highlights of that trip was playing for composer Sonny Chua – what an experience! Also, after I played, I remember one of the local teachers came up to see me. We spoke for a while about the highlights of my performance and though I hadn’t met her before, I remember thinking she was one of the kindest, most caring teachers I’d ever met. I made the decision that this was the type of piano teacher I wanted to be. There are so many inspirational piano teachers to learn from and be guided by, and APPC is a great place to meet them. This experience at APPC 2017 really helped set me on my course to becoming a piano teacher.

When I heard that there was going to be another APPC in 2019 and that it was in my home state, I was certain that I wanted to go! In the July school holidays, I jumped on a plane and 1.5 hours later I was in Brisbane. Throughout the conference, I attended so many workshops and lectures; the concerts were amazing too. Being able to spend time with other teachers, talking about their experience and asking lots of questions, was invaluable.

One of the highlights of my trip was being asked to write this article sharing my experiences for The Piano Teacher magazine (I honestly could have screamed when I was asked), with the hope that it would encourage other aspiring teachers to attend the next conference! I also LOVED the “Breakfast Club” (a delicious start to the day) with the Hal Leonard Solutions Stream and the keynote speakers Phillip Keveren, Angela Turner, Paul Myatt, Carly McDonald, Thembi Harris, and Samantha Coates. What I enjoyed most about these presenters was that they were all so approachable and easy to talk to! I felt like I could ask them anything. Each of them took time to answer my questions. Where else could I gain such valuable experience? Another element to the conference that was very helpful was having access to look at lots of resources and repertoire. Now I know lots more repertoire and have started building my own library for teaching!

I thoroughly enjoyed going to APPC 2019, and would love to be able to attend the next one in 2021 in Perth! Thank you so much to all of the teachers I spoke with, and the presenters who taught me so much.

COURTNEY MARCH-PEACH is currently completing year 12 in Queensland and aspires to teach piano professionally. Her teacher is Cynthia Delany and her favourite genre is classical music. In her spare time she likes to compose!

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