Music makes life make sense
Pianist, singer, composer, piano teacher and singing teacher in
London SW6, Fulham / Hammersmith
As a performing and recording artist, my music is influenced by classical, jazz and popular styles. Since early childhood, I have always been a passionate and dedicated musician – I love to entertain and inspire with music that is vivid and authentic. I currently have 2 projects: as Phil Best, I play classical-based piano music, including my own improvisations and compositions and as PJ Best I perform and record jazz/soul/pop songs and piano pieces.
As a piano teacher and singing teacher, I make genuine fluency in the language of music my priority. Before preparing students for conventional exams, I first provide them with carefully designed materials to guide them through my own innovative foundation course: to find out more visit PlayPianoFluently – SingFluently will be available soon. Once students have completed the course, they have powerful musical skills for lifelong musical exploration and development.
I put fluent expression at the heart of my work both as an artist and as a teacher
Fluency in the language of music forms the foundation of my music. I work constantly on my craft of expressing myself with honesty, clarity and truth. Whilst I enjoy demonstrating virtuoso technique and musical ideas that are cool and clever, my motivation for making music is not merely to showcase skill or originality but to find deep meanings, natural beauty and a particular soulful essence.
A fluent grasp of the language of music is my focus both as a practising musician and as a teacher. I encourage both piano and vocal students to gain a clear understanding of the structure of rhythm and tonality and to express themselves authentically using it. This way they can find their true voice, their unique, natural sense of rhythmic flow and unlock their inner musician to discover genuine musical confidence, physical or technical freedom and powerful self-expression.
Meditative not cognitive!
Music when approached in this way, is a kind of meditation. I find that music brings me tremendous solace and catharsis and I always perform and create from a deep inner place. My hope is to provide this healing and empowering experience of music for my audience and students. So I place great emphasis on creating music with spontaneity and honesty and avoid working in a way that is contrived, self-conscious or worked out. So it probably comes as no surprise that improvisation is the core of my practice and also my teaching.
My role as a 1-2-1 teacher is almost like a therapist. Unlocking our true voice and inner sense of rhythm takes real courage. It is quite common to have had a negative relationship with learning music as a child, where rigid conventional approaches can rob people of their natural expressive sense. This can even be traumatic, leading to physical and psychological blockages that stop us from making music with ease and flow. I work with students compassionately helping them face and overcome their musical inhibitions.
My musical journey so far and the continuing path forwards
I was lucky to have had some great teachers – Ella Pounder and Denis Matthews – who guided me along my own path of musical discovery, as I learned to express my truth using the language of music with real joy and passion. But I was also exposed to the highly competitive and narrow practices of conventional classical training and it was traumatic to be subjected to the relentless pressure to succeed – to pass every examination with high marks and to win every competition. So, now, both as an artist and a teacher, I am a peaceful rebel against this system.
My job is simply to spread the truth of music as a force for good. I work against the misuse of music as a signifier of personal status or ego and instead promote it as a powerful source of love, connection and healing.
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