TEACHING & COACHING
Phil believes that you are as musically talented as you are fascinated and excited by music and that his job as a piano teacher and singing teacher is to help you learn and practise effectively at your own pace, without pressure, removing any blocks that you may encounter along the way. To do this, Phil will provide you with the following 7 things:
- A carefully designed method or learning model with clear goals for you to follow
- A lucid explanatory teaching style with plenty of practical demonstration
- Beautifully designed learning materials
- Powerful coaching and encouragement to help you practise effectively
- Honest assessment and feedback at every step
- Patient and compassionate guidance based on dialogue and the ability to listen to the student’s needs
- The recognition of the collaborative nature of teaching and learning
Phil teaches at home in his small, very well-equipped recording studio, which has stunning sound, two excellent digital pianos and a very powerful silent Digital Audio Workstation running Cubase, Pianoteq and Finale and a host of other music software. He currently teaches adults only, as his musical fluency course materials have not been designed for children. This may change in the future and he is always willing to discuss the possibility of teaching younger pupils in exceptional cases.
His fees are £50 for an hour’s session.
Phil has worked as a piano teacher for over 25 years. Having successfully taught in a conventional way in the past, he now teaches piano using his own highly effective and innovative approach, where genuine musical fluency is fostered from the outset. Fluent musicians have the ability to play the music they can hear in their imagination, instantly, without working out. Rather like learning a language, students build a kind of musical “vocabulary” of rhythmic and tonal elements. This enables you to express yourself effortlessly and naturally, rather like speaking in your native language. This means that you develop the skills necessary to play by ear, improvise and when you look at a score to hear it instantly in your imagination.
Radical and effective training
Musical fluency training gives students a very significant edge as musicians, whatever style of music they choose to play, classical, jazz or pop etc. Whilst improvisation, fluent sight-reading and the ability to play by ear are obviously extremely useful skills generated by fluent musicianship training, another extremely important quality also emerges: people discover their own personal style or musical voice.
This is because fluent musicians have the ability to let go and play with a direct, authentic and free expressiveness that comes from within. So in Phil’s piano training method, the unique personality of the student must always be present from the outset. This ensures that your piano playing never sounds flat, stiff or mechanical which is a common problem for so many piano students. From the very first lesson, there is an effortless ease and flow to the way that students play using Phil’s method that sounds like a professional musician. As you develop, this natural ease works to generate powerful yet relaxed technique that makes you fully capable of playing fast and loud passages without fatigue as well as fostering control and precision necessary for delicate pianissimo music.
Phil has developed a radical new system of keyboard musicianship training that lays solid foundations for studying any kind of music. It follows a clear scheme of work and he provides all the materials that you will need. Once you have completed Phil’s core training, you may go on to take grade examinations in either classical or jazz piano. With fluent skills in place, students can learn to play pieces and scales after very short preparation times. Learning music quickly is another important useful effect of being musically fluent. Being musically fluent, you can also expect to find aural tests and sight-reading tests very easy indeed. All this ensures the achievement of very high marks.
In conventional piano training methods, the skills that most students acquire to pass examinations, decay rapidly without a substantial amount of consistent practice. This is because of the unconscious way they play; playing by rote is rather shallow and automatic. As a result, learning new music becomes increasingly difficult and their confidence suffers more and more over time. Even passing grade 8 does not guarantee lifelong skills. Fluent piano skills, on the other hand, are fully conscious and clear and do not decay very much at all, even over a very long time. Playing the piano fluently is like riding a bicycle: you never forget how to do it!
Discover a way of practising that sets your playing free
Students who may have completed their more conventional studies, perhaps having graduated from Music College, often seek to open up their musical horizons and discover themselves as artists. Phil offers powerful support and guidance with this process, specialising in freeing up their technique and fostering real musicianship to help them access their true, natural inner musician.