Information About Simon - Ilkley teacher - (2 reviews)
This is how 2 referees rated Simon:
I am a fifty-three year old professional musician and teacher. As a performer, I direct a group which has been shortlisted for a Gramophone Award, broadcasts on the BBC, and gives concerts in this country and Europe. So as a musician, I recognise that first and foremost what we do is about giving pleasure - to ourselves and through ourselves to other people. Apart from teaching and performing, I also direct workshops and write about music for a number of publications. Aside from music I'm a outdoor person - I completed the Scottish Munros 10 years ago, and my wife and I (and small dog) are more than half way through a second round. I also run marathons. Idle time is spent cooking and watching rugby (a passion I picked up when I lived in New Zealand for five years after university).
I began teaching piano straight after university (where I majored in performance). In New Zealand I taught privately, in schools, and for the Wellington School of Music. When I returned to live in the UK in 1990 I have taught privately in Worcester, and at the Elgar School of Music. I moved to Ilkley in 1999, and since then have taught privately from home (on a gorgeous Steinway grand). I teach children from beginner to grade 8 and beyond: I also teach adults at diploma and performance levels. I feel I should say that my pupils often win prizes at local competitions and get high marks in exams… but I'm far more interested in whether pupils are fulfilling their own talents - at whatever level that is.
The first thing I should say is that I love teaching. This is significant, because if I don't enjoy teaching someone, then chances are they're not enjoying it either, and then we've got a problem! One thing I'm proud of in this respect is that pupils I've taught as children often remain friends when they become adults. And adult pupils often become friends.
On a practical level, from the very earliest stages I teach pupils how to teach themselves: I don't just give them off-pat answers. I want them to realise that teasing out the music from the notes written on the page is a fantastic challenge. As a performer I'm a classical musician, but I enjoy teaching jazz - particularly how to improvise around notes written on a page. I also happily teach musical theory - both informally as part of piano lessons, and formally when pupils need to pass ABRSM exams or need help for school work. With children, at a young age I do stress that the greater the involvement of parents in practice, the greater the success of the pupil will be.
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- University of Wales (1984) - B Mus (2:1) (College) (✘ Not On File)
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Robbie, who is eight years old, has improved dramatically in the space of seven weeks, despite half-term and missing another lesson because of illness. He is reading and playing music from the score ( he couldn't read it when he started ) and seems to make great strides with each lesson. Above all, he is very motivated ( he's not that easy to motivate!). Simon's method is challenging and encouraging at the same time. We're both delighted.