Teaching

Online piano teacher in the Scenic Rim, Queensland, Australia

Illustration: with my first piano student in Australia, 2013. By my cousin Mary Funk


When I teach someone, I want them to discover the happiness of actually making music themselves in a way that will stay with them for life. Playing an instrument should be simply part of life, one of the nice things we do for ourselves, just like gardening or reading.

Teaching you could mean weekly piano lessons, where you learn to play with good technique and read music well. Your goal might be to dive deeply to play complex music and maybe take exams. Or to become good enough to play your favourite pop songs, or play with other people in a band or a church group.

Most of my teaching is weekly lessons with school-aged children in the evening, mainly on FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. I’m a friendly teacher, especially with young kids! But I am passionate about good early fundamentals. So it’s not a walk in the park. You’ve got to show me some effort — then my heart is yours.

Ad-Hoc Sessions for Adults

Not everyone can commit to weekly lessons. Have a lesson with me, then only book another when you are ready for it. Maybe you learned piano as a child and would like to pick it up again? Or you are a muso who plays by ear but would like to learn about notation?

Everyone is unique and we would need to have a session together for me to understand what you want to learn. If you play something other than a piano but want to learn to read, I would like to help you. It’s really interesting for me to meet people who handle music in different ways from me! Please contact me if this appeals to you.


Here are some teaching-related posts.

My Piano Story

When I was six, I started formal piano lessons in London, England. A year later, we moved to Hampshire, and I stopped for about three years.

When we had a permanent home, my mother bought an upright piano, and I started lessons again.

On Saturday mornings, I took a bus to Purbrook where my piano teacher Mrs Hickman lived on a street of neat, terraced houses. 

Mrs Hickman was a short, round woman with kind eyes and cheeks like blush apples. She had small hands and arthritic fingers that patted mine often, and when she walked — slowly — her hip pivoted, and she lurched a little.

I was so keen and always arrived at least one hour before my lesson.

The Hickmans’ iron gate squeaked and Mr Hickman — retired Captain, tall, fit, with equally kind, actually bemused eyes — always opened the front door before I got to it. He would seat me in the dining area so I could listen to other students while doing my Theory.

“Now, would you like some Marmite on toast and a cup of tea?” 

Heaven.

Mrs Hickman entered me for Trinity College of Music examinations in Pianoforte. My first one was Grade III, and in those days, you couldn’t be more than two grades behind in Theory exams, so I started sitting those too.

I performed every year at the Guildhall, Portsmouth because I always scored the highest mark in my grade for the area. That makes me the OG of annoying Asian piano kids 👊. Prizes in those days were WH Smith book vouchers. I think they started at around 50 pence and went up with each grade. It was the 1970s, after all.

Illustration by my cousin Mary Funk

My mum did not attend events and my dad lived in London, so I always played for Mr and Mrs Hickman. They were my piano world. 

I completed Grade VIII when I was sixteen then moved to New York City the following year. That childhood time with my piano had come and gone. University, career, motherhood all staked their claims in my life and I did not fully return to my first love until my mid-forties when I took a piano gig in a hotel. Since then, I have immersed myself in music and have no plans ever to change.

Music was my best friend in a lonely childhood. Not surprisingly, I am living my very best life now because music is still with me.


Contact Me

If you would like to talk about lessons, please message me and we can work out something that suits you.