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Classical Piano Teachers


If it's the classical piano repertoire that inspires you, there's no better way to engage in classical music than through taking classical piano lessons with a great classical piano teacher.

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Classical Piano Teachers


If it's the classical piano repertoire that inspires you, there's no better way to engage in classical music than through taking classical piano lessons with a great classical piano teacher.

Classical piano teachers

 

If it’s the classical piano repertoire that inspires you, there's no better place to find classical piano teachers.

 

The UK, USA, Canada, and France are all countries steeped in a rich classical piano tradition that stems back to the greatest pianists, piano composers, and piano teachers in the history of Western classical piano music.

 

In London, in particular, this history harks back to the origins of the instrument itself. Since Johann Christian Bach’s historic 1767 concert in London sparked interest in the new “pianoforte” instrument, as it was then called, some of the the most important pianists and piano teachers have been based in these cities.


Today, cities with world class conservatories, concert halls, and music festivals continue to attract the world’s premier concert pianists and piano teachers, and create a stimulating environment for taking classical piano lessons. For inspiration, all you need to do is take in one of the countless (and free) lunchtime piano recitals at churches, or head to one of the countless concert halls and performance venues.


Our classical piano teachers here at Piano Teachers Connect are the cream of the crop. They are world-class performers, award winners in performance and composition, and have degrees from some of the best conservatories and universities around the world. They are also experienced piano teachers, with backgrounds in teaching private piano lessons at schools, conservatories, and in their private piano teaching studios. Some of them receive regular invitations as guest lecturers, and for leading piano workshops and masterclasses. Their studies have encompassed thorough pedagogic training, and their teaching methods have been refined over years of teaching classical piano lessons.


In your classical piano lessons you can choose the repertoire you play from the works of your favourite composers while also benefiting from your classical piano teachers’ recommendations. Our piano teachers can prepare you for piano exams, which can provide an excellent source of motivation, or they can offer you classical piano lessons without exams, providing you the freedom of complete choice over your classical piano repertoire.


Our classical piano teachers will guide you towards playing classical piano with high technical proficiency, and more importantly, highly developed musical sensitivity, to draw the highest possible experience from the rich and beautiful classical tradition of solo piano works.

 


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Process of Learning Classical Piano


Our Piano Teachers' classical piano lessons balance will and discipline with creativity and expression – at once engaging, challenging, and fun!

Process of Learning Classical Piano


Our Piano Teachers' classical piano lessons balance will and discipline with creativity and expression – at once engaging, challenging, and fun!

The process of learning classical piano

 

The process of learning to play classical piano music is both a journey back in time, and a journey into oneself, where you will strive to discover your inner passions, dreams, fears, questions, and beliefs, and communicate them through your music.


But before you can achieve this, there is much work to be done. Learning to play classical piano begins with studying history - learning to play the piano scores penned by the great classical piano masters of the past.


This means reading each note and expression marking with extreme care. Learning to apply the written page to the piano with accuracy and precision. Like a chef or a scientist following a recipe or formula, we piece together these instructions and study them well, to achieve our first glimpse into the intentions of the composer.


Of course we don’t stop here; music, like cooking or science, is about discovery, after all!


The discovery comes when we move past the “instructions” of the score, when we open our imagination, listen to the music we’re playing, and think about what it means to us.


But... we must still play the right notes.


The challenge of learning to play classical piano lies in the balance between the scientific precision we must achieve, and the artistic expression necessary to create beautiful piano music. There are many practical things we can do to work on our technical precision. Exercises such as learning scales, arpeggios, and studies can help. As can analysing the theoretical concepts behind our piano pieces, improving the accuracy of our reading skills, and simply practising our repertoire - always with intense focus, of course.


The process of developing artistic expression is less straight-forward. We learn this through hearing our piano teachers play for us, listening to classical piano recordings, and attending classical piano concerts. Our classical piano teachers may give us advice and suggestions that will engage our imagination. We must learn to be vulnerable, to expose our inner emotions without fear.


Learning to play classical piano requires a degree of will and discipline, but creativity and expression is equally important. Our classical piano teachers will keep you constantly engaged, making sure that along with the challenges there is always fun and enjoyment. Musical expression is the ultimate goal, and you can only achieve this by maintaining a true passion and love of music-making!



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Our Approach to Classical Piano Lessons


Our Piano Teachers approaches classical piano lessons with the final goal in mind of expressing a message through your piano playing.

Our Approach to Classical Piano Lessons


Our Piano Teachers approaches classical piano lessons with the final goal in mind of expressing a message through your piano playing.

Our approach to classical piano lessons

 

Piano Teachers Connect approaches classical piano lessons with the final goal in mind: expressing a message through your piano playing.

 

While many classical piano teachers might put the focus on playing the right notes, practising scales, and passing an exam, we see all of these aspects as means to the same end.

 

Creating beautiful piano music that tells a story, creates a mood, and ultimately has an impact on you, the performer, and the listeners around you - this is our final goal.


With this in mind, we can now ask ourselves what we need to do to achieve this goal.


First and foremost, we need to have fun and enjoy the process of learning the piano, as it’s this atmosphere that will nurture our creativity.


Our piano teachers provide a relaxed and fun atmosphere, allowing your creative spirit to thrive.


The next step is learning the classical piano repertoire. Our piano teachers will guide you through the beginning stages of learning a new piece, to the final polishing touches of bringing the piece to a performance standard, and using it as a vessel for creative expression.


Along the way, our classical piano teachers will give you concrete, achievable goals to measure your progress by. They will observe your progress, making sure that you develop a well-rounded foundation on the piano, and helping you to strengthen any weaknesses or gaps in your knowledge that they may see.


Our classical piano teachers will incorporate piano technique, theory, aural training, and reading skills into your classical piano lesson with direct applications to the classical piano repertoire, revealing the specific uses and importance of each of these aspects of playing classical piano.


Our classical piano teachers will prepare you for exams, if you wish, but with an eye to the grander purpose of developing your musicianship, and creating true art on the piano.

 


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Choosing Classical Piano Teachers


Classical piano teachers have intensive training in classical piano, extensive performance careers, and refined approaches to teaching piano.

Choosing Classical Piano Teachers


Classical piano teachers have intensive training in classical piano, extensive performance careers, and refined approaches to teaching piano.

Who is the ideal classical piano teacher?

 

To bring out your inner classical pianist - that true artistic, creative spirit within - it helps to learn from a classical piano teacher who is an artist of the highest caliber.


The greatest artists in classical piano have great perspective:

  • They are informed by the whole of classical piano history.
  • They have studied with the best of today’s generation of classical pianists, and have analysed the differences and apparent contradictions in their piano teachers’ approaches.
  • They have a huge repertoire, and have a thorough knowledge of the differences in style between composers and eras in classical music.
  • They have a performing career, and are constantly in the process of creating art through their classical piano music.
  • Our classical piano teachers have completed thorough and intensive degree programs in classical piano, involving advanced training in performance, music history, theory, aural training, piano pedagogy, accompaniment, ensemble playing, and sometimes composition, orchestration, and conducting as well.
  • Our classical piano teachers have extensive performance careers as classical pianists.
  • Our classical piano teachers have their own, individual creative projects that provide their focus for their professional pursuits, and allow for their development and growth as artists.


But being an accomplished classical pianist is not enough!


  • Our classical piano teachers are all educators of the highest standard. They are informed by the past and current trends in classical piano education, and have highly developed and time-tested methods for teaching classical piano lessons. Our classical piano teachers have the training to teach classical piano lessons to students of all ages, and they have years, sometimes decades, of experience teaching classical piano lessons.



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Classical Piano Exams


Preparing for classical piano exams adds an element of structure and concrete goals to your piano lessons, and provides an excellent source of motivation.

Classical Piano Exams


Preparing for classical piano exams adds an element of structure and concrete goals to your piano lessons, and provides an excellent source of motivation.

Preparing for classical piano exams

 

Preparing for classical piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your piano lessons, and provides an excellent source of motivation.


The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, which include the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Royal Northern College of Music.

 

The ABRSM offers graded classical piano exams from Grade 1 to Grade 8, as well as advanced diplomas. These piano exams are QCA-accredited, with Grades 6-8 corresponding with Level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework, and the A-Level.


Everyone is eligible to take these exams, and our classical piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!

 

If you wish to benefit from the ABRSM exam program, the first step is to tell your classical piano teacher. Your piano teacher will assess your current level, and recommend the appropriate exam grade to begin preparing for. Beginner classical piano students often start by preparing for the Prep Test, which offers a good introduction to the exam system, and stepping stone into the Grade 1 exam.


Once your grade level has been determined, it is time to purchase your piano exam books. For the Prep Test, there is one book that covers all the material on the exam. For Grades 1 to 8 there are four parts to each piano exam, and four corresponding books available for each grade level, including Piano Exam Pieces, Scales and Arpeggios, Piano Specimen Sight-Reading Tests, and Specimen Aural Tests. These books are widely available in music stores.


The last step is to choose the date for your exam. You can book the exam yourself, on the ABRSM website, and your classical piano teacher can help you decide which exam session to enter, in order to give yourself enough time to adequately prepare.


In addition to classical piano exams, the ABRSM also offers exams in music theory and jazz piano. It’s even possible to take pop/rock piano exams, which are offered through a different exam board called Rockschool.

 


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Musicality and Expression


Our Piano Teachers teach you to play classical piano music that tells a personal story with imagination, character, and personality.

Musicality and Expression


Our Piano Teachers teach you to play classical piano music that tells a personal story with imagination, character, and personality.

Classical piano, musicality & expression

 

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata has been played countless times, by countless pianists, but none of them have ever played it the way you will.


Yes, playing classical piano takes practise and technical precision, but it also requires imagination, character and personality, a story - your story - that is begging to be told.

 

Our classical piano teachers have developed some of the best methods and techniques for helping you to unleash your inner artist. Our piano teachers will ask you to let go of your inhibitions and release your dreams, fears, sadness, joy, even your sense of humour, out into the world. You may be required to become an actor playing a role, an artist painting a landscape, a poet or a philosopher. Your music may be very personal, an expression of events in your life, struggles, achievements, thoughts, or secrets.


Once you have learned the piano score, the notes and written markings of whichever piece you are working on in your classical piano lessons - that’s when the real work begins.


Simply by holding certain thoughts in your mind - an emotion, image, or story - the way you play the piano changes. Somehow, your fingers, arms, and body do something differently, and the resulting sound is deeper, more meaningful, and more musical.


This is the magic of playing the piano. It is, perhaps, the most difficult aspect of music to teach. Many teachers might shy away from this challenge, focusing on teaching the score, working on accuracy and technique in their piano lessons, with the goal of perfecting an idea of “what Beethoven wanted”. Piano Teachers Connect doesn’t stop here. Our classical piano teachers will guide you to a deep understanding of the music you’re playing, while also coaching and encouraging you to bring your own story and personality into play. You are the pianist now, not Beethoven, and the musical expression must come within you.


The experience you take away from your classical piano lessons may be one of the most rewarding in your life. The practise of playing the piano will offer you a way of expressing yourself when words are inadequate, while also helping you look inward, perhaps to find some answers to the difficult questions in life, or to provide insight and perspective on your circumstances and your place in the world.

 


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Classical Piano Technique


Our Piano Teachers can help you develop a solid and polished classical piano technique, allowing you to freely express yourself through the piano.

Classical Piano Technique


Our Piano Teachers can help you develop a solid and polished classical piano technique, allowing you to freely express yourself through the piano.

Classical piano technique

 

Classical piano technique is your tool to express yourself through the piano. A solid and polished classical piano technique will set you free to play the music you hear internally, without restriction or hesitation.


Music is inside all of us before we play even one note on the piano.


Just as as our favourite music has the ability to affect our mood and spirit, we have the potential to express ourselves through music.


All we need is the right equipment. Not necessarily the best piano (although a good quality instrument never hurts), but the best possible posture, hand position, independence of the hands, fingers, and feet, rhythmic precision, touch control, tension control, and familiarity with the common technical demands of the classical piano repertoire, such as scales, arpeggios, chords, trills, and melodies in octaves, thirds, and sixths.


Rather than mindlessly practising technical exercises and studies to exhaustion, it is essential to see piano technique as a means to drawing the deepest meaning and expression possible out of your classical piano repertoire.


Our classical piano teachers will teach you about classical piano technique with direct applications to the pieces you are working on in your classical piano lessons. Our piano teachers will offer approaches to practising classical piano technique that will be interesting and enjoyable. After all, you will progress faster and more efficiently when you are having fun and invested in the material.


Our classical piano teachers will also teach you about the important mistakes to avoid, and help you take preventative measures against repetitive strain injuries that are very common among pianists, and are a direct result of incorrect practise and lack of proper classical piano technique.


Essential points to remember when practising classical piano technique:

  • If you feel any pain or discomfort in your hands or any part of your body while practising piano, stop immediately.


  • Make it a habit to always think about tension while you are practising piano. Try to measure your tension and rate it from 1 to 10, where a completely relaxed arm/hand (for example) dangling freely at your side rates 1, and a tightly clenched fist rates 10.


  • Trust your body and hands - they often know the most natural way to play the piano better than your brain does. Experiment with different positions to allow your hands to decide what is most comfortable, and most efficient.


  • Trust your piano teacher, and try everything they suggest. Remember that they have a highly developed perspective on piano technique, and you can always raise questions and concerns if you are still having technical problems after trying their suggestions.



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Classical Piano Repertoire


Our Piano Teachers teach students about the history of classical piano music and encourage an active role in selecting their own repertoire.

Classical Piano Repertoire


Our Piano Teachers teach students about the history of classical piano music and encourage an active role in selecting their own repertoire.

Learning the classical piano repertoire

 

Piano Teachers Connect believes that classical piano students should take an active role in selecting the repertoire they learn in their piano lessons. It’s important to develop a strong sense of the history of Western classical piano music.

 

The Baroque Era:

The history of piano repertoire in Western classical music is generally thought of as starting before the piano was actually invented, in the Baroque era (1600 - 1750). Pieces that were written in the Baroque era for harpsichord, clavichord, organ, and other keyboard instruments, are now commonly played on the piano.

You will encounter Baroque era classical piano pieces written by: Johann Sebastian Bach, François Couperin, George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, Jean Phillippe Rameau, Domenico Scarlatti, and Georg Philipp Telemann.

 

The Classical Era:

The Classical era (1750 - 1820) marks the birth of piano, and the first works specifically written for this “new” instrument. At the forefront are the sons of J. S. Bach - Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christian, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - as well as other great masters, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

 

The Romantic Era:

The Romantic era (1820 - 1910) brings the piano into the spotlight, with piano virtuosity soaring to new heights, and solo piano concerts now coming into vogue. Among the most prominent composers for piano we find Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Sergei Rachmaninov, Maurice Ravel, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann.

 

The 20th Century and the Modern Era:

The 20th century brought a new degree of inventiveness to the piano repertoire, with composers experimenting, and exploring new sounds, at times taking dissonance and tension to their extremes. The master piano composers here are Béla Bartok, Charles Ives, György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Sergei Prokofieff, Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Scriabin, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

 


Now it’s time to start listening! Discover your favourite classical piano composers, and discuss them with your classical piano teacher!

 


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Sight-Reading Classical Piano Music


Sight-reading is a practical and useful skill and our classical piano teachers have some of the best methods for teaching you to sight-read classical piano music accurately and efficiently.

Sight-Reading Classical Piano Music


Sight-reading is a practical and useful skill and our classical piano teachers have some of the best methods for teaching you to sight-read classical piano music accurately and efficiently.

Sight-reading classical piano music

 

Developing and improving your sight-reading ability on the piano can help you learn new piano music faster, and can provide opportunities for collaborating with other classical musicians and vocalists.


Sight-reading is a practical and useful skill for any musician to have, and our classical piano teachers have some of the best methods for teaching you to sight-read classical piano music accurately and efficiently.


Some of the benefits of learning to sight-read classical piano music:

  • Before you can learn any new piece of music, you must read the score. A good sight-reading ability can help you learn pieces faster.


  • Activities such as accompanying choirs or vocalists and playing for church services require excellent sight-reading skills.


  • A good sight-reading ability allows you to develop a large repertoire of easy pieces in a short period of time. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to quickly prepare a concert of holiday music for Christmas, or a selection of a loved one’s favourite songs for their birthday?


Piano students often get frustrated with sight-reading piano music, thinking that they are somehow inherently unable to do it well. In fact, anyone can learn to sight-read well, when guided through an efficient method by an excellent classical piano teacher.


Sight-reading classical piano music is much more of a science than an art. It requires the careful and precise matching of visual symbols to hand movements.


There are really only three ways we can affect the sound of the piano:

  • Pitch: There are different keys we can press, resulting in different pitches, from low to high.


  • Timing: We can press these keys together or separately, fast in succession or slowly, and at any speed in between.


  • Volume: We can play these keys softly or loudly, and with any volume in between.


Sight-reading requires us to identify the pitch indicated and its corresponding key on the piano, the correct time to press this key, and the correct volume for sounding this key. That’s it!


We need only take the time to read the set of instructions that the piano score offers us, and take the time for our brain to process this information and determine which finger should go where, at what time, and with what velocity, to play any piece perfectly on the first read. It requires focus, patience, and practise, and with a little work, our classical piano teachers can get you there!



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Aural Training in Your Classical Piano Lessons


Music is sound, and the importance of listening and developing your ears cannot be overstated. Our Piano Teachers offer aural training in classical piano lessons.

Aural Training in Your Classical Piano Lessons


Music is sound, and the importance of listening and developing your ears cannot be overstated. Our Piano Teachers offer aural training in classical piano lessons.

Aural training in your piano lessons

 

Music is sound, and the importance of listening and developing your ears cannot be overstated.


Music is also a language, and just as children learn to speak from hearing those around them, aural training in your piano lessons is just as important as learning to read music.


Aural training consists of everything related to listening, from the very general practise of listening to music on a regular basis, to the very precise ability to identify individual elements - notes, intervals, chords, rhythms - in the music you are hearing.


The better trained our ears are, the better we will be able to listen to our own music as we play the piano. When we can stop thinking about the score, the notes, the piano keys, and focus only on the sounds we want to create, we can develop a more direct relationship between our inner musical voice and our instrument, the piano. It’s at this point that we can achieve the highest possible degree of musicianship.


Here are some elements of aural training that your classical piano teacher may introduce to you.

  • General musical knowledge: How extensive is your collection of classical music? If you hear a classical piece at random, can you tell what era the piece was composed in? Can you tell who the composer is? Can you describe the texture, structure, character, style, and emotional quality of the piece?


  • Intervals and melodic training: Have your piano teacher or a friend play middle C, and then another key on the piano. Can you find the second note by ear, on your first try? Listen to the first few seconds of any music recording in your collection. Can you find the notes of the main, singable melody on the piano?


  • Keys, chords, and cadences: While listening to your classical music recordings, try to tell whether the overall key is minor (sad sounding) or major (happy sounding). Now try identifying the changes in chords - it helps to listen to the lowest instruments or the left hand of the piano. Listen to the ends of each section; the final chords of a section are called the cadence. Ask yourself whether the cadences sound final, or are left unresolved.


  • Identifying different instruments and parts: Listen to some classical orchestral or chamber music. Can you isolate the different instruments in your ear? Can you sing along with the violins? The basses? The flutes? The clarinets? Now listen to some classical piano music. Can you isolate the left and right hands in your ear? How many notes are being played in each hand? Imagine the piano was an ensemble of different instruments - can you hear the different instrumental parts suggested on the piano? The melody? The bass? The middle voices? Can you sing along with each of them?



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Classical Piano Theory


A knowledge of classical piano theory allows you to think like a composer, with a more intimate understanding of your classical piano pieces.

Classical Piano Theory


A knowledge of classical piano theory allows you to think like a composer, with a more intimate understanding of your classical piano pieces.

Music theory in your piano lessons

 

A knowledge of classical piano theory allows you to think like a composer, with a more intimate understanding of your classical piano pieces.


Perhaps music theory doesn’t have the most exciting connotation. We’re musicians, after all, not academics. Classical piano theory takes a different light, though, when you begin to see the patterns and underlying elements that lie behind the emotional response we, as humans, have to music.


We already know the vocabulary of the musical language - our ears have learned it well through a lifetime of listening.


Through exploring classical piano theory we can learn why some sounds in music make us sad, and why others fill us with joy. We can learn how composers play with our expectations, creating tension and release. Our classical piano teachers can also teach you how to use this knowledge to your advantage in your interpretations of classical piano music.


Here are some of the theoretical concepts that you may learn about in your classical piano lessons:


  • Major and minor keys and scales: These are the starting point for a composer. A major or minor key and its corresponding scale represents everything that our ears expect to hear in music. A thorough knowledge of all 12 keys allows you to identify when and how a classical piano piece is challenging the listener by deviating from the basic tonality.


  • Time signatures and rhythms: In music there is almost always a basic pulse, a heartbeat. Classical piano composers begin by establishing a pulse, and then surprise us with syncopations and rhythmic changes. Think of rowing steadily down a stream, then suddenly tumbling down a waterfall.


  • Chords and harmony: When we play two or more notes on the piano simultaneously, we call this playing a chord, or more generally, the harmony. Through our previous experience listening to music our ears have come to know some sounds as pretty and calming, and others as tense as nails on a chalkboard. The important fact is that there are no “good” and “bad” sounds - every possible chord is a composer’s tool for creating tension (or dissonance) and release (or consonance). Typically, the greater the tension is, the more satisfying is the feeling of release that follows it.


  • Form and the overall picture: Over the course of classical piano history, piano composers have established common compositional forms that repeat over time. These are commonly described using letters: an ABA form is one that starts and ends with similar material, with a contrasting section in the middle. Familiarity with the large sections of the classical piano pieces you’re learning to play allows you to better interpret the overall story of the piece - like directing a 3-act play, with a beginning, middle, and end.



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