When did you first start playing piano and why?
I first started playing piano when I was 13 years old. I was always into music and really wanted to learn an instrument. Starting off with ukulele and accordion, I moved to keyboard once I found out how many different sounds it had! I think it let me be more creative than the other instruments I tried which I love.
Who are your main influences musically and have they influenced how you play?
I gained a musical ear from being brought up with traditional music then what eventually pushed me forward in playing piano was blues music. This influenced me as I add a lot of ghost notes in my playing and I love adding some swing but mainly I try to keep things catchy.
What are some of your favourite teaching techniques?
My teaching style includes a lot of creative aspects to really drive the passion of my students as I think it’s one of the most important aspects of learning music. I also like to make sure my students understand what they are playing and I put a focus on learning mindsets when practicing and playing.
What do you usually cover in your lessons?
I carefully plan each lesson for each student to make sure they are learning what they want. So, depending on the student, I may cover sheet music, theory, chords, improvising, song writing, recording or whatever else the student wants to learn.
What advice would you offer to beginner pianists?
My advice for those new to piano is to mess around on the keys as much as you can. It doesn’t matter how you sound. First you have to grow a passion for piano and this gets you, finding sounds you like, making you more comfortable with the keys, training your ear, finding patterns and so much more you wouldn’t realise.
How have you found your experience of teaching at the Riverside Academy?
All the tutors at Riverside Academy are great people and musicians in the industry, all with their own teaching styles so you are bound to get a teacher you like. On top of that, the facilities and equipment Riverside has makes it a brilliant place to learn.