Not your typical Musician's Biography
Everyone has their ups and downs in life. Music, for me, is a permanent 'up', and I was lucky enough to discover this at the young age of five. We lived in rural Northumberland, UK, and thankfully, begging for piano lessons (like any good 5 year old) led my father to convince my school's wonderful music teacher, Susie Cochrane, to give me private lessons. (If only begging for other things had worked this well, I might have been allowed a puppy!)
And so my formal music journey began. I joined in with my school's ceildh band and choir, played piano whenever and wherever I could, and took ABRSM exams, all the time being encouraged by my lovely piano teacher. Even through some of the biggest struggles I've had to deal with, Miss Susie was a steady, positive, weekly influence on my playing, and she has almost certainly helped to shape who I am today.
In a nutshell, that is why, whenever I looked into the future, I saw myself as a piano teacher. Even from as young as 12 or 13, I wanted to be able to give people what she gave me, and when I see one of my students enjoying themselves at the piano I know I've achieved what I set out to do.
I had various different teachers after we moved away from Northumberland, all of whom had vastly different approaches to their teaching. I quickly discovered my favourite way of playing, of being taught, and of learning. I spent an inspirational week at the North London Music School's International Summer Course in 2008, attended piano masterclasses at prestigious schools such as Dartington's Summer Course and the Royal Academy of Music, and regularly went to concerts given by pianists of every calibre. And, my goodness, what an experience it is to fully immerse yourself in one boundless subject such as music. It has opened my mind wider than I ever thought possible.
All of my experiences have helped me to become the best piano teacher I can be - but saying that, I am of course, as we all are, constantly evolving. As I read about new approaches to technique, hear an exciting new pianist, or teach a new child, dots are drawn together and I become a little better at what I do. As of 2014 I have taught piano for 6 years, and I am loving it more than ever.