“Listen deeply” Is my credo in making and teaching music. This maxim speaks not only about the obvious - listening to music - but of how I apply myself as a teacher in hearing and seeing the unique persona of each student.
My approach to teaching takes on a boutique style as I create individualized pathways tailored to meet the musical desires and abilities of each student. Simultaneously imparting knowledge and training with a solid base of skills, I seek to imbue them with a life-long love of music and the confidence to explore it creatively.
For those who wish to enter for exams, I offer the AMEB and ANZCA syllabuses (I am a qualified ANZCA examiner). I very much enjoy working with HSC students and those who are interested in alternative performance scenarios, improvisation, analysis and/or composition. My methods with young children and beginners are drawn from various sources (including adaptations of the Kodaly system blended with song writing and improvising), to build solid musicianship and facilitate ease and fluency.
Many of my students are now professional musicians and teachers and I’m proud of their achievements, but my satisfaction is equaled by the great number of former students who continue to play for pleasure in their adult years, sustained by a love of making music. Whether you are an adult or a child student, my objectives are to awaken your creativity, improve your sound, explore your spontaneity and deepen your artistry through making music.
My teaching practices are based from my home studio in the Blue Mountains, and at the Penrith Conservatorium of Music. I’ve been on the teaching staff there since its opening in 1991.
When someone is interested in enrolling for lessons with me, I have a Teaching Agreement which outlines what I offer in the teaching relationship, and how I ask students to participate in their learning. For a downloadable pdf of my Teaching Agreement click HERE
Over the decades I have written many pieces for developing pianists and other instrumentalists. These include a series of pieces specifically crafted for teenagers and HSC students titled Migrations in Music (Grades 3 - 4 | 5 - 6). The pieces introduce students and teachers to modal tonalities and unusual time signatures. The music is published with an acoustic CD, musical analysis and program notes. It is designed to be attractive and engaging for teenagers and adults playing at grades 3 to 6 level. The next volume for grades 1 and 2 is on the drawing board. For samples and sales CLICK HERE
Two of the pieces from Migrations in Music are published in recent AMEB Pianoforte Examination books: Stalactite (grade 5) and Dreamboat Blues (grade 6). All of the works in Migrations in Music- along with a few others - are included in the ANZCA examination syllabus (grades 3 to 8). I’ve given a number of presentations to introduce modal music and unusual time signatures to piano teachers at various conferences, including the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in Melbourne in 2015.
In recent years Dr Katie Zhukov (QLD University) has been compiling anthologies of piano music by Australian composers and several of my works have been selected for inclusion. Most recent releases include The Seduction of Andalucía and The Stones Start Spinning (to be launched at the APPC Brisbane in July 2019). The Anthologies include Dr Zhukov’s recordings with pedagogical and analytical notes. She gives academic presentations on the works throughout Australia and New Zealand to assist teachers in sourcing and understanding new classical music. For samples and sales click HERE
As part of my teaching practice, I offer consultation sessions to student composers – especially to HSC students. Some years ago I taught subjects: Analytical Models and Harmony & Counterpoint for the Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Western Sydney, and I have given guest lectures on composition at various festivals and seminars over the years.
Last year I was invited to make a one page contribution in a Wirripang Publications book by Joanne Burrows (Head of Piano & Music Craft, Riverina Conservatorium). The book assists general high school music teachers to prepare their students for the HSC composition component of courses 1 & 2. To read what I wrote about my process in composing music click HERE
For the last ten years I have been involved in the practise and study of the Alexander Technique (AT). This is a psycho-physical approach to human movement which enables us to develop conscious control and co-ordination of ourselves as we play and learn. I employ these principles in studio teaching discretely and indirectly. Whilst I am nurturing a strong and healthy piano technique in my students, I approach the technique area with delicacy and care, always keeping it strongly bound to musicality.
Currently I am studying the subjects “Human Movement” and “Anatomy” to complete my certification as a “BodyMinded” practitioner. For more info about this and AT click HERE
Last year I wrote a three part series of articles for the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW. Titled “A Rocky Road to Revolution”. It tells the story of my lucky encounter with the Alexander Technique and how this approach relates to my studio teaching work.
Here is a downloadable pdf of the article for your interest. It is published as a series in the association’s journals: August and November 2018 and February 2019.
“A Rocky Road to Revolution” Part 1 - Published in The Studio, Vol. 24 No. 3, August 2018 and reproduced with permission.
“A Rocky Road to Revolution” Part 2 - Published in The Studio, Vol. 24 No. 4, November 2018 and reproduced with permission
“A Rocky Road to Revolution” Part 3 - Published in The Studio, Vol. 24 No. 5, February 2019 and reproduced with permission
If you would like any further information or would like to book classes, please contact Amanda by filling in the below form
Katoomba, NSW 2780