My main aim is to enable pupils to read music accurately as they play. A piano is a beautiful instrument but it isn't affordable nor indeed suitable for everyone and I'm happy to give advice on buying either acoustic or digital.

hallleonard1.jpghallleonard2.jpgFor many years now, I've started beginners off with the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library - I tend to keep to the same course because I know it well and can adapt it to suit my pupil's needs.

Experience has led me to be reluctant to start a child below age 6/Primary 2 but there is no upper age limit and I have many adult pupils - nervous beginners are most welcome Cry and with them I use the Hal Leonard Adult Piano Method.

From the beginner books, I move on to the Trinity College London Syllabus, using pieces in the current syllabus or pieces from past years if the pupil isn't interested in actually taking the exam [more on exams later !]. I like to work with graded pieces as it gives us both a sense of progression and the syllabus covers a wide range of styles,including Jazz.

Of course, many prospective pupils are not beginners, and I would listen to them play, discuss their needs and aspirations, then decide which grade we should work from.

In addition to the above, I always include technique and scale playing and I also encourage "playing by ear" and "busking" in addition to accurate sightreading.