Piano Tuition - Oatley Music on Parade

Piano Tuition


I aim to inspire, motivate and teach children of all ages, minimum starting age is 5/6 years. The child’s readiness is ascertained via personal interview, employing specific music aptitude tests. Older pupils include primary school, teenagers, HSC performance, university students, parents wishing to understand their child’s music notation, continuing on to the mature and retirees, many of whom now have the time to fulfil the long held ambition of playing for pleasure. Adults may present as complete beginners, whilst some have previous musical knowledge or experience and others have learned by ear.


I offer many levels of Piano, always on a ‘one to one’ basis, from complete Beginner through to Intermediate and Advanced. This process can be achieved by two routes; firstly the traditional A.M.E.B. system , secondly ‘Piano for Leisure’. Alternatively, students can study at any level, purely for their own enjoyment.

The A.M.E.B. is the Australian Music Examinations Board, highly regarded throughout Australia and internationally. It is the most widely used Australian  assessment system for music. It is the only examination body with formal links to major Australian Universities and the Minister for Education and Training. Exams are held at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music or A.M.E.B, Clarence Street, Sydney.

Within the A.M.E.B. traditional system, I teach:

  • Preliminary Grade
  • Grades 1 – 8  (inclusive)
  • Certificate of Performance  (Post Grade 8)
  • A. Mus. A  (Associate of Music Australia). This is an advanced Diploma Exam in performance and is esteemed worldwide. 

Students at this studio are thoroughly prepared for each level. All aspects are exercised, including sight reading skills, aural development, memorisation skills, general knowledge and the history of the Pianoforte. There is regular open discussion with pupils and parents.

The second exam route is Piano for Leisure (under the auspices of AMEB). The aim here is to attain the standard of the traditional level without needing to present the usual number of scales or pieces. There is a choice between Sight Reading or Aural tests. Piano for Leisure is an excellent choice for time poor students.

In addition, there is a new exam format being trialled presently, known as Recital Exam (AMEB). If it becomes available for Piano and Cello, it will also be offered at this studio. ‘Recital’ is a shorter programme that requires candidates to perform a programme of pieces only.


I consider it important for a student to gain theoretical knowledge along the pathway of the private Piano lesson. However, many students decide to learn Theory/Musicianship/Music Craft as an examinable subject. This can be accomplished privately or in small group settings. I also offer support lessons to anyone who chooses to prepare for a grade exam via online learning.

Within the traditional AMEB system, I teach:

  • THEORY Grades 1-5 (inclusive)
  • MUSICIANSHIP Grades 1-5 (inclusive)
  • MUSIC CRAFT  Grades 1-3 (inclusive)


I offer a broad range of  Musical Styles according to a student’s tastes, level and abilities. Pupils are encouraged to develop skills in playing various genres. However, if a student has a particular interest in Jazz, Blues, Rock, the lessons can be specific. Some of the Styles I offer include:

  • Classical
  • Contemporary
  • Jazz ( Improvisation)
  • Blues
  • Rock
  • Popular (Songs, Film Themes. Musicals)

I motivate students to listen to a wide range of music and to explore the  characteristics and subtleties of each style. A passion for a particular style is encouraged with enthusiasm.


I am highly motivated with regard to the way a student engages their physical body at the Piano. Students will be given instruction on how to achieve the best technique required for bringing the optimum sound from the instrument. Aspects of technique are covered with attention to specific exercises.

  • Strengthening the fingers
  • Finger independence and agility 
  • The importance of the Thumb
  • Wrist relaxation
  • Forearm weight and hand action
  • Practical use of the whole hand ( tension, release, ease of movement)
  • Right hand/left hand Independence and Balance between the hands
  • Comprehensive study of the Pedals and their effects
  • Legato touch
  • Cantabile touch
  • Mezzo Staccato touch
  • Beauty of Tone applied to Chords

           and more …………..


Students acquire an understanding of how Posture affects the performance of a piece of music. Particular attention is given to correct posture for each individual – spine, shoulders, arms and hands, legs, feet and awareness of ‘core’ strength in relation to the seated position at the Piano. I believe that for essential progress to be made, the proper foundations need to be in place.

Emphasis on Breathing and Relaxation is also highlighted. Warm up exercises will be offered to students who are keen to perform at their best, with extra hints given on physical fitness to enhance the overall practice sessions at home and the ultimate performance.


I offer small group settings for Workshops based on particular themes. ‘Subjects’ are created from the particular needs of students at the time or for students preparing for an exam. Adults also enjoy meeting other students by participating in playing Duets and Trios.

Some previous ideas have included:                              

  • The Art of Duet /Trio  Playing
  • How do I perform at my best with another person sitting beside me? (Hints given on Primo and Secondo parts in Duet playing)
  • Motivation for Teenage boys preparing for an AMEB exam
  • Motivation for Teenage girls preparing for an AMEB exam
  • Performance skills for exams
  • Preparation for a Recital
  • Adult Piano and Cello Duets – learning the skills of listening and developing a sense of ‘inner ear’
  • How do I create a beautifully shaped melodic line on the Piano?
  • Practice makes perfect! ( or does it?......Practical ideas to motivate and enhance practice)

I believe Workshops are an excellent medium for quality music education and provide interest and motivation to students so they can enjoy music in its many and varied forms.


I encourage exam students to participate in a mock exam about one month before the actual exam. I consider this to be a very important opportunity for the student to gain confidence in performing under exam conditions. Two teachers are present with one acting as an examiner. The student needs to feel and live through the experience of performance, to understand how this affects the standard of playing and the interpretation of music. It becomes another matter when nerves and adrenalin are added to the mix. Students learn to develop a positive attitude to the exam with a written critique given at the end. This is the best method of identifying any weaknesses or the need for finishing touches.


I can mentor Piano Teachers who are starting their own business or those who are preparing their own students for examination and may need some extra practical hints on teaching methods. Also, I guide Piano Teachers in their own development as musicians and performers.

MY PASSIONS  "Learn and Enjoy"

My lessons are filled with fun and enthusiasm! To learn an instrument merely to train the brain or to earn an exam grade or qualification is dull stuff. Instead, I strive to inculcate a love of music for its own joys, joys best understood by being trained in the art of playing and performing and a knowledge of music’s structure and technique.

“The deepest value of Music Education is the enrichment of the quality of  people’s lives, through enriching their insights into the nature of human feeling…..”
(Bennett Reimer)                                                                               

 “ Music presents at one and the same time, the intensity and expression of  feeling ……it is capable of being apprehended by our senses, it permeates them like a dart, like a ray, like a dew, a spirit and fills our soul.”  
(Franz Liszt)

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