Remember Mrs Tranter, the terrifying local piano teacher? She’d only let you play boring nursery rhymes or impossible Bach. Infamous for her icy disapproval and a tap on the knuckles whenever you got it ‘wrong’?
As a piano teacher, I hear stories like this all the time – lovely people discouraged from playing by a teacher who just didn’t get them, by endless lessons with boring music and a fear of getting it wrong. As a young gay boy I found this particularly intimidating. In 10 years of teaching, I’ve worked with lots of other LGBTQ+ people who were also bullied by a Tranter. Many were put off playing for life.
I was lucky enough to find Mr Nice who encouraged and supported me and made piano lessons a safe place where I could express myself. For one hour a week I could be who I wanted to be and indulge my passion for music and talk about culture and grow away from the confines of family and school. As a gay teenager, piano lessons were my safe place.
And everyone deserves that space – I offer lessons to anyone who wants to learn, people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. And especially people who have been denied the joy of music and the security of a safe lgbtq+affirmative space to learn and express themselves.
I’ve been playing piano for 35 years of my 40 year old life and its the heart of my life, enriching my existence, offering an escape from everything else and something very special.
I believe everyone can play the piano and that learning should be enjoyable and life-affirming. Yes, it’s hard and takes effort but it leads to amazing places I never dared imagine. Play what you like, learn anything that sparks you and it will also open your ears and mind to music and feelings you may never have heard before.
I teach piano and organ face to face in Colney, Norwich and online.
Lessons are £40 per hour, £20 for 30 mins.
Contact me for more details and to arrange a lesson.