Piano Teaching: An Isolated Existence?

PATHWAYS FOR TEACHING • Feature by ANDREW EALES
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It’s become something of a cliché to say that the life of a piano teacher is a terribly isolated one, implying we have little or no meaningful contact with colleagues, operating entirely off our own steam, without support.

And perhaps in the age of the lockdown, the sense of isolation becomes more acute than ever. We are all suffering, but we are not alone. You are not alone.

In this article I am going to consider from a personal perspective why I don’t personally feel isolated as a piano teacher, and offer some useful tips for those who do, along with practical suggestions for networking and accessing support from colleagues.

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Milton Keynes & Me

PATHWAYS FOR LIVING • Feature by ANDREW EALES
Setting our Piano Journey in its Living Context.


To what extent does the place we live, and the community we are a part of, shape the person, musician and teacher that we become?

That’s a question that I have been reflecting on, prompted by the recent BBC documentary ’Milton Keynes and Me, in which documentary filmmaker Richard Macer returned to Milton Keynes to reflect on his childhood growing up here, and celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th Anniversary.

Macer’s film was at times thought-provoking, informative, personal, historical, and moving. I didn’t agree with his sometimes negative perspective (and nor did many in Milton Keynes, it would seem!), but that hardly mattered. What was so much more important is that the programme inspired me to reflect on my own experiences of living here over the last nearly three decades.

We probably all wonder from time to time what impact we have made for the good. Hopefully piano teachers such as myself can recall students who gained a lifelong love for music, which sometimes defined their future. But this post isn’t about my contribution, but rather the imprint that has been made on me.

Having lived in Milton Keynes for 28 years – more than half of my life, and more than half of the city’s existence – how has this shaped who I am today?

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