| Learn the piano purely for pleasure, with David Wallace
At the age of ten Sheena Abbot-Davies gave up learning the piano. “I didn’t like any of my piano teachers, and lessons seemed to be mainly scales and endless music theory,” she explains. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Sheena didn’t even get to play music she enjoyed. It’s a miracle that she got as far as Grade 2, especially given that her first piano teacher was stone deaf. “I used to bash away at the keyboard when she wasn’t looking,” Sheena recalls, “but she could feel the vibrations through the floor so I didn’t get away with that for long!”
In adulthood however, and with three children of her own, Sheena decided to give the piano another go. “I think it’s really important to keep learning new things throughout life,” she says, “it helps to keep your brain alive.” Learning the piano is, according to Sheena, very much like learning a new language. “It’s challenging” she explains, “but it’s also uplifting and very rewarding.”
Having seen David’s advert in December 2015, Sheena decided that she was going to begin lessons right away, despite being in a tiny rented house and not having a piano. “I rented a keyboard and when David came over we propped it on our laps, which wasn’t perfect, but I just thought I’d give it a try.” A year on and Sheena is very happy with her choice of teacher. “David is very patient and empathetic. I never feel under pressure to get things right every time. And,” Sheena adds, “I enjoy the length of the lessons. David comes to my home and teaches me for about thirty to forty minutes so it doesn’t interrupt my day too much, but at the same time I get so much out of it in that short time.”
And Sheena is finally getting to play music she enjoys. “David will always ask if I like something before we begin to learn it, and I if I don’t, well that’s that!” she says. She’s also very happy not to have any grade exams to worry about. “I really don’t need that kind of pressure. I’m quite motivated enough to carry on just for my own pleasure,” she explains.
Despite remembering virtually nothing from her childhood lessons, Sheena is amazed at how fast she has progressed. “I really could barely play, but in just a year I have learnt to play lots of things relatively well, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m not very organised about practicing,” she admits, “but I will find myself with a space and sit down at the piano and time just disappears. It’s really amazing,” she explains, “how my brain goes on to autopilot for some tunes. It’s like motor memory in my fingers, and I end up managing to play pieces I really didn’t think I could. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I know I’m progressing because the pieces get harder and you can look back and see how far you’ve come, and that’s all I need.”
Sheena also appreciates David’s flexibility. “If I can’t make our lesson one week he changes it without any fuss,” she says. And David is, according to Sheena “a really nice chap to work with. I feel very comfortable with him and always look forward to my lessons. Some days he’ll come and I haven’t practiced and it doesn’t matter at all. We’re not on a schedule, I am learning purely for pleasure and David is the perfect teacher for that.”
David is based in Chiswick but he teaches pupils in all the surrounding areas, including Hounslow, Brentford and Hammersmith, so wherever you’re based he’ll be delighted to have a chat with you about bringing the joy of music into your life through the piano. To find out more simply email David (who has Enhanced CRB status) at email@example.com or call him on 0793 994 8482.
February 24, 2017