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Susanna Bearfoot Classical Piano Teacher (Birmingham)

Susanna Bearfoot Silver Member

  • Edgbaston (B16) View on map
  • Last Logged In: 24 Aug 2015
  • Sex: Female
  • Web site: www.susannabearfoot.co.uk
  • Can Travel To: Bromsgrove, Dudley, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall
Contact Me View My Full Profile
Personal Message
I am a piano teacher and creative musician with more than 35 years experience teaching privately and in schools. My ABRSM pass rate is 100%.
Which subject(s) do you teach?
I teach Classical Piano to ABRSM Grade 7 and Music Theory up to ABRSM Grade 5. I also teach the ABRSM Jazz syllabus from beginner to Grade V and West African Djembe at beginner level.
Tell me about your qualifications.
My degree is in Performance Arts with a BA in Performance Arts from Middlesex University where my major study was Music.
What kind of experience do you have?
I have taught both privately and in schools for more than 35 years. I also have experience of working in the theatre as a Musical Director and collaborating with other creative artists, including visual artists. My djembe playing comes from five years living in West Africa, where I went to sleep to the sounds of traditional music. I have taught djembe in schools, drum circles and one to one.
How much do you charge?
My current fees are £35 per hour for piano tuition, £18.00 for half an hour. Separate theory lessons are £25 per hour. I offer concessionary rates for those on low incomes and these are individually negotiated. There is a free half hour consultation lesson for every prospective student. Fees for individual djembe lessons are £30 for one hour £15 for half an hour. For Sound Therapy my fees are £35 for a 1 hour session. Collaborations, Sound Art and all commissions are individually negotiated.
Where do you teach?
I teach from my home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands. In 2015 I will be teaching from my home in Jacksdale, Near Nottingham.
When are you available?
Currently I teach in Birmingham on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between the hours of 10am and 7.30pm and on Saturday mornings. Teaching continues during school holidays on an ad hoc basis and is negotiated with individual students. Adult students who can't commit to a regular time for lessons are welcome to see me on a flexible basis.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
My students are aged from 5 years to 72 years and I teach the ABRSM classical syllabus from absolute beginner to Grade 7 and the ABRSM Jazz syllabus from absolute beginner to Grade 5. Many of my adult students play purely for pleasure and I am always happy to welcome those who don't wish to take exams.

On djembe I teach mainly beginners.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Yes
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Incorporated Society of Musicians
Where and with whom did you train?
I trained with pianist and teacher Lindy Williams at Middlesex University. Ibrahim 'King' introduced me to traditional djembe playing in The Gambia and I continued under the tutelage of Ghanaian Master Drummer, Godfrey Mensah.
Tell me about some of your current students.
At the moment I have many young students who show a very strong enthusiasm for music and for learning piano in particular. Amongst them is a girl of 8 who is such a keen musician that she seems to understand a variety of composers quite intuitively. She and I will happily discuss different styles. Her willingness to use her time to improve her technique and develop her own creative style through improvisation is admirable. Older students include a woman in her twenties who is returning to the piano after several years building an accounting career. I currently have a few students who play other instruments and want to round out their musical education and experience by learning the piano. One such student plays Sitar and another is a sax player. One of my students is in her 70s. We performed duets together for her big birthday celebration. It's wonderful how this woman has used her retirement time to enjoy her own musicality. She has developed beyond her wildest dreams, and mine! I am currently teaching a life-long kit drummer to play djembe the traditional way.....it is a challenge and a delight! Every student is special to me.
Do you have a personal message for students?
It is important that we enjoy the music and grow as people through the learning process whilst developing musicianly skills and sensitivities. I have my own ways of teaching but each student brings something to me whereby I can also continue to learn and grow. Developing your own creativity tends to enhance your understanding of the process composers are involved in, so improvisation and composition are an important part of my teaching. I prefer to teach theory as an integral part of studying and practising the piano, rather than as a separate subject, although I am willing to prepare students for theory exams. I find that playing djembe is both a relaxation and a musical activity that relates well to my piano playing. The piano is, after all, a percussion instrument.

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