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Tori Handsley- Piano, Harp, SEN Teacher-Amersham & Crouch End N London

Tori Handsley Classical Piano Teacher (Hemel Hempstead)

Tori Handsley Gold Member

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  • Professional Qualification BSc Hons U.C.L.
  • Professional Qualification A.L.C.M. Performance, Coaching Level 3 I.L.M. (Institute of Leadership and Management)
  • Professional Membership Music in Hospitals
  • References References are available upon request


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Personal Message
I teach piano and harp, and coach individuals in the Art of Performance and Improvisation across a variety of career sectors. I am an Associate of the London College of Music, (A.L.C.M), and have a BSc Hons from UCL.
Which subject(s) do you teach?
Music Interaction
(I teach contemporary to classical, pop, jazz, and also specialise in teaching pop, jazz and improvisation).

Creative Coaching
Life Coaching
Tell me about your qualifications.
A.L.C.M. Performance
BSc Hons UCL
Coaching Level 3 I.L.M. (Institute of Leadership and Management)
Grade 8 Piano
Grade 7 Harp
What kind of experience do you have?
(Please scroll down for COACHING)

I am available to teach piano, harp and 'Music Interaction' for people with special needs. I am an Associate of the London College of Music, (A.L.C.M.)

I have performed internationally with artists including Nigel Kennedy and I am an active part of the arts scene which adds to my versatility and skills to offer. I am passionate about making people enjoy music and find out what they love and want to learn and assist them to get there as much as I can.

Originally classically trained, I now play a wide range of styles of music, including contemporary, classical, jazz and latin, and I am keen from my own experiences to encourage children especially to look at different styles of music, to develop their passion as well as technique. I lead my own trio TORI HANDSLEY TRIO (harp-bass-drums) and recent EP is featured here:

I am a member of the Warriors International and performances have taken me to the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scotts, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Scala and Union Chapel. I have performed with Nigel Kennedy, Binker & Moses-MOBO award winners 2015 (recording also for their recent 2nd album release) BJ Cole, Orphy Robinson, Evan Parker, Pat Thomas (winner of Paul hamlyn award), Engines Orchestra (winner of ensemble of the year 2016 parliamentary jazz awards) amongst others, and I am an active part of the music scene, as a composer and performer, which greatly adds to my versatility and skills to offer.

I co-host "Freedom: The Art of Improvisation" at the Vortex, London, a monthly improvisation session which we curate, and welcome musicians and artists of all genres and backgrounds, and experience, to get up on stage together, and improvise in the moment - with no preparation / knowledge what will happen. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences, and continuing passions of mine, encouraging people to be in the moment, listen, and know they can go into the unknown and trust themselves in what they have to say. For me improvisation, and the development of communication skills it brings, is an enormous tool for life, and confidence in all aspects.

I really enjoy working with people of all ages, from children, to adults perhaps taking up an old passion again, or who have always wanted to play and never made the move! Harp is currently my first performance instrument, however I am equally at home teaching piano, especially as this was originally my first instrument.

I have had a wide range of teaching experience, both personal and professional, from one-to-one tuition to taking large workshops for 70-80 children, and have even helped guitarists through rock workshops! I have also worked with the elderly in nursing homes and day centres, Alzheimers patients, and those with various special needs. I play for Music in Hospitals, and have also worked with Sunbeams Music Trust, and the Bridge Special School.

I also offer 'Music Interaction' lessons, using music and improvisation as a communication tool for those with special needs, which I have developed over 4 years volunteering at the Bridge Special School and other personal experience. Please enquire for more information on this.


I coach individuals across a range of careers, to improve confidence and resilience. I specialise in working with people who may be considering making a change in their career, or starting up a new business, as well as people who have already embarked on their cause, but who need help to ride the waves and walk the walk. I have a Coaching Qualification Level 3 from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

I specifically coach in the 'Art of Performance', getting up on to your “stage” whatever that may be, leading a team, public speaking, important interviews/auditions.

I also coach in the 'Art of Improvisation': learning to be at ease with whatever situations may through at you, to re-centre, trust yourself, to be able to focus on the moment and be the best you can.

From a long, high pressure career in performing and leading, (including competing in and winning major national competitions from age 11, my first major break being invited to tour with my childhood hero Nigel Kennedy) I have always been drawn to sharing my experiences and the tools I have learnt, to help others to develop confidence and resilience: to rise to new challenges, be able to say 'yes' to those opportunities, cope with huge pressure, to “perform” and be yourself.

I was recently awarded a scholarship and completed a course in Leadership and Sustainability with Akasha Innovation, and I co-host a monthly night 'Freedom: the Art of Improvisation' at the renowned Vortex in London.

“Through coaching, Tori has developed my self awareness, which has helped to clarify many situations for me. In my role as a Headteacher she has enabled me to have greater effect when dealing with challenging circumstances.” Pauline, Headteacher
How much do you charge?
£40 Piano (1hr)
£45 Harp (1hr)
£40 Music Interaction for Special Needs (1hr)

£50 Creative Coaching (1hr)
£50 Life Coaching (1hr)

NB - There is a minimum £5 additional charge for travelling to students houses.
Where do you teach?
I generally teach in Chesham HP5, Chiltern District.

Depending on times, I can also travel to North London, Hornsey, Crouch End / Muswell Hill / Highgate.

Please enquire for more information.
When are you available?
I teach/coach on weekdays. I do not teach/coach weekends as I am usually busy with performances.

Please enquire for more info on availability with my timetable and to find a mutually convenient time.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
Young to mature
Up to at grade 8
Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
ABRSM grades
Trinity grades
Jazz grades
Duke of Edinburgh
Major performances, recordings, interviews, auditions.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
No. I had full DBS 2 years ago whilst working with a special school.
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Music in Hospitals
Tell me about some of your current students.
I teach a range of ages from 6 years old up to age 60, including teenagers. Everyone is completely unique and individual no matter what age / ability, and I create a bespoke program for each student. I don't believe in limits, which are often put on due to age / experience / occupation, and believe if you put your mind to it, you can go far beyond expectations.

"Feeling older than the average student I had fairly low expectations and a narrow view of what I could achieve. Tori has blasted that wide open, rejuvenating and freshening my creativity and dreams of what is possible. She has helped to restore my confidence and belief in my abilities and encourages me to step up and show what I can do." Alistair.

I have been recently working with a teenage singer, to rise to the challenge of performing in her first music festival in London, an intimidating experience for anyone. I encouraged her to take the opportunity, working through the various possible situations she could come up against ; working through the material, using strategies to help her to feel prepared for the unexpected, to enable her to rise to the performance, with her head held high no matter what happened. She rose to it, despite some humps along the way as expected and could look back recognising her achievements, seeing mistakes in a more light-hearted way, and see what she had learnt. I'm looking forward to coaching her with the next stages of her artistic development.

I recently took a student through Grade 8 piano in only 2 terms, an astonishing challenge and achievement for him, especially whilst doing intense 3 A-levels and not having taken Grade 7. He demonstrated with the right attitude, focus and encouragement, you do anything you put your mind to!

With many pupils we are currently creating our own arrangements of songs they like, (including Viva La Vida-Coldplay / Let it Go-Frozen / Rolling Stones-Sympathy of the Devil / Happy-Pharell Williams) which we construct them together, by ear often and understanding chords. With other students we are learning blues /rock / latin music and how to improvise over it. Another student loves playing folk music and we are working on her confidence playing rhythms, and to trust herself more that she can do it - as she can!

Along the way with my current students we are also in context working on: rhythm, harmony, ear training, sight reading, knowledge of chords, improvisation and in cases composition. Every day always brings something new and things we can discover together; people may sometimes come in a different mood, depending on what they have been doing that day, and I will also react to the moment and what is appropriate for us to work on, whilst aiming at longer goals, passions and areas to focus on, and areas that feel weaker to improve - above all finding what people enjoy!