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Margaret Dylan Jones
W.A. composer, pianist,
teacher, article writer
Are you looking for a highly skilled and experienced piano
with musicality, enthusiasm and excellent communication skills? If you
are, then please read on.
I offer lessons to beginners, intermediate and advanced
students, aged 7 to 70, including adult
starters or re-starters. Adults may have regular lessons or occasional
consultations, though children really need regular weekly lessons.
(Teaching very young students under 7 is a specialisation I
I've been teaching since 1981 and often use my own, specially-made
teaching materials, particularly for beginners and intermediate
students. And I frequently give lessons using unfamiliar
materials brought to lessons by students, materials I've never seen
previously. This can be a lot of fun for both myself and the student.
My teaching style is eclectic; that is, I use elements of many
different teaching methods and approaches. Quite separately to my
Bachelor of Music Degree, in 1986 and 1993-94 I did formal music
education studies at university. From this and other informal studies I
learnt about the methods of Yamaha, Suzuki, Kodaly, Hoermann, Brandman
and many others.
While we're on the subject of methods, exactly which books a teacher
uses is not as important as how they use them. So,
please bring your current or old piano books to the first lesson and I
will see if we can use those books, possibly in a new way.
For many years I've taught piano to a very wide range of students. I
mainly classical piano, but some of the young children or beginner
adults play original music in rock, pop, and blues styles composed by
the Bastien couple or Christopher Norton. And sometimes they play my
(classical) publications, especially my educational music.
I have studied three or four completely different styles of piano
technique (you know, bent fingers, open fingers, totally straight
fingers, use of weight etc etc), and have had seven piano teachers. The
first two years of my university degree were in piano studies. My
formal qualifications mainly relate to piano, theory, and composition,
and the teaching of these.
Please note in regard to the use of materials: 1) I can't say in
advance exactly which, if any, new books you'll need; 2) if I purchase
them for you the cost will be put on the subsequent month's account.
Some of materials I find useful for the early studies are:
Students don't need to have this many books, of course. But these are
the sorts of things I use most often.
- Bastien: Pop Piano Styles, Sonatinas,
Notespeller, and other titles
- Christopher Norton: Micro Jazz, and other titles
- John Thomson: Note Speller, Scale Speller, Chord
- Dulcie Holland: Master Your Theory
- Diller and Quail: Pedal Studies
- Joan Last: Freedom Technique
- Piano Dexterity for Beginners (a big improvement
on Hanon Finger Exercises)
- Jump Right Ins: piano starters and re-starters
(fun pieces focused on co-ordination)
Good resources for the intermediate levels:
Students at the higher levels have a wide range of
repertoire, depending on the student's interests. Some of the more
- Higher level books of Bastien, Norton, Holland,
Diller and Quail, Last
- The Joy of Bach
- The Joy of Classics
- Bach: Inventions
- Clementi: Sonatinas
- Bartok: Mikrokosmos (a few selections)
- Grieg: Lyric Pieces
- Exam repertoire from the grade books
- Colourfast Piano Music (grade one)
- Scenes from Gorillahood (grades 3-5)
- Studies (Etudes) by Bertini, Heller, Le Couppey,
- ColourKey Piano Technique
- Brahms: 51 Exercises (but not all 51!)
- Dohnanyi: Essential Finger Exercises
Actually, I don't teach the works by Roger Smalley and Stephen Benfall.
I used to publish them (and I love hearing other people play them).
- Bach: Preludes & Fugues, Little Preludes,
- Mozart and Haydn: sonata movements
- Beethoven: sonata movements
- Brahms: late piano miniatures
- Debussy: easier pieces and studies
- Ravel: minuets
- Shostakovich, Kabalevsky, other Russians
- Albeniz: Espana (a few selections)
- Margaret D. Jones: Sonatina
- Smalley: Barcarolle (advanced); Variations on a
Theme of Chopin (very advanced)
- Benfall: Hammers (very advanced)
- Chopin: Preludes, Studies
- Brahms and Dohnanyi exercises
- Exam repertoire
Learning with a Keyboard or Electric Piano
I used to be dead-set against teaching anyone to play the piano who
didn't have access to a real piano. But then I had
several students do so well with electric instruments that my attitude
I took on a few people with keyboards or electric pianos because they
seemed keen. In one case I correctly guessed that money was so tight
that a cheap keyboard was the only answer, and the parent's dedication
and the young man's interest overcame my usual reluctance. He was one
of my best students.
So, if YOU have an electric instrument, give me a call. Contact me if
would like lessons for yourself or your children.
Since May 2011 I've been living in the Perth hills, in the Shire of
Australia. Click on the links to learn
more or contact me by phone or email.
My mobile phone is 0414 374 701 (new from September
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