Meet RMC Academy Piano Tutor Siobhan Sclare!
“I am a piano / keyboard tutor at The RMC Academy and have just completed my HND Music Performance at Riverside Music College. I have played music all my life, starting with piano and violin when I was younger, then teaching myself some guitar and drums as an adult. Being able to study music at RMC was the fulfilment of a long-held ambition to study music at a higher level, which I was then able to use to make teaching my main job.”
How did you come to start playing piano, and were there any musicians/bands that inspired you?
I started playing piano as a child at my grandfather’s house before continuing with music lessons at home and at school. As a child I also loved listening to my Mum’s music, especially Queen and Meat Loaf. The piano parts and melodies in their hits really fascinated me and inspired me to learn a wider range of styles outside of classical pieces in lessons.
What are some of your favourite teaching techniques?
I think it’s important, when learning any musical instrument, to get a feel for what works well within pieces and what inspires you, as well as the technical side of things. I try to encourage ear training and working within your favourite styles within lessons, and learning with and without sheet music.
What do you usually cover in your lessons?
As well as learning popular songs and things that students enjoy and listen to, I do also like to cover theory as much as I can, as it can be so useful to have theoretical knowledge as well as good musical intuition to be a versatile musician. If someone has any particular goal such as passing an exam or learning a certain style then I will focus on that mainly, to help get them to where they want to be.
What advice would you have for someone learning piano for the first time?
I would advise being patient and not rushing ahead with things, it’s easy to want to try something difficult or impressive sounding right away, but this can bring frustration if you haven’t learned the basics first. As well as this I would have to say practising as often as possible! Even if not for very long practice sessions, playing often will be beneficial and build good habits and skills. Overall, as well I would say find what you enjoy, whether it is a certain style of music or playing technique, following your own interests will help to keep you motivated.
How have you found your experience of teaching at the Riverside Academy?
I have really enjoyed teaching at Riverside Academy so far, it has been a great opportunity to develop my own skills as both a musician and a teacher, and it has been fantastic being able to work in a field I am passionate about and where I can give others the opportunities I have had to learn and perform music.