Here’s my story-a few things that made me the teacher I am today:
My family as I grew up
My first inspiration (and teacher) was my mum, an intermediate level hobby pianist. My grandfather, Jan Brzezinka, was a big band leader and who showed me how to have fun at the piano with his jazz improvisations. My dad loved singing, loudly, in church and embarrassing me at seemingly every opportunity with his karaoke singing. Music was just a normal part of family life.
My piano teachers
Jocelyn Hipple- a kind and wonderful generous-spirited teacher who taught me as a teenager. Jocelyn took an interest in me as a person, and had belief in me. She introduced me to a lifelong love of accompanying and duet playing. As a teacher, she has shown me the importance of getting to know your students: what makes them tick, making them feel welcome and at ease in your home and how the teacher’s enthusiasm rubs off on students!
As I got more advanced my teachers Peter Noke, Ian Buckle and David Jones all showed me a whole new world of exciting new music, taught by asking questions instead of always giving the answers, and developed my technique and posture awareness than I could imagine! They showed me how teacher-as-facilitator role can work so well for more advanced students and the importance of also being active as a performer.
My colleagues and the wider teaching community
I’m fortunate to work with some amazing instrumental teachers. Seeing how other teachers might approach challenges keeps me open-minded, well-informed and reflective. I contribute to several piano teaching forums which have given me lots of fresh new ideas to try from a world-wide resource. My piano teaching practices are strongly influenced by renowned educationalist Paul Harris’s ideas on Simultaneous Learning.
My own growing family
Since becoming a mum to two lively young boys, I can appreciate what it’s like to be on both sides of the equation, both teacher and parent. I am seeing for myself how childrens’ behaviour can be different when out of the home, how they can thrive on a predictable structure, how they mirror our mood, when to choose your battles, how to praise, and the value of playfulness. I am still learning…!
And now, here is the ‘official’ biog:
Angela has 13 years of piano teaching experience, as well as experience teaching music in the classroom. She studied music at the University of Leeds and the Saxion Conservatorium in the Netherlands, gaining a first class honours degree. After receiving a prestigious Allcart Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Angela continued her studies in piano accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she won several prizes and awards for accompaniment and chamber music. In 2012, she completed a PGCE with the University of Huddersfield. Angela has been a staff pianist and Senior Lecturer in Music at Leeds College of Music. She is a piano teacher at Manchester High School for Girls and The Manchester Grammar School. Active as a freelance accompanist and pianist, Angela performs around the region, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 with her clarinet and piano duo, Aquilon. Angela plays organ regularly at Emmanuel Church, Didsbury.