Gary Preston BA LRAM ARCM
I began playing the piano at 11 and discovered the joy of playing music with others age 13. I studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) and the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), gaining teaching and performing diplomas.
I performed many solo concerts, including at London’s prestigious Purcell Room, and was pianist for Rachmaninov’s Paganini Variations with the Surrey Youth Orchestra. There were West End keyboard stints too, in Cats and Mama Mia! I also had 6 years as musical director, conducting off-West End shows such as Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun and A Little Night Music.
Teaching piano professionally since 1987
For 16 years until 2004, I taught at the specialist music school Centre For Young Musicians (CYM). This was a great start where I loved finding I was able to connect so well with the students.
After moving to Croydon I taught 4 days a week in various schools. Now I felt I’d really started learning how and began writing my own teaching music.
Several of my students have gone on to study music at university or music college.
As well as more advanced players, I enjoy teaching beginners and have classes of adult learners at the City Lit in London.
A wide range of interests
Learning Jazz aged 34 was ‘a painful experience but opened up a new world to my teaching’. I then played jazz at over 100 wedding parties! I cater for a wide range of interests, including classical, jazz, blues, pop and rock’n’roll.
Learning should be fun and rewarding
Fundamental to my teaching is the belief that pupils should learn to listen and play by ear as well as read from the page. Lessons may include elements of improvisation and ear training. Students should expect to be treated as individuals, be praised and supported through a varied program of study designed for their needs.
‘Helping students overcome what for a long time seems to have been an insurmountable problem. When a student makes an instant beeline for my piano and starts playing. When a student is shocked it’s the end of the lesson’.
Bach: Prelude to the Ratswahi Cantata, Siciliano from Flute Sonata in E flat, Chorale: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.
Satie: Sonatine Bureaucratique, Gymnopédie No.1.
Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No.1, Sonata in B minor.
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