07791 445037

56 St Fagans Road
Fairwater
Cardiff
CF5 3AL

© 2019 Philip May

Welcome

I am a Cardiff-based freelance pianist, teacher, accompanist and ensemble musician.

 

I offer tailored lessons to suit piano students at various stages of learning, from complete beginner to grade 8 and diploma standard, and those learning simply for the sake of enjoyment (not to mention all the stages inbetween!). I seek to provide a relaxed atmosphere for learning with graded exams as an option, but not as the sole purpose of the lessons. Ultimately, I aim to explore the personality of each player and build upon it by developing a secure musical and technical foundation.

 

I teach music theory up to grade 5 level and ABRSM aural up to grade 8 standard.

 

I am also available as an experienced accompanist and rehearsal pianist. I currently work as a rehearsal pianist and ensemble musician to various music theatre groups and choirs, WNO, Live Music Now, Music in Hospitals and Arts Active.

 

ABOUT

I studied piano to both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under renowned concert pianist and educator Richard McMahon.

 

Since then I have been teaching both young and adult students privately for a number of years and specialise in piano studies up to grade 8 and diploma levels, theory up to grade 5 and aural up to grade 8. I also teach piano at the Cathedral School, Llandaff.

 

As an accompanist and pianist I work with a number of choirs, including Llandaf Choral Society and Gabalfa Community Choir. I am also employed by Live Music Now and Music in Hospitals as a part of Triptych Trio and by Arts Active as a music workshop leader. I regularly accompany Welsh National Opera's Youth Department rehearsals and performances, Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra performances, University of Wales Performing Arts rehearsals, and ABRSM and Trinity board exams.

 
 

TEACHING

People can begin the piano at any age, but the youngest age one can realistically start is 4. Lessons are usually arranged weekly for 30 minutes, though more advanced students will require 45-minute or hour-long lessons. I am also happy to offer 'drop-in' sessions, often for adults who want to learn the piano as a pastime but schedules don't allow for regular practise. Such students tend to contact me when they would like to arrange their next lesson. Regardless of a student's level, the pace of lessons are always set by the student's ability and rate of progress.


It is of course important to have an instrument on which to practise, ideally daily. An acoustic piano is best (even a 'bad' one!), as even the finest digital pianos lack the variety of touch, tone and response of a 'real' one. For more information, please feel free to contact myself or a local piano dealer (Coach House Pianos and Gardners Pianos are good places to start).


The initial trial lesson is free so that students may comfortably assess whether they would like to continue. Should they decide to do so, I charge £12 for 30 minutes, £17 for 45 minutes and £22 for one hour. Please feel free to contact me for more information.


Aside from my professional qualifications, I am also a Registered Private Teacher with the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

 
 

PERFORMING AND ACCOMPANYING

Aside from teaching, I am kept busy throughout the year as the principal accompanist to Llandaf Choral Society and Gabalfa Community Choir. In addition, I am one third of both the Triptych Trio (Soprano, Cello, and Piano) and the Elisa Trio (Violin, Clarinet, and Piano). I am also an occasional pianist for WNO's Youth Department, the RWCMD, Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra, and workshop leader for Arts Active's Sound Works sessions at St. David's Hall, Cardiff. As a musician I am also employed by the charities Live Music Now and Music in Hospitals, bringing music to care homes, dementia homes, hospitals and SEN schools.

 

I am also a freelance pianist and accompanist, available for weddings, functions, and frequently provide exam and audition rehearsals and accompaniments.

 

I am always delighted to take on a variety of performing and accompanying work. Please get in touch via the contact page or email me for further information.