Peter McLAREN - Teacher Profile

About Me
I seem, (August 2017) to be the only EPTA member in the Highlands and Islands. People are few and far between here so it is perhaps fitting, but it does rather cut down on the element of choice! I'll try to give a reasonably clear idea of what you might expect from me. My training is classical but I do try to cover all the bases and I have experience in jazz and popular music and, since I've been here, I've been trying a little of the traditional Gaelic music. I taught music in London schools for eight years, including at the ILEA Centre for Young Musicians, before moving to the Midlands, teaching piano, voice and composition in Leamington Spa for thirty years. I've composed extensively, mostly for students/student groups and amateur organisations. I've played in both classical and jazz trios. Since arriving in Skye in January of this year I've co-formed the Broadford Trio for which I'm also writing, accompanied Inner Sound's February operatic production and found a small but sparky (and talented) group of students.  My teaching methods are very flexible and tend towards a creative, student-centred approach. I'm keen to support people's desires to play the music they want to play but within a context in which they're learning the essential basics as well as discovering a broader spectrum of music. As well as writing music specifically suited to the children I teach I also encourage them - and there doesn't normally need to be much of this! - to compose their own pieces. More advanced players can be helped to achieve the ends they seek through technical and analytical work as well as being encouraged to bring an imaginative approach to everything they do. Most people like to perform and I've always been in the habit of organising concerts at which my students can share their music with each other. It gives a focus to work in progress and is often quite inspirational. Some students enjoy and can certainly profit from entering exams and I support that work with enthusiasm. And there are some people who find a more private pleasure and fulfillment from music-making, they too have my unconditional support. I should just finish by saying what a pleasure and privilege it is to be a piano teacher. I've wondered from time to time if there might be any profession more rewarding. So far no contender has emerged.