Cliff lives in Kippen and is the “local” piano teacher, teaching all ages locally, and over the internet for more remote students.
He takes an unusual approach, stemming from his own experience when learning…
“My Mum thought that piano lessons would be good for the young me. I disagreed as I would rather have played football, rugby or just about anything else. I grudgingly continued for a few years until I went to University (or Mum lost her bayonet, I forget which.)
One day at University I headed to the student bar, which was on my right. But then I heard great ragtime piano music coming from my left. A dilemma ensued but eventually I chose to turn left and seek out the music, which turned out to be a friend of mine playing the student union piano. I listened in amazement – it had simply never occurred to me that playing the piano could be fun. In my head, a light bulb had been switched on and I quickly learnt ragtime, boogie woogie styles and, somehow, the variety made the classical pieces I already knew more enjoyable as well.
Subsequently the piano ended up being a very important part of my life, from duetting with a very young Jools Holland to playing in (small) interesting venues around the world…with many a story to be told!
Now that I teach piano, I try to give people short cuts to what took me a long time to work out: learn an interesting variety of styles early on, learn how to play “by ear” as well as by reading music – and I have found the simple fact that students are much more likely to practice and improve their piano technique if they are enjoying themselves at the same time! (And it’s fun for the piano teacher too…)”
Cliff is also the founding member of the popular local band “The Dodgy Characters” and runs Beech Cottage B&B with his family.
Cliff can be contacted at:
T: 07714 212575