Hi! My name is Alexandria James and I am one of the classical piano teachers at Global House of Music. I completed my BMus at the university of the Witwatersrand specializing in composition and community music. The only thing I love as much as creating music is people. For as long as I can remember, music has been an integral part of my life – my mother came from a family of passionate musicians, and her and my grandmother were my first teachers. What began as something fun to learn and do on the odd familial visit quickly turned into one of the most defining features of my identity, and I came to understand why they described music as the Third Language.
It is both a solitary and social instrument. Learning the piano requires patience, discipline and, above all, a deep love of listening. I would argue that the piano is one of the most demanding instruments to learn technically – but one of the most creatively rewarding. My technical and theoretical teaching methods draw largely on institutionally recognized classical board examinations and content (mainly UNISA and ABRSM). I also try my best to enhance students’ learning experiences through community music philosophies that view education as a collaborative effort. To me, while tried and tested examination methods and teachers’ experience and wisdom provides the backbone without which an artistic discipline quickly becomes directionless, teaching a student must additionally mean providing them with the means enough to continue learning no matter the point at which they leave us. There is only so much that perfecting one’s technique and sharpening one’s musical knowledge and vocabulary can do – this is just the first part of a teacher’s job.
Playing any musical instrument requires you to understand notation, do music theory and play multiple pieces. The only way to learn is by doing it right