Piano Tutors

Sharon Harris

I grew up learning the piano from the age of five, then also guitar, oboe and saxophone before taking a music degree at Southampton University. I had particular interests in composition and music recording. My music career began in a London recording studio which produced music for television, films, music libraries and adverts. I then moved into instrumental teaching full time achieving the LRSM Teaching Diploma from The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Early on I taught piano, oboe and saxophone, but for many years now I have concentrated on just the piano which I have been teaching for over twenty four years to pupils of all ages, including adults, and pupils with special needs and disabilities. My lessons are friendly and fun, so that pupils feel at ease and able to take part in a variety of musical activities such as improvisation, and rhythm and listening games to suit individual pupil’s needs and learning styles. As well as being enjoyable, piano playing improves physical co-ordination, language and listening skills, and it can be incredibly therapeutic. Music is a skill that can last a lifetime and it is wonderful to be able to share it with others. When I do have time for other interests, they include arts and crafts, cooking, walking and gardening.

Brian Cotterill – B. Mus (Hons) QTS

Brian grew up in Farnham where he studied piano and organ whilst a head chorister at St Thomas-on-The Bourne Church. He gained a music scholarship to Lord Wandsworth College and then progressed to University College, Cardiff where he studied organ and composition, during which time, as Organ Scholar, he held the position of Organist at the University Parish Church.

Brian has taught the piano for over 30 years. He has also held several high-profile organist posts and, as a qualified teacher, has musically directed (and written) many school shows and has performed in the USA, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and in many parts of England and Wales. In 2012 Brian notably played the organ for Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Brian also holds a professional Braille music qualification and has transcribed for and taught music to the visually impaired.  

Brian is also a keen composer and has written and arranged pieces for many local choirs and ensembles. After over 20 years as Director of Music in three schools he now enjoys teaching piano, playing the organ and directing church choirs.

Brian and his wife, Irish operatic soprano Nicola Sharkey, recorded their first CD “Music for a While” in 2000. Their second CD, “Music When Soft Voices Die” was released to much acclaim in 2006.

Video and audio clips of Brian playing the piano (and also some of the great organs of Europe!) can be found on his website: https://briancotterill.webs.com/

David Marsden

image of David Marsden

David has worked for Surrey Arts as a piano and guitar teacher since 1998. He began his music career at the age of 18 and having studied practical piano and theory to grade 8 with the ABRSM went on to work extensively as a professional musician playing Piano, Keyboard and vocals in various live bands and working with a number of well known artists on the Club/ Cabaret circuit. Between 1987 and 1992, David ran his own recording studio working as a recording engineer, arranger and producer and in 2002 he made a number of live appearances on Capital FM with the challenge of talking to listeners and writing a personalised song for them live on air. David has a unique method of teaching children at Surrey Arts; giving them the opportunity to learn Classical, Jazz, Improvisation and Popular styles of playing the piano, keyboard and guitar. He has led many students successfully through the Associated Board and Trinity Classical and Jazz examinations in Piano, Keyboard and Guitar.

Matthew Curtis

BMus (Hons,) LLCM, Associate member of EPTA (UK)

Matthew started playing the piano at primary school, later learning the alto saxophone at secondary school. He frequently played piano in assembly and accompanied the school choir at end of term concerts. Matthew also spent some time with Surrey Arts Junior and Senior Wind bands in the North Surrey area. 

Matthew joined Trinity College of Music as a junior student in 2005, progressing my musicianship and studies on piano and saxophone to Grade 8 and beyond. During his time there he performed in several ensembles such as Big Band, Wind Orchestra and Saxophone Ensemble. There was plenty of opportunity to perform to the public as a pianist in lunch time recitals. He also had the chance to perform with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on harpsichord at Cadogan Hall in December 2005.

Matthew’s principle study was piano at the London College of Music at University of West London and graduated with a first-class honours degree and performance diploma in 2015. After graduating he started teaching piano privately and now have an established client base. He also worked for the Zodiac Musical Society in Sunbury-on-Thames as their accompanist for their Christmas shows. 

Matthew worked for Kingston Music Service from 2017/18 before joining Surrey Arts in November 2018. He also completed the European Piano Teacher’s course at the Purcell school of Music in June 2017 and is an associate member of EPTA. Matthew enjoys teaching across the primary & secondary education sector.

Lisanne Otten BA (Hons) Music 

Lisanne is a BA (hons) graduate from Paul McCartney’s LIPA in Liverpool. Originally from the Netherlands, she studied classical piano and choir singing to conservatoire standards from the age of 7 up to Grade 8 (in piano and music theory), as well as branching into pop, rock and jazz by taking up the bass guitar from the age of 14 and later at LIPA.

Lisanne has a wealth of experience including touring with various bands and projects around the world, being musical director for cabarets and musicals including London’s West End, Steinway piano competitions (participant), solo pianist for weddings and functions and continues to push her playing with projects including X-Factor contestants and her original band Feral Ghost. 

“I think it’s vital that instrumental teachers inspire students by setting an example as a performer, in order to show them what they can achieve if they stick with lessons! Being an active performer will also enable the teacher to communicate clearly and offer practical advice to support students in their performance goals, particularly when it comes to the details and the use of proper technique in practise.”

Lisanne has a friendly and fun teaching style, is a CTLLS certified music teacher and has over 10 years experience teaching all ages, styles, levels and exam boards from ABRSM and Trinity to Rockschool.

For more info, see www.lisanneotten.com

Phil Taylor

Phil was born in Nottingham and studied piano from the age of 6 and guitar from the age of 12.  He trained as a pianist and guitarist at The Royal College of Music and holds Grade 8 in piano and guitar.  He has 20 years’ experience as a piano, keyboard and guitar teacher, having worked for Surrey Arts since 2000.  He is experienced at teaching students of all ages, levels and abilities.  Phil offers tuition in all different styles and genres.  His specialisms include classical, jazz, pop and rock as well as improvisation/composition.

Phil has a proven track record of success with ABRSM and Trinity College (as well as Rockschool) exams.  He teaches students from Initial/Prep Test level up to Grade 8 and beyond.  He has a great deal of live experience playing the piano professionally both as a solo musician/entertainer and in bands, performing in concerts at venues across London, France, Corsica, Switzerland and Greenland, as well as performing in shows/musical productions and doing session work as a pianist/keyboardist/guitarist for various artists. 

Phil believes that learning should be informative and fun and that each pupil should be treated as an individual.  He strives to bring out the best in all his pupils and help them to reach their full potential.  His attitude towards teaching is very positive, patient and consistently encouraging. Phil’s interests include spending time with family, performing, composing, arranging and listening to music as well as walking, fitness and running.

Graham Caldecott

Graham went to Chethams School of Music from 1969 – 1975. The Royal Northern College of Music 1975 – 1980. The Royal Academy of Music !981-1982 studying with Rosemarie Wright, Una Bradbury, Renna Kellaway and Hamish Milne. Since then he has performed widely as a recitalist, chamber player and accompanist as well as playing lighter music for functions, Bar Mitsvas and weddings.

Graham has also over 40 years teaching experience privately and for Latymer Upper School (1989-present), Enfield Music Service (1992-present) and Surrey (2014-present)

His pupils have won many festival first prizes, music scholarships, places at specialist music schools and 100% pass rate with exams.

Patricia Coll

Patricia began teaching piano for Surrey Arts in 2009. She studied the piano from the age of 7 and gained all the exam grades through to Grade 8. Having completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education for the Primary years, Patricia taught at several schools as a class teacher and used her piano skills wherever needed. Since teaching for Surrey Arts, Patricia has been tutoring primary-aged children and she particularly likes to be able to start their learning right from the start; setting them off with a good foundation in both correct technique and sound note reading. Patricia aims to make the learning experience fun and achievable and loves to see their sense of accomplishment when they are able to play along musically to an accompaniment or backing track. She feels privileged to be sowing the seeds of a love of all kinds of musical styles and developing the skills which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of enjoyable music playing. Patricia has successfully tutored many children through the grade exams with both Trinity and ABRSM. She is a keen member of a church choir and has enjoyed taking part in performances including accompanying the male group Blake at a local theatre, as well as singing Happy Birthday to the Queen at Epsom Derby. Her other interests include gardening, cooking and countryside family walks with the dog.

Lesley Gladigau 

Lesley Gladigau studied singing, clarinet and piano at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, in Cardiff. She gained her Licentiate Diploma and Advanced Certificate of music, with merits in performance. Whilst she was in Wales Lesley sang in the BBC Welsh Chorus and travelled extensively with the choir performing in different countries and venues. Lesley moved to London and continued her singing studies on the Advanced Music Course at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst studying at the Royal Academy she won the Isabel Jay award for sopranos and mezzo- sopranos. After completing her advanced singing studies at RAM, Lesley started work as a peripatetic music teacher, working for different music services. She gave lessons in singing, clarinet and piano. Lesley continued to develop her music teaching further joining the Surrey Arts Music Service where she worked as a woodwind teacher for the wider opportunities music sessions delivered in primary schools. Lesley has entered many students for musical examinations over the years and works on the musical theory, musicianship, aural and sight reading disciplines that are also important for the graded examinations. Lesley has also worked abroad in Cairns, Australia where she sang with the Cairns Choral society, and performed as a soloist in many of their concerts. Lesley also performed as a soprano soloist working for wedding companies in Cairns and the Northern Beaches. The weddings often took place in wildlife parks and conservation areas of natural beauty. So Lesley has literally been singing with the animals! Usually kangaroos and koalas! Lesley joined Linden Bridge School in Worcester Park, as a specialist music teacher, teaching class music lessons across the whole school in a SEN setting. She enjoyed organising concerts and musical events for the children. She has taken children to perform in the Epsom and Ewell choir festival for the past 2 years-(2018, 2019). Lesley also teaches peripatetic music lessons at Linden Bridge School, giving singing, clarinet, flute, recorder and alto sax lessons. Lesley has recently started teaching for Surrey Arts Music Service again and is enjoying developing her timetable. She is teaching piano, flute and singing lessons.

Angelina Palmblad

Angelina holds a Postgraduate Performance Diploma from prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Playing the piano has always been her passion. As a performer, she has played in several venues in the UK including Barbican Hall, and also in Europe. Angelina has over 10 years of experience in teaching the piano. She has high standards, but knows how to make lessons enjoyable. Having two young children of her own has given her a better understanding of children’s psychology, and has enriched her teaching.