World Piano Day: A message from Mariko, our Supporting Studies Piano Teacher

Today is World Piano Day and we asked our Supporting Studies Piano Teacher, Mariko Brown, to tell us what she loves about teaching piano at our School. Here's what she had to say.

I have worked at The Yehudi Menuhin School for just over 12 years now, and felt its special atmosphere from the first day I set foot in the school, in October 2010, for my audition and interview, and immediately felt at home.

I felt the buzz of curiosity, learning, musical inspiration and aspiration, around me on that first day, and a deep warmth and welcoming amongst those who were soon to become friends and colleagues.

Once I started at YMS, in January 2011, I was also immediately aware of the connectedness of the school, soon getting to know all the staff, (the wonderful caretakers / estates team , kitchen , cleaning, administrative, academic, boarding and music) and all the students, with music at the heart and spirit of the school. It is vibrant.

I love my role as a Supporting Studies Teacher, with what this opens up for me in my teaching, not only imparting my love for the piano, for music, and passing on what I have been taught from my incredible teachers, but also for the freedom to work so uniquely to each student’s needs, to not only support their growth as musicians through their piano learning (and with this supporting their first study instruments, composition etc.), but also to support their growth, happiness, and depth as human beings; and of course, to nurture a wonderful enjoyment, understanding and friendship with the piano at whatever level or ability.

I feel truly privileged to have this opportunity to work with these young musicians. It is as much fun as it is deep work. I love meeting and getting to know all these interesting, creative, colourful and different personalities, and I am always learning every day, such is the invitation of teaching; the discoveries, the challenges, the different ways each student responds or learns, the working together, patience, perseverance, problem solving, the spontaneity and surprises, and mostly the utter joy in each and every step of progress, sense of achievement, self esteem, confidence, belief, and happiness this brings to a student; sometimes these steps are obvious and sometimes subtle. There is so much variety and this keeps me on the ball and thinking too, which gives me purpose! It is a very fulfilling job.

Another hugely favourite aspect of teaching at YMS, and I can’t express this enough although I have alluded to it above, are the colleagues I work with, who make the place sparkle with their enthusiasm, love, care, passion and compassion for the work we do together, as well as the musical exchanging of ideas and learning. And, the wonderful humour, its connection, perception, energy and appreciation!

I am full of gratitude every day, and thank all my wonderful colleagues around me!

Read more about Mariko and our other piano teachers.

29 Mar 2023