My Piano Education

Maddy Sutton, PGDip in Community Music and BMus Hons in Music

Since I was around 7 years old I’ve been playing piano. I have the happiest memories of learning both the keyboard and piano thanks to the wonderful piano teacher from my childhood, Liz.

She was the most kind, patient, funny and inspiring teacher who taught me to explore many musical styles and most of all, to listen to lots of music, to be creative and to find my true musical voice!

She taught me how learning music is like learning a language.

Together we explored classical piano (I found my love of romantic and contemporary composers such as Chopin, Brahms and Debussy), we jammed blues boogie-woogie and had fun improvising (making it up!), she ignited my love of understanding chords and pop music playing.

Because of this broad approach, I now make sure I bring this influence to my own students. With Liz I achieved my Grade 8 Piano, whilst at the same time also gaining my Grade 8 in flute.

In 2013, I graduated with a first class Bachelor of Arts in Music (Honours) degree from The University of Huddersfield and was taught by the superb teacher and concert pianist Sally AnnMacLeod from the Royal Northern College of Music. I was awarded the Rodwell Prize for Pianist of the Year in 2013 whilst at university. I majored in classical performance and musical theatre direction and accompaniment studies.

After this, I worked in Barnard Castle, County Durham for a community arts centre where I developed music classes in singing, musical theatre and song writing.

I discovered my passion for working with communities and making music and arts education fun and accessible. And so, I began a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Music at The University of York and graduated with a first class award in 2018, with a keen interest in music in the primary years involving identity and motivation, health and well-being, play-based learning and music workshop facilitation.

Since then, I have been teaching for various music schools as well as an Instrumental Service in Scotland. My own piano studio started back in the Borders in 2018 with a full capacity of 32 students. Now it’s here to stay in and around my home, Cromdale, Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorms National Park.