About Ian Gray
Ian Gray is a freelance music educator and performer with over 35 years experience. Practical music-making is at the heart of all his activities and he enjoys performing in a variety of styles as a pianist, accompanist, musical director and organist/keyboards player.
IAN AS TEACHER/MUSIC EDUCATOR
It is Ian’s firmly held belief that ‘learning by doing’ is the way for-ward for students of all ages and abilities; his approach is skills based, with a commitment to teach music musically. Each learner presents a unique challenge and it is his mission to teach in the style that enables the pupil to learn effectively.
In his private piano teaching practice Ian offers 1:1 tuition in a variety of styles. Current pupils range from Prep Test to Diploma level. Over the years he has amassed a great deal of experience working with beginners and already accomplished pianists who want to work on their jazz and improvisation skills; a particular feature of his practice is the number of more mature players returning to piano tuition after several years.
Ian worked as an examiner for ABRSM for over 20 years on the classical and jazz panels both in the UK and in Hong Kong, China Singapore and Turkey.
Royal Northern College of Music
He teaches jazz piano, improvisation skills classes, as well as coaching jazz ensembles at the Junior Royal College of Music each Saturday. In the senior RNCM he is a mentor on the Masters’ programme, working with postgraduate pianists who aspire to teach in the future.
Ian is a facilitator, 1:1 piano teacher and workshop leader on the RNCM’s ‘Pathfinder Project’ – an innovative outreach initiative presenting workshops and formulating short bespoke courses for young musicians whose musical progression needs careful guidance – he has many years experience leading workshops over the entire age range from infants to adults in schools, PRUs, community music settings and in adult education summer schools.
Ian’s experience and expertise in classroom music has seen him lecture on the PGCE (Secondary Music) course at the University of Cumbria and on the course run jointly by MMU and RNCM which prepares graduates for a career in music education.
IAN THE PERFORMER
Ian is a sought after accompanist/musical director with several singers and is the keyboards player/musical director of the band ‘Blue Moon’. He is one of the organists at St Margaret’s Parish Church in Ingol, Preston. When time permits he is a freelance musical theatre MD – his most recent productions were “Spamalot” and “Wind in the Willows” with Leyland Methodist Music and Drama Group. In the past he has worked with Blackpool Operatic Players and Preston Musical Comedy Society.
If you’re looking for music for your celebration (party/wedding) Ian can call upon many singers and instrumentalists to meet your requirements – please feel free to contact him to discuss your needs.
Opportunities available for learners
- bespoke 1:1 tuition given to beginners, ‘improvers’ or ‘returners’ £35 per hour (£17.50 for 30mins).
- lessons can be taken weekly/fortnightly.
- lessons can be delivered face-to-face or online (or a mixture of the two).
- lessons can be in conventional or more modern musical styles.
- consultation/diagnostic for more advanced players/teachers can be taken on an occasional basis.
- I have experience of dealing with pupils who have ‘unique talents’ and are looking for alternative teaching styles.
- rehearsal and performance as required at £35 per hour (plus travel expenses if not in the immediate area).
- choir/ensemble/soloists preparing for performances auditions or examinations.
- I am able to offer jazz-in-the classroom workshops in schools (all key stages).
- As well as classroom ensembles I can work with school bands and after school clubs.
- Prices for sessions of different lengths available on request.
Productions and performances are an integral part of the musical life of any school but time is very pressing –
- I can help with music rehearsal skills and advise on the optimum use of rehearsal time.
- I have a wide range of musicians who could come and provide a band to enhance your production.
- Pricing will depend upon the hours involved.
Musicianship/Theory/Musical “Building Blocks”/Arranging
- I believe a lot of the teaching and learning of theory can be very biased towards the avoidance of things you can’t do – I strive to teach about the building blocks of music in a very positive way, pointing out the things that ‘tend to happen’ and how we can use them effectively.
- £35 per hour (pro rata)
Aural and Sight Reading – Preparation for Exams
- During my 20 years experience of examining I saw many very musical and able candidates under-achieve in these areas and have thoughts on how the skills required for success can be acquired.
- Sessions can be on an occasional basis, or on the run-up to examinations.
- £35 per hour (pro rata).
Teacher of Jazz Piano and Improvisation (JRNCM), Mentor in Piano Pedagogy on Masters programme, Workshop Leader on ‘Pathfinder’ outreach programme.
2018 – Present
UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA
Lecturer (part time) Music PGCE (Secondary)
2015 – 2018
FREELANCE MUSIC EDUCATOR
2015 – Present
LANCASHIRE MUSIC SERVICE
Project Leader/Area Manager/Senior Leader
2001 – 2014
2000 – Present
ASHTON HIGH SCHOOL, PRESTON
Head of Music
1985 – 2001
Singer,Teacher, Choir Leader
Award winning film music composer/songwriter and jazz pianist/singer
Director of Musical Theatre and Teacher
Musician and Music Educator, Author of 'Piano Magic' and 'Abracadabra Piano'
I can’t recommend him highly enough.
Ian is always pleased to hear from anyone who may benefit from his expertise & experience as a performer, musical director, piano teacher and music educator.
Please get in touch with him using the enquiry form or contact details below, to arrange an informal, no-obligation conversation/meeting to discuss your needs…