Sally Cathcart

Sally is a musician who just happens to be fascinated by the piano and all things to do with piano teaching. She runs a teaching studio and teaching the piano is still her greatest joy.

In 2015 she formed a partnership with Sharon Mark-Teggart and founded The Curious Piano Teachers. This is an online resource that provides an innovative and inspiring space for piano teachers across the world to meet, share, reflect and grow. Since its formation The Curious Piano Teachers has attracted a world-wide reputation for innovation and collaboration. Have a look at their website:  The Curious Piano Teachers

As well as having many years of piano teaching experience Sally is also an experienced classroom music teacher. Having spent 14 years as a Director of Music in a couple of schools she has a good understanding of the challenges facing many music departments.

Her innate curiosity has taken her to many corners of the world to explore different approaches to music education. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2005 and this allowed her to visit South Africa, Hungary and Cuba and study the aural approaches to instrumental learning that can be found there. She returned with a greater understanding of the value of collaboration and community. As a direct result Sally founded the Oxford Piano Group, theoxfordpianogroup.org.uk as a vibrant, collaborative place for pianists and teachers to meet and share experiences.

In 2013 she was awarded a Ph.D from the Institute of Education, UCL. Her topic was the first comprehensive study of UK piano teachers, exploring common practices, expertise, values, attitudes and motivation to teaching.

by courtesy of Richard Watson

Sally is very involved in teacher training for both piano teachers and classroom teachers. She has been a Principal Tutor on the Piano Teachers’ Course (UK) since 2001 and in this role she both gives lectures and acts as a tutor. Since 2015 she has been Director of Assessment for the Certificate of Music Education (CME) delivered by the PTC.

In addition Sally is an examiner for ABRSM. She also works as a syllabus consultant for them and is a member of the ABRSM Music Education Advisory Committee. Furthermore, her ideas on sight-reading were developed by ABRSM into their Sight-Reading Trainer app. This has attracted considerable praise for its innovative and game based approach.

Sally is a trained Kodály practitioner and has a reputation for delivering energetic and insightful training and courses. She currently acts as a senior consultant and Advisory Teacher for The Voices Foundation www.voices.org.uk after spending several years as their Director of Development. This involves her working in mainstream and special schools with class teachers to help them develop their personal musicianship skills; this enables them to be able to deliver a Musical Foundations programme to their classes.

Sally is equally at home presenting workshops or giving lectures and this is something she does on a very frequent basis.


RECENT PRESENTATIONS, PAPERS & WORKSHOPS INCLUDE

Tuesday Teaching Tips, a weekly video of teaching ideas. goo.gl/Uqypnt

The Little Shepherd by Debussy, a Musical Shower at Redefining Expectations, Belfast & Oxford 2018

Piano Teaching for the 21st Century in a Nutshell: Music Education Expo, London, 2017 Piano Teaching for the 21st Century in a Nutshell, EPTA  UK Conference, Nottingham,  2017

Songs and Games for Beginner Piano Lessons, Music Teachers National Association Conference, Baltimore, US, 2017

The Lazy Piano Teacher workshop, Salisbury EPTA UK Wessex, 2016

Messy Piano, EPTA (UK) conference in Cambridge, 2016

Teacher Training Day, Cambridge Suzuki Training, 2016

Teaching the Beginner Pianist International Society for Music Education Biannual Conference, Glasgow, 2016

The Role of the Piano Tutor Book International Society for Music Education Biannual Conference, Glasgow, 2016

Essential Musicianship for Teachers, parts 1 & 2, delivered on behalf of The Voices Foundation, 2016 & 2017

7 Steps to Sight-reading Success, Music Education and Drama Expo, 2016

Let’s Play, Music Education Expo, 2014

Teaching the Piano, Research h in Music Education Conference, Exeter University, 2011 Breaking the Mould, The Reflective Conservatoire, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2012


PUBLICATIONS

The Curious Piano Teachers Blog. Since 2015 Sally has written a weekly, widely-read blog post on a wide variety of topics relating to piano teaching. https://www.thecuriouspianoteachers.org/blog/

Do you have what it takes to become a piano teacher? Pianist Magazine, December 2017 Let’s Play, The Curious Piano Teachers. An online video series. https://thecuriouspianoteachers.courses/p/letsplay

A Social History of Piano Teaching. Piano Professional. Autumn 2016.

Making Musicians – Lessons from Abroad. Piano Professional, EPTA UK. 2006

Developing the Complete Pianist, British Journal of Music Education, Vol. 16 No. 3. 1999


LECTURING & MENTORING

Lecturer and supervisor on the MA module of the Music Teachers in Professional Practice course, University of Reading. 2005-2013.

PGCE tutor for music teacher trainees, University of Buckingham. 2005-2015.

 

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