Principal Tutors


Sally Cathcart has many years of teaching experience both as a piano teacher and classroom music teacher. After her travels as a Winston Churchill Fellow, she founded the Oxford Piano Group as a place for pianists and teachers to collaborate and share experiences.

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

She is extensively involved in teacher training; is a trained Kodaly practitioner and is currently Director of Development of The Voices Foundation.

Sally is an examiner for the ABRSM, sits on the ABRSM Music Education Advisory Committee and is in demand as a speaker and music education consultant.

She is a member of EPTA UK and the ISM, and in 2015 co-founded The Curious Piano Teachers – which provides an online, interactive community for piano teachers worldwide.

 

Heli Ignatius-Fleet is a highly trained pianist and piano teacher with extensive studies in several countries with a variety of distinguished professors.

Having completed the two year pedagogy module at Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, she is as passionate about teaching as she is about playing the piano: she teaches students ranging from professional musicians to beginners, and performs regularly.

As a performer, Heli has appeared in concerts  nationwide as well as in Finland where she also has appeared on  radio and TV. As well as playing solo piano repertoire she has built up a reputation as a chamber music player; her thoroughly researched lecture recitals combining music and art have been well received by audiences in universities, schools and art galleries. Now living in Cambridge, she is a much sought after teacher: her pupils range from  those at early stages of learning to music professionals.  Heli is a tutor on residential piano courses at Little Benslow Hill,  Hichin and a principal tutor   at the EPTA UK Piano Teachers Course.  Heli was closely involved with The Common Approach (Piano) which provided a curriculum for instrumental studies for the first time in the UK. She has published articles in professional journals both in the UK and in Finland and has appeared as a speaker in numerous conferences and workshops.

Heli  wants to help young pianists to play effortlessly and expressively. This is why the systematic teaching of technique as well as expressive skills  are central to her work with piano teachers as well as her own piano pupils. She also wants to help pianists cope with with performance tension by making performance skills a topic in its own right.

 

Graham Fitch maintains an international reputation as a pianist, teacher, adjudicator and writer. Having just returned from adjudicating the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, other recent activities include a concert tour of Singapore and Australia with Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, with master classes at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Griffith University in Brisbane, and Melbourne’s Team of Pianists.

Graham is a regular writer for Pianist Magazine, and has several video demonstrations on the magazine’s YouTube channel. He has recently published an eBook based on his popular blog: www.practisingthepiano.com

Graham teaches privately in London, and counts among his students Daniel Grimwood and James Baillieu, with many others active in the profession. In addition to teaching talented youngsters and tertiary level piano students, he is very interested in working with amateur pianists.

 

Ilga Pitkevica, MA Mus, graduated from the Latvian Music Academy in Riga in 1984 with honours in solo piano performance, piano teaching, accompaniment and chamber music. Before moving to the UK in 2002, Ilga taught piano, accompaniment and chamber music at the Academy and at the Emils Darzins Special Music School for Gifted Children. Ilga is the official accompanist for the International Cello Competition held bi-annually in Liezen, Austria.

As well as accompanying instrumentalists and singers, Ilga performs solo and chamber music in the UK and abroad. She also teaches private pupils at her home in Coton. Several of her pupils have been winners of the UK national piano competition run by the European Piano Teacher’s Association (EPTA). Ilga serves on the EPTA UK Committee and since 2006 has been its Cambridgeshire Regional Organiser.

 

 

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