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© 2018 by Lisa Jane Maycock. 

"Piano has become a passion in my life and something that brings me great pleasure. I am still developing myself professionally in a musical capacity, but I am doing so alongside my work as a piano teacher and composer.

It all began when I started piano lessons myself when I was 12. I was inspired by the music I was listening to in my family home, the pop music and film soundtracks I was surrounded by at that age, and my mother herself, who would play Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin pieces to fill our home with melodies. I soon took to piano lessons and started progressing through the Grades and starting to identify with the musical genres that I liked and what my strengths (and weaknesses!) were when playing. I completed the ABRSM piano examination certificates up to Grade 5 over the first five years of studying, subsequently deciding that a change was in order for my later progression on the piano. Whilst examinations are important in the learning of an instrument, I believe that they are not the sole reflection of the skills being learnt and, most importantly, the enjoyment and performance value that can be acquired. At the age of 16 I searched for new guidance and was pleased to begin lessons with a new teacher and took a different approach to my studies, giving myself the chance to combine playing for pleasure and my technical progression. I reinforced some musical theory and I passed my Grade 5 theory examination while enjoying playing the styles of music that brought me most pleasure, ranging from classics by Mozart to more modern classical pianists like Ludovico Einaudi. With my renewed motivation to tackle practical examinations after a small respite, I studied with her to achieve my Grade 7 ABRSM piano certificate, which I obtained in 2004. It was at this time that I was moving away for my university studies, so a new chapter began in my musical development.

Not long after I began my university studies in German and Spanish at the University of Leicester, I agreed to taking on some teaching of fellow students that wanted to learn the piano. I worked with a handful of enthusiastic young adults in my spare time, all keen to learn a new skill. This was my first experience teaching and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how confident they became with each lesson, building on their musical knowledge and buzzing with motivation to learn more and conquer new pieces. It was during my time at university that I fully started to discover the pleasure I got from playing the piano. I found an unused grand piano on the top floor of one of the university buildings and would go there to escape and enjoy some time making music and creating pieces. I realised how much of a creative and emotional outlet the instrument was to me and whilst I was not receiving formal training at the time, I connected with the instrument in a different way.

During my university studies I spent six months in Spain in 2007, which is when I started to write my own music. I wrote ‘Hope’ as my first composition and soon after went to a Ludovico Einaudi concert at the Teatro Capitol in Madrid. He had already proven to be an inspiration in my music, but I had found that my own experiences and musicality were increasingly responsible for my ideas and interest in composing; in fact writing my own music at all came about completely unexpectedly. Speaking with him after the concert and sharing my very first composition with him I was surprised to learn that he thought it was worthwhile me writing more. Upon receiving more feedback I felt encouraged to go away and compose more, resulting in the pieces ‘Beginning’ and ‘Remember’. He was then kind enough to meet with me in London while he was touring in November 2007, where I discussed my composition ideas with him in more detail and shared my latest pieces. To this date, I am still inspired to write music knowing that I can connect with others in this way, yet feeling very humble to have exchanged thoughts with someone who inspires me so greatly.

I have written pieces of music on and off for ten years now, enjoying many of Einaudi’s concerts and performances in that time seeing him at several venues abroad and in London including The Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Hospital Chelsea and even being kindly invited to attend his concert at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in March 2016. One of my favourite memories was seeing him perform an open-air concert at the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Cartagena in July 2011 as part of the ‘Mar de Músicas’ festival. I learnt that inspiration was important, but that hard work and dedication to what you love is paramount.

At that time I was living in Spain again and had started teaching piano, percussion and notation to small groups of 6-14 year olds at the music school of San Pedro del Pinatar. Here I was lucky to meet my former piano mentor and teacher, an accomplished Spanish teacher and performer. I was keen to return to lessons and worked with him for two years to achieve my Trinity Grade 8 piano examination with Merit in July 2014. In addition, I supported the music school in its preparation for Trinity music examinations in several instruments, to enhance their correct understanding of the music syllabus and exam requirements, and acting as an interpreter in the exams themselves for the pupils. I was honoured to be chosen to receive the achievement award for ‘Distinguished Pupil 2013-2014’ for my work towards my Grade 8 certificate and in recognition of my composition. At the end of my time in Spain I sought out new performance opportunities, playing piano bar evenings for 6 months at the Club House of a 5-star golf resort in Murcia.

Upon returning to England in 2015, I continued composing and soon began performing again alongside my other work. I was asked to play piano bar evenings at Central Studio, Basingstoke, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also offered to play some Christmas music at the local Stroke Association Christmas carol event. 2016 saw me applying for Britain’s Got Talent in my attempt to seek out new challenges and I was pleased to get as far as the Executive Producer auditions, with feedback likening me to film composers that are also sources of inspiration to me. Despite not getting further, I realised that I was very keen to share my music and perform more, which would only come about if I made it happen. I decided to work on getting better quality recordings of my pieces and organised some professional recording sessions. I am continuing to follow this process through by recording some tracks each time that I have finished compositions, so that I can share my music with a wider audience.

In 2017 I returned to teaching and am happy to be offering piano lessons to pupils of all ages. I am proud to be able to teach others the joys of the piano and encourage them to see it as a creative outlet, as well as an enjoyable and timeless skill that can prove to be very fulfilling."