Piano Teacher - Testimonials

In summer 2010, I was preparing to take my grade 7 piano exam, and started taking lessons with John. I was wanting to be able to take my performance of the pieces to a high standard, which was a big challenge. I was very quickly impressed with John's ability to help me take pages of written notes, and then to make clear sense of them. For example, I had found the music of the Baroque period quite difficult, but once I appreciated its structure, I was able to begin playing it with much greater satisfaction. I also studied more modern, jazzy music under John's tuition, not music I was familiar with, but also learned to enjoy. This, I think, is one of the things in which I will always be indebted to John; gaining a broader appreciation of the piano by being introduced to its wider repertoire.

"the most inspirational thing was watching and listening to John playing the piano"

Grade 7 was soon successfully passed, and I continued having lessons with John until the end of Grade 8. I was delighted to pass this with distinction, but much of the achievement was due to the hours of tuition I received, as John persisted on working carefully and patiently (very!) with me on fine details in the music which I would have otherwise passed over.

The greatest benefit I received from having piano lessons with John, was not learning how to pass piano exams, however. I think the most inspirational thing was watching and listening to John playing the piano! As an aspiring pianist, it was extremely helpful to watch the piano technique of a professional. It meant I know how to practise more efficiently and therefore learn more quickly. John was very encouraging as I decided my next step as a pianist, and suggested I try my hand at teaching myself. Having greatly appreciated John's clear teaching style and patience, I felt teaching was something I could do myself, having seen how it should be done! I now am privileged to be able to pass on what I learned to several young learners.

I would heartily recommend John to anyone looking for a music teacher, whether you want to learn piano purely for enjoyment or in order to pass exams.  

Josiah Bell (Leicester)

I have been having piano lessons with John for nearly three years.  He is most encouraging and enthusiastic, and I have made a vast amount of progress as well as enjoyed the lessons.  I would highly recommend him.

Anne Greaves (Laughton)

John Gull is someone I would describe as a true musician, and someone I have always felt cares 100% about music as an art as well as a profession.  Having worked with several teachers, John has been the first that I believe truly understands what he is teaching, and how exactly is best to teach it.  I began with him after several uninspiring years with my previous teacher, and was therefore eager to find someone who could recapture my interest in the piano and whom I could respect as a teacher.  I found that with John, every lesson has been exciting and thoroughly enjoyable.  

"every lesson has been exciting and thoroughly enjoyable"

John's years of experience and level of musical maturity has been apparent in every lesson.  I have often joked that he is someone who can listen to the student play a piece of music once, discuss it with them for five minutes, and somehow end up knowing everything about the piece.  Often taking music to lessons that I knew well, but which he had never heard, I have always been amazed by his ability to understand the pieces better than me - after only a short time working on them.  This is of course due to the breadth of his musical knowledge, which is certainly an invaluable quality for any teacher.  Indeed, his work in other capacities - including organ tuition and choir master - often supplements his teaching.  This includes a wealth of knowledge, tips and 'tricks of the trade', which he is often willing to share! Because of this, his lessons have always been highly-structured and professional, and it is amazing how much we are able to cover in an hour!

He has always placed particular emphasis on developing one of the most important musical skills: improving my interpretation of the music, and helping me to know what I should convey in my playing.  In most lessons, I would play a passage, he would talk to me about it, and my second time playing it would have significantly improved.  To do this, a teacher really has to know and understand a piece of music at sight, and where many teachers would struggle, John excels.  And most importantly of all, his passion for the music is passed on to the student because of this. 

"lessons have always been highly-structured and professional"

We worked for several months on one of the most colourful pieces in the entire repertoire - Pictures at an Exhibition - which culminated in a recital performance of the work.  His guidance throughout really helped to shape my interpretation, and this was instrumental in delivering a polished and successful performance.  Whether it has been this or a shorter, more accessible piece, John's thoroughly engaging professionalism and his ability to engage fully with the music always ensures rewarding and enjoyable lessons, and I would therefore be very happy to recommend him to students of all ages and abilities.

 James Campion (Leicester / Lancaster)

I started taking organ lessons with John as a complete beginner, having never played piano or any other keyboard instrument.  When I contacted John, he was immediately very positive and, by the end of our first lesson, I was very confident in his abilities as a musician and teacher. 

"a cheerful, approachable and engaging teacher"

Two years later and I still thoroughly enjoy our lessons.  John is a cheerful, approachable and engaging teacher.  He always finds good music to learn from, so that pieces fit with my tastes and provide the right level of musical challenge. 

He has a great knowledge about music history and music theory, but manages to include this in lessons without them becoming dull.  He also understands the difficulties of balancing music lessons with work and family commitments. 

In short, I would recommend John to anyone wanting to learn the organ.

Chris Williams (Thurcaston)

I feel very fortunate to have found a music teacher like John.  The potential he saw in me and my ability enabled me to fly through my grades.  He was extremely encouraging and always made lessons interesting.  I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons and looked forward to them each week.  

"supportive, patient and focused"

John is a very talented musician and was keen to pass on his knowledge.  He is very supportive, patient and focused, and I have no hesitation in recommending him.

Harry Dovey (Wigston)

I am Enhanced DBS-checked for working with children and vulnerable adults.  DBS documentation is available for inspection on request.