Notes from the Piano

Reflections on My 54 Years of Playing the Piano

This week I turned 60 years old, which means I have been playing the piano for around 54 years and teaching piano for almost 40 years.

During my learning journey I have amassed many qualifications in both performance, and teaching, including a Masters level qualification in Performance Teaching from GSMD & and a GSMD &EMCC certification in Mentoring & coaching.

I have built a wonderful career in music, a thriving private teaching practice and have a fabulous post teaching piano at the world leading Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

I continue to give recitals, adjudicate various festivals and competitions, accompany other musicians & run courses, workshops and masterclasses. Why then, I am often asked, am I still studying? The answer quite simply is that I am still fascinated by everything related to playing and teaching the piano, I am still hungry for more knowledge, there is so much to learn that if I live for another 100 years there will still be more to learn.

I continue to practise for several hours most days, not just because I still perform, but because the piano repertoire is so vast; there is so much beautiful repertoire to explore, as someone who loves the piano why would I not want to immerse myself in this world?

I will always want to practise, play, explore, discover more, I cannot imagine not doing so, apart from time with my family, it is my favourite place to be, sat at the piano, surrounded by scores, it is not a chore, it’s a voyage of discovery.

I try to inspire this love of/for the piano in my students, I want to share this wonderful world of repertoire with them, I want to help them build the technical and musical foundations which enable them to master the music they would love to play, I want to pass on to them the skills and knowledge and the passion to embark on their own lifelong voyage of discovery because it will give them so much, add depth and meaning to their life whatever career path and life choices they decide upon, wherever life takes them, music, the piano will always be there.

I have been incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity make my career in music it is not an easy path to take, it is not always a financially secure career, I work 6 days a week, I don’t see that changing anytime soon, however I cannot imagine my life any other way.

Lorraine Augustine is a Pianist, teacher and adjudicator based in Bedfordshire, with over 40 years’ experience of teaching and performing she teaches piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and runs a busy private practice in Bedfordshire.