Ben C - tutor
 

Ben C
Tutor in Fortis Green, North London

(2)
(2)

£50.00 / hour

Prize-winning music graduate; strong interest in teaching

I have just graduated top of my year in music at Cambridge University, with a starred first degree. Aged 18 I won the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition; I have written and performed two piano concertos, performing the second in venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall; and I have been commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia to compose a string quintet to be performed in the Wigmore Hall next year.

I have been involved, in one way or another, with music teaching for the whole of my life, as the son of a piano teacher who works at home. I have been hired by the Cambridge University Music Faculty to teach keyboard skills to first year music students. I am a passionate believer in the importance of musical education, one of the most beneficial parts of a child's upbringing. Furthermore I believe teaching is a two-way street: in my limited experience of teaching it is already very clear how much the teacher can learn from their students, and I am fascinated by different individuals' approaches and responses to music. I take each student as a unique individual, with different tastes, abilities, and ways of learning. The best teachers are those that personally respond to the particular needs and demands of every student, and I would certainly wish to take this approach.

I take a very broad approach to music, encompassing many different styles and genres, from classical to jazz to rock to world music (although most of my training is in classical and jazz). I believe strongly in the intrinsic relation of theory and practice in music: the most successful musicians nearly always have a solid understanding of theory and harmony, which they can then put into practice. I would wish to generally emphasise this holistic approach in my teaching (though with respect to the requirements of the individual student).

My own musical experience is extremely broad. As a child I was a chorister in Truro Cathedral for six years (singing six services a week in term time); aged 10 I gained the highest mark in the country for my Grade 7 piano exam. I now have my LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) diploma on piano with distinction, and my FRCO (Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists) diploma on organ with all the available prizes. I gained the highest ever mark in the first year Keyboard Skills module of my degree at Cambridge. I have performed concertos by Bach, Mozart and Poulenc, as well as Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' and 'I Got Rhythm Variations'. I have performed dozens of solo recitals on the piano, organ and harpsichord, and I also have extensive experience playing jazz (both solo and in ensembles). I spent a year playing in a progressive rock band, and have dabbled in Klezmer, Tango and other world music styles. I am currently in the process of setting up an electronic neo-soul band (Erykah Badu inspired) with a singer and electronic musician. Improvisation forms an important component of my work: I have performed concerts of improvised music with violin virtuoso Jennifer Bennett, and I have improvised live accompaniments on the organ to the silent films Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera. Future plans include performances of my string quintet at the Wigmore Hall (I also have composition commissions from the Orpheus and Bacchus music festival in France and Cornwall Youth Orchestra), and recording a CD of improvised music with Jennifer Bennett.

Although music is my main focus, I am widely read on some other subjects (particularly religion and politics) and am offering my services as a teacher of Maths and Religious Studies up to GCSE level. As a student mathematician I attended the highly competitive UKMT National Mathematics Summer School in 2009 (as a result of an exceptional result in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge). I also have extensive experience of music-making in the context of Christian worship, giving me an insight into certain aspects of Christian theology (which I have backed up with extensive reading on the subjects of religion and philosophy).

Outside of teaching, I am currently dividing my time between piano (classical and jazz), organ, composition and arranging. I am beginning a freelance career (I am also available for non-teaching-related musical jobs!) and am considering applying to a conservatoire for further study at some point.
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Reviews and References

There are 2 reviews or references for Ben.

Written by Martin E

A truly exceptional musician

Ben is one of the most gifted musicians I have ever come across. He is just starting out as a tutor, but I have no doubt that he will be an outstanding teacher in any area up to and including degree level. He excelled at Cambridge, coming top of his year, so this is not an idle suggestion!
Subject:
Music Theory
Outcome:
N/A
Written by Aditya C

Ben Comeau

Ben is my keyboard skills supervisor for the 1st year music course at Cambridge University. I have found him to be very helpful and engaging, and methodical in producing example sheets for each of the varying areas of the exam to work through in my own time. I have noticed a significant progression in my ability through his systematic methods of teaching, even in our short weekly slots. He is also a brilliant chamber musician, and I had the privilege to work with him last year as a violinist on two contemporary piano trios by Cambridge-based composers.
Subject:
Music
Outcome:
n/a

Education and Qualifications

Ben's education and qualifications are listed below.

University

Institution
University of Cambridge
Degree
Music
Grade
Starred 1st

School

Institution
Truro School
A Levels
x4
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  • - Music
    A
  • - Economics
    A
  • - Maths
    A
  • - Philosophy
    A

Prizes and Scholarships

Winner of the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition (2011)
Organ Scholarship at Girton College Cambridge (2011-2014)
London Girton Association Music Award (2012)
Winner of the Cambridge University Composition Workshop (2014)
Limpus/Shinn/Durrant Prize, Dixon Prize, Harding/Durrant Prize, and Dr F. J. Read Prize for my FRCO organ diploma exam results (2014)
Tom Mansfield Prize for music in Girton College (2014)
Laurie Hart Prize for academia in Girton College (2014)
Sophia Turle Scholarship for music in Girton College (2014)
Jane Catherine Gamble Prize for original academic research by a member of Girton College (2014)

Other Qualifications

Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists (diploma on organ, with prizes)
Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (diploma on piano, with distinction)

Subjects

Subjects taught by Ben are listed below.


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