Nicole Murphy

Nicole Murphy

Nicole Murphy is a pianist and composer residing in Queensland, Australia. She has been teaching both piano and composition privately and in schools for over 8 years, with students currently ranging in age from four years to eighty-five years. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours Class I) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is currently working towards a Masters of Music. As a freelance composer, Nicole has been commissioned by numerous ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Chronology Arts, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Ballet.

I remember being told once by a recorder player that early in their career they analysed every performance and beat themselves up relentlessly over every wrong note. She told me that after every performance she would pull out the score and circle the mistakes she had made (I can only imagine how damaging this would be to her self esteem, seeing the mistakes circled on the score she was practicing with for her next performance). One night after a performance of a Vivaldi concerto, a member of the orchestra pointed out that playing three wrong notes out of the hundreds/thousands in the score was nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, if you achieved 97% or 98% in any other endeavour, most people would be positively delighted. So why are classical musicians such perfectionists, and how can we prepare our students for the inevitable mistakes that happen during performance? [···]

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An essential part of running any business is keeping good financial records. However, most music teachers end up running their own businesses by default rather than choice, because that is the nature of our industry. In the past I know that I would far rather teach, plan lessons, respond to emails or dust my piano than sit down and deal with the record keeping side of my studio. If this sounds like you, I would highly recommend having a look at Music Teacher’s Helper’s record keeping functions.  [···]

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I love the start of a New Year. Perhaps it is because in the Southern Hemisphere we have our summer holidays over the Christmas/New Year period, so by the time the New Year rolls around we have already had a month of rest and have another month of holidays before school begins again. I always use the start of the New Year to reflect on my studio and teaching habits; making decisions on which parts of my teaching practice could be enhanced, and which areas might need to be revised. [···]

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