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.

If your students are anything like mine, they will have been playing Christmas carols for a number of weeks now. As it gets closer to Christmas and the carols are well known, my students use them as a basis for composing a theme and variations. This activity can either be improvised at their instrument or notated. [···]

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When I first started using Music Teacher’s Helper five years ago, I found that I was saving so much administration time that I was able to increase my teaching load considerably. Over the past few years my studio has increased in numbers and has been at full capacity, with a waiting list, for quite some time now. However, I’ve found myself increasing the hours that I am teaching – extending an existing students’ lesson time by another 15 or 30 minutes a week as they progress at their instrument, or taking on siblings of existing students who have been on the waiting list for far too long. This has happened little by little over time, until recently I realised that despite Music Teacher’s Helper taking care of lesson notes, invoicing, resources I’ve lent to students and a whole lot more, there are still lesson plans to write, concerts to organise and emails to respond to. In the past I made sure that I didn’t leave my studio each day until all of this was done, but as my teaching hours have increased I’ve found myself bringing work home.  [···]

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With the end of the year approaching, it is once again recital time in my studio. This means that for the past month or so, the focus has been on performance. A focus on performance includes many aspects, including choice of repertoire, pacing of preparation (particularly in relation to tempo), stage presence, concert etiquette, communicative playing and controlling nerves. [···]

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