Valerie Kampmeier

Valerie Kampmeier

Valerie Kampmeier, M.A., brings decades of performance experience as a successful classical pianist in Europe to her piano teaching and her life coaching practice for musicians. She also writes about living a creative life on her blog. A gifted piano student from the age of five, Valerie has spent more than twenty-five years working as a teacher, coach and conductor in Britain, Europe and the U.S. with some of the world's most talented musicians. She began teaching as a graduate student at one of London's premiere conservatories, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she went on to work with graduate piano accompaniment students, as well helping to run the Junior Department for gifted children, teaching piano, musicianship, and running two choirs. Valerie’s teaching emphasizes the importance of technical, physical, mental, emotional and creative freedom at the piano, as well as a wide range of repertoire, improvisation, and composition. An injury that brought her career as a performer to an abrupt halt in her mid-thirties also caused her to question many aspects of musical performance training. In order to have a more profound understanding of her own challenges and those of others, she undertook years of intensive personal growth work, which culminated in a Masters' degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. As a result, she is able to offer both top-level professional musical assistance and empathic and expert life coaching. Her approach combines a genuine warmth and a well-developed sense of humor with intelligence, intuition and sensitivity.

Skubik/Wikipedia

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Annabel was the most talented pianist I’d ever taught. A complete beginner at seven, she had progressed within six weeks to being able to play fluently with both hands and, while I was away on tour for a few weeks, completed the first piano book on her own. Her hand position was naturally good and her aural skills were outstanding. She could also sight-read expertly. I was delighted with her progress on my return… and therefore somewhat disappointed when she announced halfway through Book 2 that she didn’t want to have lessons any more. She didn’t hate the piano- she just wasn’t particularly interested. She already played violin, was studying German and excelling at school, so reluctantly her parents and I agreed that she could discontinue her lessons.

But her decision intrigued me, and brought up a lot of questions. [···]

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Photo by bingbing

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Henry Ford

I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.”
Abraham Lincoln

I’ve recently started practicing again. Having a chronic health condition means that there are periods of time when it is difficult for me to practice the piano, although I used to be a concert pianist. I look back ruefully to times as a child when I was obliged to practice and didn’t feel like it. How the time would drag! [···]

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This month, I thought I’d share with you some of the fantastic books that have informed and inspired my teaching and my creative expression.

First things first. A few books on how to overcome the obstacles in our way.

 Getting Things Done by David Allen (Piatkus 2002)

One of the aspects of life that most challenges my clients and students is staying organized, and it often impedes their progress towards making the changes they really want in their lives. This book has sold millions of copies in thirty languages and it’s easy to see why.

With superb clarity, Allen outlines his system that allows you to ‘park’ all your to dos in a maximally efficient way so that you can knock them out easily whenever you have the opportunity, and get on with focusing on what really matters to you. [···]

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