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Royal Academy of Music Oboe Class January 2017

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London Borough of Havering Oboe workshop, January 2017

“I really enjoyed it, she made what are normally boring exercises really fun! 

I found Celia’s class really really good- despite the fact that she was feeling so ill! 

Looking at the unknown pieces was really interesting and has given me the confidence to start looking at different types of repertoire. I was also able to play her a piece and the feedback from it was incredibly useful both positives and negatives. She also made playing scales seem fun with her backing tracks- I now look forward to practicing them!! 

 I enjoyed her class very much and the way we practised scales as a group was really useful for the technical exams coming up so it was a well-timed class. 

She was also very interesting and fun!”

Feedback from students, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 2017

My teaching style aims to draw the best out of the student by getting them to be aware of and respond to harmony, rhythm and musical phrasing and to see the need for developing a strong technical foundation that supports their musicality. Ensemble playing is at the heart of my lessons wherever possible so that music is felt in its harmonic context. I try to develop professionalism in my students- aiming to produce reliable, conscientious and committed players of all ages and stages. My goal is to draw the responses out of the student themselves rather than imposing ideas upon them. I am also keenly interested in performance psychology and mental preparation for playing. It is also important that my students are a part of a wider community. Watch some of our videoed events here and here!  I really enjoy running events for the Australasian Double Reed Society as well as my own oboe events at our studio under the name ‘Sound Academy’.IMG_1782

Institutions for whom I have taught include The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Sydney Grammar School, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, Sherborne School for Boys, Bradfield College as well as External Examining for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Guildhall School for Music and Drama. I have been invited to join the Oboe syllabus review for the Australian Music Examinational Board and have enjoyed adjudicating for BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in addition to other panels and juries. I am proud that former pupils of mine are professionally playing and teaching all around the globe.

In developing my approach, I acknowledge the depth of experience that I have benefitted from personally. In oboe pedagogy, naturally the strong influence of my oboe teachers, George Caird, Christine Pendrill, Nicholas Daniel among others, but also the culture and staff within The Purcell School, The University of York, Royal Academy of Music, The Rehearsal Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra. Earlier fundamental musical experiences through Carl Orff music lessons plus many years of violin study in Germany and UK and also band experience in concert and brass bands such as Northamptonshire Youth Concert Band have had a fundamental influence. The rich mix of experiences also includes sitting within rehearsals of the English Baroque Soloists from a very young age, Alexander Technique and plenty of recorder playing! I have been fortunate to have studied and worked alongside some of the top orchestral players in the world, to have received top quality music provision at every age and have been trained to expect high standards. I was honoured to be appointed an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1997.

Uni students 2012 with Gordon HuntVery early music experiences are helpful. I started violin at four, using a child’s size instrument. Although I first played the oboe at the traditional age of 12, I firmly believe that, given the right equipment, children can play both oboe and bassoon at Primary school age and that this is also a vital time for brain and musical development. Starting double reeds around Year Five is not only possible, it is desirable and gives the student a huge musical advantage in the long run. The recorder also makes a great link into wind playing. Intonation is crucial and by playing earlier, with all the musical experiences that can result at an earlier age, the student has a chance to develop their ear and musical appreciation to be able to judge intonation, and the muscle development to be able to achieve subtle adjustments. I believe that whatever age you start, great results can be achieved by intelligent practice.

Reed makingI have had a unique pathway and now realise that the breadth of these influences inform my teaching approach, enhanced by my husband’s professional expertise, having been a highly skilled instrument technician for twenty years and player, conductor and producer. Together at our well-appointed studio we offer courses and workshops for groups of players, teachers, stressing the importance of using the most reliable, well designed and maintained instruments and reliable reeds so that no effort is wasted. Skype lessons and online support are also available. I aim to make woodwind playing easier, more fun- and more about the music.

Artistic Advisory and Review Committees

Musica Viva, State Opera of South Australia, Australian Music Examinations Board, Recitals Australia, Artistic and Repertoire- Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Audition, Exam and Scholarship Panels

EMR Musical Scholarship, Elder Overseas Scholarship, Hobart Eistedffodd, Caroline White Memorial Scholarship, BBC Young Musician (Woodwind Finals), ABC Young Performers Award (Prelim round), Elder Hall ‘Inside an Audition’, Adelaide Youth Orchestra Concerto Auditions, External Examiner Royal Scottish Academy, External Examiner, Royal Scottish Academy, 2004, External Examiner, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London 2012, Adjudicator, Hobart Eistedfodd 2016

Leadership Roles

  • Jury member, IDRS 2015 Fox/Gillet Oboe Competition, Tokyo
  • Convenor and Host, ADRS National Conference 2013
  • South Australian Representative, ADRS
  • Featured Artist, International Double Reed Society Conference, 2009
  • Adelaide Symphony Orchestra ‘Artist Insight’ Series Speaker 2014
  • President, Australasian Double Reed Society 2007-2013
  • School Governor and Press Officer, Thameside Primary School, Reading UK 2005-06
  • Workshop Leader, BBCSO Education team, 2004-06
  • Expert Panel Member, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Auditions 2005
  • Chairman, BBCSO 2004
  • Lecturer, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 1998-2001

Teaching Testimonials

“The best thing about Celia’s lessons is that despite the fact she’s a professional oboe and cor anglais player of the highest standing, she’s always on a level with you. Whatever your technical or musical difficulties are, she’ll always have an anecdote about when the same thing happened to her. She’s great at putting you at ease, creating a great atmosphere for learning.”

– Andrew Taylor, conductor Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra

 “Celia is …fully equipped to communicate, perform and engage with people and musicians at every different level…Celia worked tirelessly as performer, workshop leader and advocate of the project and was central to its success…”

Lincoln Abbotts, Teaching and Learning Development Director, ABRSM, former Learning Manager, BBC Proms

“We have… benefited from Celia’s professional expertise… Her presentations to the children were at the right level and well received. Celia …will be very much missed for her enthusiasm and energy and, above all, her ‘can do’ attitude.”

– Jane Moore, Headteacher, Thameside Primary School

Musical Orbit Profile

Take a look at my Musical Orbit profile.