Meet our Associate Teachers...

'Richard is the consummate professional – an exceptional pianist and teacher of both classical and jazz, children and adults. Few can claim such diversity of skills, and his students love him for it.' Zuzana L.

RICHARD WAS  (DipMus, A.T.C.L.)

Born in New Zealand, Richard attained Grade 8 from both Trinity College and the Royal Schools of Music by the time he was 15 and was subsequently chosen to participate in a masterclass by renowned pianist Michael Houstoun. Richard completed his Letters in 1987 and won the IRMT Schubert Scholarship competition that same year. After training with Bryan Sayer at Auckland University’s School of Music, Richard moved to Sydney in 1990 to continue his studies and start a piano-teaching studio.

Learning with Richard…

Richard’s students consistently achieve excellent AMEB results through all grades, although exams are not the main priority, Richard says. “In classical piano I encourage my pupils to play musically above all else, though never at the expense of the composer’s intentions.”  He has a natural rapport with children and cultivates a fun, relaxed atmosphere in lessons.  A number of Richard’s students, both younger and adult, have been with him for many years. Richard readily transcribes popular songs for piano, and teaches rudimentary jazz and improvisation. This range of styles is appealing to students who are less interested in the classics, those who want a more casual approach to learning piano.

Richard is available for lessons in Eastern suburbs.

Call Richard now on 0469 437 788 or email us at info@pianopromise.com

What Richard’s students say… 

“Richard has taught all four of our children over the last 8 years. Three of them have already successfully achieved Grade 8, with our youngest sitting that grade next year. Richard has shown a remarkable ability to cajole reluctant teenagers through the difficult years when motivation can be lacking, and/or other school activities place demands on their time. All our children have thoroughly enjoyed their piano learning experience with him, and Richard’s skill as a teacher and superb pianist is very evident in the results.” Geoff N, parent (Vaucluse, NSW)

“Richard has been my piano teacher for the last 12 months and I’m looking forward to the years to come. I have learned so much from Richard. He has fine tuned pieces I was playing and introduced me to a variety of other pieces. I am learning so many new skills. I look forward to my lessons each week so much. I love classical music which Richard excels at and I’m also learning jazz pieces and contemporary pieces. He is interested in me and what I love to play. He continues to inspire me every week.” Fiona P, student (Kingsford, NSW)

 

Richard’s inspiring and encouraging teaching approach…

Richard: “Every piano player has a unique touch, a sound that is theirs alone. I find this fascinating, and fortunate too, because it gives us all the ability to create a special moment when playing a piece of music — to give it life, if you will. Listening to the sound of a note, or a phrase, is the start of good music-making.”

VIEW RICHARD PLAYING HERE.

 

'Tibor and I share a common classical European background...It makes quite a difference.' Zuzana L.

TIBOR SZAKOS

Born in Czechoslovakia, Tibor completed his Bachelor of Music majoring in Pianoforte at the Conservatorium of Music in Kosice, Slovakia in 1980. On his arrival in Australia he pursued further study at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. In 1992 he joined the piano faculty of the Australian Institute of Music where he served as Acting Head of the Piano Department and designed the curriculum for the Classical Pianoforte Major component of the A.I.M. Diploma of Music. He followed this with nine years at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music where he both taught and was active as a performer. Tibor is now teaching privately.

Learning with Tibor…

Tibor offers lessons to students of all ages, from beginners to experienced musicians, and he specialises in applying European teaching methods to piano learning. While his focus is on teaching classical piano, his expertise also covers other genres, from popular to jazz.

Tibor teaches in the main from his studio in Gosford where students enjoy a unique atmosphere and lessons on a choice of four grand pianos. He is also available for lessons in Chatswood, Sydney’s Northern and Eastern suburbs

Call Tibor now on 0401 594 447 or email us at info@pianopromise.com

What Tibor’s students say… 

“I have been a student of Tibor for 13 years, he was recommended by another teacher. He is friendly and passionate about his commitment to teaching music and endeavours to get the best possible musical results for his students. His knowledge is amazing and as a mature student I have improved immensely under his guidance.” Carmen Stewart, student (Wyong, NSW)

“Tibor has been teaching my daughters (12, 10 and 7) to play for more than two years. I think initially he was surprised at the two older girls who’d been getting lessons for two years and hadn’t progressed far. But under his tutelage, they have blossomed as confident players. Tibor has great patience, an obvious love for the music and he clearly cares for the girls. If he is available to you, grab him!” Erica Campbell, parent (Neutral Bay, NSW)

 

Tibor’s caring and passionate teaching approach…

Tibor: “My passion is seeing my students grow musically, and assisting them to  reach their potential, building their confidence. I approach the piano as a singing instrument rather than a mechanical one: this encourages bringing every melodic line to life, always connecting the technical aspects to the emotion and sound.”

'Gareth represents the new generation of music educators: he is a brilliant performer and an inspiring teacher.' Zuzana L. 

GARETH SZAKOS

Gareth Szakos first learnt from his father Tibor Szakos before moving to Professor Victor Makarov and completing his Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium with Associate Professor Gerard Willems and Doctor Paul Rickard-Ford.

Gareth made his debut with orchestra as an eight-year-old, performing again as soloist at ten with the Central Coast Symphony Orchestra. A finalist in the Yamaha Youth Piano Competition in 2007, he was awarded the Bruce A. Pontin Scholarship with his audition to Sydney Conservatorium and whilst studying was runner-up in the Piano Unit Concerto Competition. He was selected alongside other students at the Conservatorium to participate in the ‘Estivo’ chamber music summer school in Verona, Italy. Last year he received the Audience Prize in the ‘Symphony Central Coast Concerto Competition’, performed as a guest artist at the ‘Concurso Internacional de Violino de Guimarães’ in Portugal and was a semi-finalist in the ‘4th International Piano Competition ‘Citta di Aquaviva delle Fonti’ Premio Colafemmina’ in Italy.

Lessons and accompaniment with Gareth…

Gareth teaches students from a young age, beginners to LMus level, and also piano for leisure. While his base is his studio in Gosford, he’s happy to accommodate in-home lessons in Sydney’s Northern and Eastern suburbs.

Gareth is also an experienced accompanist for music exams and performances.

Call Gareth now on 0413 055 373 or email us at info@pianopromise.com

What Gareth’s students say…

“Gareth is very patient with young children and my son has made great improvements learning with him. Gareth’s smile and positive approach is inspiring and certainly makes learning the piano a joy.” Jenna Xia, parent (Pymble, NSW)

“Gareth is an outstanding teacher who makes learning piano exciting and enjoyable. He introduces new concepts in a way that I can easily learn and remember. I have had other piano teachers in the past but Gareth is certainly the most impressive.” Nathan You, student (Epping, NSW)

 

Gareth’s infectious teaching approach…

Gareth: “A positive relationship and rapport with my students is the key to bringing out the reward of a musical composition and the satisfaction of playing it. I love seeing my students excited about lessons – and achieving their musical goals.”

VIEW GARETH PERFORMING HERE.