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Miss Helen Pile
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Miss Helen Pile
Sally Date: January 2017
My son started piano lessons with Helen when he had just turned 6. I sat in on the first few lessons and was immediately struck by Helen’s highly-effective teaching style. She quickly put Jake at his ease, chatting to him about school and his interests before starting to talk to him about music. Using a mix of clapping, singing, marching around the room and of course playing the piano, Helen talked him through the principles of music and rhythm, but in a perfectly age-appropriate way. For example, Helen drew parallels between an author writing down a story so that other people could read it, and a composer who writes down music so that everyone can play it. Helen’s many years of experience as a primary school teacher are evident in the way that she tailors her lessons to each child, quickly recognising their learning style, finding and encouraging their strengths to build their confidence whilst using different approaches to help them to work through any challenges or difficulties. (I learned a lot of parenting tips as I watched her calmly and clearly steer him through those early lessons!). As the weeks passed, Jake’s confidence grew. Before the end of that academic year, he played a duet with Helen in front of 200 people at the Ashton Sings Community Choir summer concert – Star Wars, of course! Throughout Jake’s musical journey to date, Helen has adapted her approach and style to suit his changing needs and maturity, encouraging him and cajoling him as required. There have been times when encouraging him to practise has been a challenge (!)… and Helen has been on hand with tips and tricks to encourage him. She even managed to break a deadlock standoff between him and me over the matter of a Grade 2 Theory exam….! (He passed with Distinction – all down to Helen!). He may never become a concert pianist, but Helen has engendered in him a lifelong appreciation of music and performance, and, more importantly for me, has nurtured his self-confidence and self-esteem. Thank you Helen!”
Phillipa Date: July 2017
At the age of 65 I decided to embark on a long time ambition to learn to play the flute. I bought my flute in the UK while I was working there and had the very good fortune to take my first lessons with Helen. She was able to give me very clear instructions on how to learn and proceed with my everyday practising, which I do on my own. She was immensely encouraging, thoughtful and kind, and gave me a huge amount of information which has been invaluable. My only regret is that I live in another country and can't continue my lessons with her. I highly recommend anyone of any age to have lessons with Helen.
Fiona Date: October 2017
During his time at primary school my son found maths a challenging subject and lacked confidence in his ability. I decided that he would benefit from maths tuition and Helen was recommended to me. Helen is a kind and welcoming person who makes you feel very relaxed straight away. She is very patient and her ability to teach maths and support my son over the last 12 months has seen a huge improvement in his ability in the subject. In addition to improving his numeracy skills my son has developed an understanding in key concepts and is now confident in solving a range of reasoning and problem-solving questions which will allow him to move on confidently with his maths learning as he moves into year 7. I would have no hesitation in recommending Helen as a maths tutor.
Samira Date: June 2018
Helen has been an excellent piano teacher to my son, Jason (12 years old) for 2 years and for my daughter, Hannah (8 years old) for a year. Helen is an incredible person who goes out of her way to encourage and to infuse enthusiasm and passion into our children's love of music. Her calm and patient approach is amazing. Both of my children absolutely love her and can`t wait for their next lesson. Since we started lessons with Helen, my son has achieved Grade 3 in Theory and is working towards his Grade 3 practical exam (all exams passed with Distinction or Merit). My daughter passed her prep exam and is now working towards her Grade 1 exam. Helen also has extensive experience as a primary school teacher; she can therefore recognise each child`s individual ability and learning style. She is extremely professional and responsive yet warm in her communication style. She has the ability to make my children feel comfortable in their abilities and is always challenging them to be better.
Andy Date: June 2018
In response to my mid-life crisis I have started piano lessons with Helen. I have found her to be a thoughtful and helpful tutor who clearly loves music and has helped me play the piano - something I never thought I’d do. Helen makes time for me, nurtures what talent I have and the lessons are a thing I look forward to. I would happily recommend her to anyone.
Matt Date: June 2019
Having previously learned classical guitar over 20 years ago it has been a pleasure to learn a new instrument, the piano, under the tuition of Helen. Over the past 3 years, Helen has coached me through two grades and it is always a pleasure to learn from her. She is a top class teacher who has a wealth of knowledge to share.
Peter Date: March 2020
At the age of 69 I decided to learn to play the piano and by chance found one of the finest teachers I have ever encountered. Helen Pile is a gifted teacher, someone who conveys her love of music in a way which has inspired me to practise and improve under patient guidance. All good teachers not only have a mastery of their chosen subject, but also an ability to relate to their pupils who have different skill levels and learning needs. Being a bit old in the tooth I was aware that during the first few lessons Helen was trying to work me out, trying to gauge what teaching method would help me, identifying potential commitment and discipline. As time has passed, Helen has dealt with times of self doubt and frustration sensitively, reducing my tension when learning a tricky new piece of music. Her warmth and professional commitment is clear, her love of teaching is obvious. After three years she has gently taken me to Grade 3 - 4 standard, but more than that Helen has helped me to discover my musicality and a love of playing music. Who would have thought this old guy would be able to play “Let it Go” while his 5 year old granddaughter sings along. Wonderful! So if anyone is reading this, whatever your age, let Helen take you on a musical journey, which will be a rich rewarding experience. Thank you Helen!
Carol Date: August 2015
I have always loved music and sang in various choirs but also yearned to learn to play the piano although the time and opportunity didn’t arise until I retired. I had no idea where to go to learn or if any teacher would be bothered with an older pupil until I was given the name of Helen Pile in Ashton. I went very nervously to my first lesson, not reading music properly and hoping my fingers would respond but I needn’t have worried. Helen greeted me warmly, immediately made me feel relaxed, age was immaterial and my adventure began! I started right at the beginning, learning the notes and beginning to read simple music. Helen was so very patient, made every lesson fun and slowly I began to progress. Helen has a deep love of piano music herself and she has the knack of instilling this in her pupils with her patience, her way of explaining things and her continual, gentle and positive encouragement. As an older pupil Helen has opened doors for me that I shall enjoy for the rest of my life. For a child or younger person to learn with her, the world would be their oyster!
Tracey Date: September 2015
Helen is extremely calm and gentle in her teaching. She is very patient and encouraging. Archie was able to approach his Prep Test with confidence.
Jo Date: September 2015
Helen has taught my son piano for 3 years now. He always looks forward to his lessons not just for the music but also because he enjoys learning with her. Helen is a remarkable teacher who has the ability to support and encourage her pupils calmly & sensitively. She is able to respond to his individual style and needs whilst transferring her passion for piano & music. She always offers praise and encouragement and gives constructive feedback after lessons, which gives me as a parent the opportunity to follow his progress.
Jane Date: November 2015
It was the third time I had plucked up the courage to take piano lessons and had previously given up at the age of twelve, thirty- six and now in my fifties decided to have another go. It was quite a daunting prospect but I was very relieved to find Helen was friendly and easy to relax with. She soon picked up the kind of music I enjoyed playing, and it sounded wonderful on her gorgeous Steinway piano when I managed to play it competently! Helen is an experienced teacher and offers many different strategies to practise scales and pieces of music, she also made it very clear that I needed to practise regularly and in a structured manner which was very important for me to make progress!
Sue Date: January 2016
I have been a pupil of Helen Pile since August 2013, when, after much thought I embarked upon Piano Lessons. As I approached my 70s I decided that if I didn’t learn to play now, I never would, so it was with much trepidation I approached Helen about taking up an instrument I have always wanted to master. Whilst not exactly mastering the piano, the last two years have seen me playing music which others actually recognise! In fact, my husband says how much he enjoys hearing me play! Helen has been wonderful – her patience knows no end and if, at any time I feel I cannot tackle a piece, in no time at all, I am playing it. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has such a vast knowledge of music which she is generous enough to share. I have so much fun learning with Helen and look forward to my lesson each week.
Andrew Date: March 2016
Our 9 year old son, Fred, has been attending lessons with Helen for over 2 years. He has developed very well under Helen's guidance and thoroughly enjoys every lesson. I cannot recall a single time when he has not gone off to Helen without really looking forward to his lesson. This is testimony to Helen's caring and thoughtful approach and whilst he will never be a concert pianist the wider skills of concentration and perseverance with his practice are invaluable for his development. We would have no hesitation in recommending Helen as a piano tutor.
Howard Date: September 2016
I have been delighted and privileged to be taught piano by Helen. I have taken lessons with other teachers previously, but Helen's teaching has brought new dimensions to my playing. Helen has taught me music theory, has coached my technique, has advised me on the technique of my personal repertoire, always with measured patience and humour. I'd recommend her without hesitation for those considering taking lessons.

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