In association with
Mr Philip Mountain
Mr Philip Mountain


I studied at the London College of music in the days of W.S Lloyd-Webber (and the incumbent Gt. Marlborough Street rats!) with pianists Raphael Terroni and the formidably gifted Mark Latimer (who looks too young, I know, but Mark became a professor at the age of 18)! I feel quite proud that Raphael was taught by the keyboard giants John Vallier and Middlesbrough-born Cyril Smith. John Vallier’s own teacher, his aunt Mathilde Verne, was considered to be the greatest pupil of Clara Schumann, wife and inspiration of the composer! Through the Schumann family there is a musical and personal link with Chopin, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Liszt and others. John Vallier was the recipient of the major pianistic traditions of the 19th century, and through these could claim direct musical links with both Beethoven and Mozart. A principal characteristic of Clara Schumann’s teaching was the distinctive art of legato playing which embodies a round, warm, singing tone, and which perhaps not surprisingly I feel strongly drawn towards! All in all my years at the London College of Music gave me a fantastic legacy, which I appreciate now more than ever, and ALCM diplomas in piano and trumpet.

A few years later I graduated from Bristol University with a BA (Hons) degree in music with a speciality in piano performance. (Kenneth Mobbs, my piano teacher there, has a very special keyboard collection which is now one of the most important in the country). Alongside this I took on the role of conductor of the University Chamber Choir and principal trumpet of the University Symphony Orchestra and New Music Ensemble.
This was followed by a year of teacher training in Bath and then an appointment as teacher of Music and English at Dr. Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Bucks which provides a rich and varied musical experience.

I firmly believe that life experience gives us something truly worthwhile to communicate to an audience through composition or performance. My life so far has been a very rich experience. I grew up in mid-Sussex and was taught by some very enthusiastic musicians, including Newcastle graduate Peter Gacsall. My growing up years were also greatly influenced by involvement with the Salvation Army which, as well as a love for playing brass, provided a great foundation for spirituality, leadership and musicianship and led eventually to a second career as a Salvation Army officer (minister) in Leamington Spa, Southend-on-Sea, London and Poole. I also had the wonderful opportunity of a three-year secondment in Zimbabwe, itself very rich in musical culture. In 2008 an appointment as Director for Personnel for the north of England gave us opportunity to get to know the great city of Newcastle where we now live.

I have now turned a full circle and, following a period working at Newcastle University have returned to teaching but with an even greater appreciation of the importance of teaching from the heart as well as the book. As Karl Menninger put it, “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches”.

If I can pass on half as much inspiration as I have received from my own teachers I will be a happy man!

Contact Philip

Address: Benton
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE12 8JX
Phone: 0191 4472510
Mobile: 07849511408
Fee (30 minutes): £17.00
Fee (60 minutes): £34.00

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