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From Spencer

Welcome and thanks for dropping by. I’m Spencer and I’ve been a session pianist/keyboardist for around 20 years working in all genres including theatre, film, live gigs and concerts. I continue to work as a freelance pianist in all styles and love it. 

I specialise in helping keen pianists reach their potential, whether they be beginners, intermediate or advanced. My main focus is on efficient practise. I have a pretty relaxed attitude and also know the importance of encouragement. In general, I accommodate the more relaxed piano hobbyist who needs a little help choosing appropriate repertoire and has a fairly busy life. Quality rather than quantity of practise is my focus.

I will help empower you to:

Practise effectively

Read more fluently

Solve technical difficulties without me

Improve your musicianship

Avoid bad habits

Improve your critical listening

Feel confident at the piano

I look forward to sharing your frustrations, and your breakthroughs! So if you are keen to make faster progress then please feel free to introduce yourself.

Taster sessions are £25 for 30 minutes via FaceTime or Zoom. Due to demand, I can only accommodate weekdays at present, subject to availability. 

So don’t be shy, say hi! 

I’m also on Instagram & YouTube

A Little More About Me

I studied at Trinity College of Music, London. I have a love for a crossover of genres like classical, jazz & rock that has led to me playing in various West End theatres and most recently on the film soundtrack to Matilda The Musical.

Highlights include

Film: Matilda The Musical 

Theatre: Matilda, Les Miserables, Love Never Dies

Sessions: The Batman with live orchestra

Rock/Pop: David Live, the David Bowie tribute band as Mike Garson

Solo recordings: The Crown, The Queen

On screen: The Crown, Maestro

Spencer’s YouTube Showreel


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The Moldau (Smetana) - arranged & performed by Spencer

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Welcome: Testimonials


Special thanks to the following pupils who have been kind enough to write about our recent sessions below.

“For years I’ve wanted to learn the piano but didn’t feel I had the self confidence as an adult and then I met Spencer. He is a fantastic teacher. Even on my first lesson he had me playing complete songs and in a short period of time I have become a confident pianist. His approach to learning has allowed me to develop my own style and enabled me to critique my playing helping me to continually progress in my piano skills.”

Collette, Cambs.

“What a privilege it is to have the opportunity to learn from the talented and ever-patient Spencer. I closed the lid on my piano some years ago and never expected to play again but with Spencer’s guidance I gained the confidence to start again and I love it. Spencer is a calm and thoughtful teacher and with every lesson he sets achievable goals, enabling me to enjoy the piano more and more every day. I wasn’t sure how virtual lessons would work but Spencer is completely focussed on everything that is happening on the keyboard and it feels just as though we are together in the room. Spencer combines authority and kindness, he is an inspiring teacher and I would recommend any aspiring pianist to take this amazing chance to be taught by him.”

Anne, Surrey

“I really enjoy having online lessons with Spencer. He is a very good teacher and explains things very well. His friendly and encouraging approach have been a great help in improving my sight reading and aural skills.”

John, Norfolk



I’ve made millions of mistakes on my learning journey and expect you to do the same. I’ll do my very best to help you relax and stay at ease with a few tips as we go. I realise that it can be daunting at first, but in my experience this is usually quickly offset by the joy of learning and improving this wonderful new skill together.


Most of us have the usual commitments but to make steady progress I would suggest aiming for between 5 and 30 minutes every day. Remember that quality of practise is more important than quantity.


This depends on your personal goals. Exams and scales have their place but for some can also create unnecessary anxiety and have negative associations. My students tend not to need these extrinsic motivations. Talk this through with me over a cup of tea sometime.


Video coaching certainly has many benefits and can be a great source of inspiration. However in one to one sessions you’ll glean nuggets of personal feedback to make you a more efficient pianist that might otherwise go unnoticed. Bad habits are easily formed which may result in unnecessary tension and make playing harder than it needs to be. It can also be useful to have someone to discuss progress with whilst avoiding the risk of a false economy of your time and efforts.


Absolutely! I’m more interested in attitude than ability. I have a strong fascination with growth mindset and strongly believe that anyone can achieve anything with the right attitude and motivation.


Fantastic! Please send me an email at and we can arrange a virtual cup of tea together or short session to discuss further.

Welcome: FAQ


Links to audio



Mark Lowther recommends recordings of Bach's Keyboard Concertos

Tom Service is joined by harpsichordist Richard Egarr to explore one of the most mysterious, complex and rewarding pieces in all music, The Goldberg Variations.


Kate Molleson recommends recordings of Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3, Sz. 119, BB 127


Lucy Parham chooses her favourite version of Beethoven's Piano Sonata, 'Les Adieux'

Beethoven's 23rd piano sonata is stormy and intense, so earned the nickname "Appassionata" or "Passionate". Pianist Iain Burnside has choosing his favourite.

Perhaps the deepest-felt of Beethoven's piano concertos, the G major poses both interpretative and technical challenges of the highest order. Joanna MacGregor chooses her favourite.

Katy Hamilton recommends recordings of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 29 in B flat, Op 106, ‘Hammerklavier'

Harriet Smith recommends recordings of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major Op 109.

Iain Burnside recommends the best recording of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations.

Angela Hewitt brings her profound admiration for the composer and explores the humour Beethoven injects into his music, the composer’s ability to write cantabile or singing style and how Beethoven responded to the advancement of the piano.

Pianist Jonathan Biss shares the wonder of Beethoven's piano sonatas with Donald Macleod.

As they talk, he demonstrates how and why Beethoven's piano sonatas advanced the genre far beyond anything that anyone had ever achieved previously.

Donald Macleod explores Beethoven the pianist and composer for the piano.


Tom Service recommends recordings of Brahms's Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major


Erica Jeal recommends a recorded version of Britten's Piano Concerto, Op 13.


Building a Library: Kenneth Hamilton chooses his favourite recording of Chopin's Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor.

Frédéric Chopin composed this glorious concerto in 1829 when he was 20 and before he had finished his formal education. It was first performed in Warsaw, with the composer as soloist.

Allyson Devenish compares recordings of Chopin's Piano Sonata No 3 in B minor and chooses her favourite.

Chopin's final piano sonata was composed in 1844.

Iain Burnside recommends recordings of Chopin's four scherzi

Sara Mohr-Pietsch on Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1, live from Southbank Centre

Donald Macleod explores Chopin and his relationship with novelist George Sand, from their first meetings to their fractious end.

Donald Macleod explores Chopin’s Polish heritage and his relationship with his instrument, the piano. Chopin’s reticence to perform made his rare appearances extremely lucrative, but he much preferred the more intimate and sociable surroundings of the salon, where his trademark light touch could be appreciated to the full.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin


Iain Burnside selects his favourite recordings of Debussy's Études

Iain Burnside recommends a recorded version of Debussy's Piano Preludes Book 1.


The phenomenally successful Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi joins Sara from his home studio in the Italian Alps, where the pandemic allowed a break in his usual hectic schedule to reappraise his creative process. at 33.10


Music researcher and writer Katy Hamilton chooses her favourite recording of Liszt's Sonata in B minor.

Donald Macleod reflects on Franz Liszt's Hungarian story - he spent little time there and couldn't speak the language but just how important to his music was the land of his birth?

Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of Franz Liszt through five striking images.

Tom takes a deep drive into the music of Franz Liszt, celebrated, and sometimes denigrated, for his ultra-virtuosity.


Perhaps the first of Mozart's extraordinary sequence of 'late' piano concertos, the D minor, K466, has attracted pianists as varied as Edwin Fischer and Mitsuko Uchida, many directing the orchestra from the keyboard.

Lucy Parham picks her favourite recording of Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor

Sarah Walker recommends recordings of Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat major

David Owen Norris sifts through the available recordings of Mozart's Piano Concerto No 21


Lucy Parham chooses her favourite recording of Rachmaninov's 24 piano preludes.

Rachmaninov's 24 piano preludes in all the 24 major and minor keys are a glorious treasure trove of different pianistic styles from lyrical to barn-storming. He wrote and published them at different times, and didn't regard them as a unified set.

Pianist Lucy Parham picks through the greatest recordings of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Sonata.

Three years after his third piano concerto was finished, he moved with his family to Rome and started working on his second piano sonata. It is a mighty but technically challenging piece.

Musicologist Marina Frolova-Walker chooses her favourite recording of Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

David Owen Norris chooses his favourite version of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto

Though St Petersburg and then Moscow was his base for much of his early life, it was Ivanovka – a country estate deep in the Russian countryside - that formed him. The house and the land surrounding it were a major source of his creative inspiration until his last visit in 1917.

Donald Macleod explores Sergei Rachmaninov’s years in America.

His life there was principally that of a virtuoso performer, not a composer; and Rachmaninov gave recitals for presidents, recorded discs for Thomas Edison, and felt obliged to rattle off his “hated” Prelude in C sharp minor for concert audiences wherever he went.

By the final year of his life, he’d become immersed in American cultural life, relishing jazz music and even admiring Mickey Mouse’s take on his ubiquitous Prelude.

Kate Molleson visits his home in Switzerland on the banks of Lake Lucerne. This is the peaceful summer residence where Rachmaninov lived in in the 1930s and where he composed the Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini and the Third symphony.

Tom Service examines one of the most famous concertos in the piano repertoire. What is the secret of its appeal? Why does it have such emotional impact? Why did the critics hate it, yet why is it such a classical favourite in the world of popular culture - from Mickey Mouse to Marilyn Monroe to Muse? And what did Rachmaninov have to go through to compose it? With pianist Lucy Parham.


Jeremy Sams chooses his favourite recording of Poulenc's Piano Concerto.

Tom McKinney recommends recordings of Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor, FP 61


Prokofiev was soloist at the concerto's 1921 premiere, which has become his most popular.


Donald Macleod looks at Satie as a trailblazer and humourist as well as his penchant for composing in threes, his copious, playful and highly idiosyncratic writings and his serious side.

Tom Service explores the maverick world of one of the most popular French composers, Erik Satie, composer of the three Gymnopédies, with help from pianist Nicolas Horvath and composer Christine Ott.


Domenico Scarlatti was well placed to build himself a glittering career in the music business. He was prestigiously talented and born into a family with powerful connections in the music business. Today, he’s rightly revered for the extraordinary catalogue of over 550 keyboard sonatas he left to posterity. Kate Molleson traces Scarlatti's story.


Pianist Iain Burnside chooses the ultimate recording of Schubert’s Impromptus, D935

David Owen Norris recommends a recorded version of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B flat D960


Lucy Parham recommends recordings of Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor


Alexander Scriabin's music for solo piano has been recorded by many of the great pianists over the last century. But where to start if you're not familiar with this late-Romantic, sometimes elusive repertoire? David Owen Norris is on hand to navigate through some key pieces and makes some recommendations.


Pianist and composer Yshani Perinpanayagam chooses her favourite recording of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. We hear at the keyboard, amongst others, Alexander Melnikov, Cristina Ortiz and the composer himself. Presented by Andrew McGregor.


The pianist Joanna MacGregor's pick of the ultimate recording of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto in B flat minor, Op. 23

Tchaikovsky's famous piano concerto is one of the most popular concertos in the repertoire - full of swaggering great tunes and still, soulful melodies.


Chick Corea

Pianist and bandleader Chick Corea himself guides Alyn Shipton through some of his finest recordings. Few musicians in jazz have the extraordinary stylistic range of Chick Corea. His work ranges from acoustic bebop to rock fusion, from free jazz to the classic Miles Davis Quintet, as well as his own groundbreaking ensembles Return to Forever and the Elektric Band.

Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner was one of the most distinctive and original pianists in jazz. To select his finest recordings, Alyn Shipton is joined by the young British pianist Neil Cowley. The programme includes examples of Garner's earliest stride style, covers the emergence of his own individual jazz voice, and features his most popular album "Concert by the Sea". Producer Alyn Shipton.

James P. Johnson

James P. Johnson is known as the Father of Stride Piano, and composed the most iconic work that captures the essence of the Roaring Twenties, the Charleston.

Scott Joplin

Donald Macleod looks at the African-American composer Scott Joplin.

Ramsey Lewis

A natural storyteller, Lewis remembers his father introducing him to the virtuosity of Art Tatum (prompting the question: 'Dad, who are they?') and, in conversation with Alyn Shipton, he describes how Western Classical tradition holds an important position in his musical thinking.

Brad Mehldau

Singer Gwyneth Herbert shares her enthusiasm for the pianist Brad Mehldau, who is one of the most challenging and innovative of contemporary jazz players. With a repertoire ranging from Broadway songs to the works of contemporary rock players, his music seldom stands still.

Thelonious Monk

Donald Macleod and Brian Priestley celebrate the centenary of jazz legend Thelonious Monk

Jelly Roll Morton

Alyn Shipton is joined by Morton specialist Martin Litton to explore the work of Jelly Roll's band, the Red Hot Peppers, as well as the solo discs.

The self-proclaimed 'inventor of jazz', Jelly Roll Morton was a colourful figure, with diamonds in his teeth and gold on his fingers.

Bud Powell

Alyn Shipton explores the best examples of recordings by pianist Bud Powell, who died in 1966 aged 41 and altered the course of jazz piano through his bebop innovations of the 1940s.

Oscar Peterson

Alyn Shipton presents a special tribute edition of Jazz Library devoted to Oscar Peterson, who died in December 2007 and is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists. The programme not only suggests the essential Peterson CDs, but also calls on the help of the man himself, with an extended interview recorded in 2000.

George Shearing

Pianist Sir George Shearing died on 14th February 2011. In an archive interview, he joins Alyn Shipton to look back over the highlights of his recording career, from early triumphs in London to the debut of his famous quintet in America, as well as his long-running partnership with Mel Torme.

Gwilym Simcock

Donald's joined by composer and jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock .

Fats Waller

The jazz pianist Fats Waller was a larger than life personality and his ample form fills this Jazz Library podcast with some of the most joyous recordings in history. Humphrey Lyttelton and Martin Litton join Alyn Shipton for a guide to the best discs by Waller, both with his band - The Rhythm - and as a piano soloist.

Mary Lou Williams

Donald Macleod charts the extraordinary life of composer and jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams

Teddy Wilson

From his meteoric rise to fame with Benny Goodman to his small group records with Billie Holiday, pianist Teddy Wilson was one of the stars of the swing era. Pianist Martin Litton joins Alyn Shipton to select the best examples of Wilson's work, including his own short-lived big band, his solo recordings, and many latterday trios.


A-Z of Piano



The Labeque Sisters

The Labeque Sisters, Katia and Marielle Labeque, shot to fame in 1980 with their arrangements of Gershwin, including the Rhapsody in Blue, and for more than half a century have made a unique musical life together. Tom Service talks to Katia and Marielle about the broad range of music that they are creating, the boundaries that they are constantly pushing, and their sound-world within two pianos.

Vikingur Olafsson

Sara Mohr-Pietsch talks to Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson, whose new CD juxtaposes the music of French composers Rameau and Debussy. at 4.00


Memory & Sight Reading

Tom Service on two of the most astounding musical skills, which the majority of professional classical musicians have in abundance - the ability to play from memory, and the ability to play at sight, without study or much in the way of rehearsal. How and why do they do it?

Piano Studies

Studies began life as an aid in the struggle to master the piano within the human limitations of two hands and ten fingers. But from being the bane of many a pianist's life and a means of selling more pianos, these arid technical exercises flowered into some of the greatest music written for piano from Chopin, though Debussy to György Ligeti. And in Conlon Nancarrow's studies for player piano, they even inspired the greatest set of keyboard works beyond any human ability.

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