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Central Coast Conservatorium of Music piano teacher Sharon Hatton.

‘I am ever grateful that I had amazing piano teachers’ : Meet Keyboard Club teacher Sharon Hatton

As a child listening to Rachmaninov in bed on a radio she had smuggled under her pillow, Sharon Hatton fell asleep to the composer’s third piano concerto – one of the most difficult pieces ever written for piano.

“This will sound a bit of a cliché, but I absolutely love the Rach 3, even before it was featured in the movie Shine,” says Central Coast Conservatorium piano teacher Sharon who also runs our new Keyboard Club.  “I would fall asleep listening to the radio and the Rach 3 came on one night. Why anyone would play that at night is beyond my comprehension, but that was amazing to a young little me.”

Born and raised in Singapore, Sharon’s home was filled with music. “My parents were session and wedding musicians, and so there was always singing and music making around in the household, even after they stopped professionally. My dad had vinyl records of the London Symphony Orchestra as well so that’s where my love for classical music began.”

She started piano lessons aged five by a preschool teacher who heard Sharon playing tunes on the classroom piano by ear.“She offered me a free year of lessons if my parents bought me a piano, which they did.” After completing her AMus from the London College of Music at 18, Sharon went on to complete a Bachelor of Music from University of New England.

“I look back and I am ever grateful that I had amazing piano teachers along the way,” says Sharon who realised early on in her musical career that her heart lay in teaching music and piano to young children. “I enjoyed performing, but it was never as exciting as teaching for me,” she says.

This realisation was cemented after attending a workshop on the Dalcroze method – a pedagogical approach to music taught through physical movement by Dr Joan Pope OAM – former President of Dalcroze Australia. “That truly opened up the world of music and movement, and learning to lay the foundation in teaching young children.” 

In Singapore, Sharon planned and taught a keyboard curriculum for Years 1 to 6 as a pilot program in a neighbourhood primary school.

“It was a real honor, knowing that every single student in that school was not just receiving a general music lesson, but being taught to play an actual instrument. I hope that opened up musical doors for some of those primary school children and that they went on to use that to explore and learn more music.”

Sharon says she believes it is the right of every child to learn music properly and formerly, as part of their emotional and social growth and development. “I don’t think music education should be a privilege.”

Her favourite part of her job at the Con is walking through the halls and hearing music playing from every room. “The Con is an exciting place for students to explore music and be offered various opportunities to perform and gain scholarships.”

When it comes to lessons, Sharon stresses the importance of planning and fun. “I’ve always given great thought to lesson planning, in choosing repertoire for my students, and also various aspects of developing piano technique in a fun and enjoyable way.

“My goal is to instill a lifelong love for learning music in each of my students, so that they always continue to play piano and make music throughout their lives. I always enjoyed my lessons with my teachers, and I gain so much joy in music. I hope all my students feel the same.”

Want to learn piano?

Find out more about our one-to-one lessons and Keyboard Club.

Also read more about our teachers HERE.