Robert Szymanek, PhD
Piano Tutor & Performance Coach
I've been passionate about music and the piano pretty much my whole life. I've loved exploring it from all angles and continue to do so: playing solo pieces and performing in ensembles and bands, improvising, composing, diving deep into the nuts n' bolts of music theory, getting really geeky about technique, thinking about emotional connection and using imagination, and of course teaching and coaching.
When I started teaching, I didn't anticipate how much I would really come to enjoy it. I thought it might be something I did to tie me over, but then I was like, "Nope. This is great. This is what I want to do."
I love it because it's about connecting with lots of different people and working together to create these moments of joy through music - whether that's in the music room, in front of friends, or on stage. It's rewarding to see people develop skills in something they want to do, watch as they grow in ability and confidence, solve problems, overcome obstacles, and actually shine and do brilliant things.
Pieces I Love to Play
Ravel, Jeux d'eau
Chopin, Ballade No.3, Etude No. 3 "Adieu", Prelude in Db "Raindrop", Berceuse
Debussy, Clair de lune, Arabesque No. 1
Various Improv pieces
Gershwin, I Got Rhythm
Madonna, Holiday (own little arrangement)
JS Bach, Goldberg Variations: Aria; Preludes; French Suites
Schubert, Impromptu No. 3
Billy Taylor, I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free
• Course Leader in Ensemble Performance, The University of Manchester - 2016-present
• Professional Development Tutor and Manson Fellow, Royal Academy of Music - 2013-2017
• Composition and Gamelan Workshops with LSO Discovery & Royal Holloway, University of London - 2012-2015
Performance & Composition
• Performances and workshops at WOMAD Charlton Park, Southbank Centre, BBC Madia Vale, and internationally in UAE, USA, Japan and Indonesia.
• LSO Soundhub Composer - 2014-2015
Training and Education
• Schema Therapy Training with Schema Therapy Associates - 2022-23
• PhD in Composition, Royal Academy of Music - 2012
• Masters in Advanced Musical Studies - Royal Holloway, University of London - 2005
• International Society of Schema Therapists (ISST)
• Independent Society of Musicians (ISM)