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Teachers - South London
Karen Noakes FTCLBio >
Principal and Directorx
Karen left Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Girls’ School in 1984, and won a place on the performance course at Trinity College of Music, London. Here she completed both a Licentiate and a Fellowship in Piano Perfomance, and also won numerous prizes, including the Chopin Prize, and the Fellowship Prize. As a soloist and song accompanist she has performed in many venues, including Wigmore Hall, Fairfield Hall and St John’s Smith Square. Her teaching career includes teaching at the Bromley Music Trust and the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music, before joining Croydon Music School (later to become known as Soundsteps Music School) in 1996. Beginning as a teacher, she quickly advanced to Deputy Head teacher, and then Head Teacher in 2000. In 2007 Karen took over the original Soundsteps Music School – based in Croydon – becoming Principal and Director, freeing Nigel Blyth to pursue other ventures. In her spare time Karen leads the 2nd violin section in the Croydon Symphony Orchestra, as well as playing regularly in a string quartet. At home, she shares her time with her children, grandchildren, and cats!.
Priya works part time at Soundsteps, and parents will see her at our free taster sessions throughout each term. She is also in charge of our in-house publications, and social media. Priya works full time at Marks and Spencer, where she is part of the management team. In her spare time Priya loves to travel, eat out (she is a dedicated vegetarian!), and spending time with her family.
Gig has been a Soundsteps teacher for 15 years, and is an extremely popular and experienced teacher. She has taken many Soundsteps pupils through their Trinity College Exam grades, with fantastic results. She is also a much respected music co-ordinator at a local Croydon primary school.
Trinity Mock Examinerx
I started learning the piano from the age of 5, and studied music at the BRITS Performing Arts School. I started teaching for Soundsteps by age 19 (known as Croydon Music School at that time) and I have been with them for 19 years now. In that time I have had the opportunity to visit schools, talking about Soundsteps to the pupils, running free taster sessions and training teachers. My current role is the Soundsteps Trinity Mock Examiner.
Teacher & Demonstratorx
I was born in Edgware, North London, but when I was 4 years old my family moved back to Wales, where I continued in school. I started to play the trumpet in the orchestra at primary school, before moving on to piano lessons. In secondary school I also took up the drums, and started playing in the school bands there. After school I went on to study music, piano/keyboard, drums and percussion at Newcastle College of Music, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After 4 years I gained a Graduate Diploma in Contemporary music. Since graduating from music college I have played drums/percussion in small Orchestras for pantomimes and musicals such as ‘Little shop of Horrors’, ‘Oliver’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘South Pacific’ etc. I have also played drums and keyboards in many bands for functions and gigs, playing pop/rock/jazz styles of music. My main interest has always been music but I have had other jobs from time to time. I enjoy spending time with my family during the holidays and travel to Cardiff, Wales, to be with them. I have been mainly teaching for the last 10 years but also try to find as much free time as I can to play with other musicians around London at jam sessions and gig.
I started learning classical piano at the age of 10. I went through the classical grading system, and progressed to Goldsmiths College in New Cross, London, aged 20. I have been teaching with Soundsteps since 2003, as well as teaching privately. In my spare time I create frames, and sell these in markets across London.
I started playing the violin and piano at the age of seven, and studied music at university in East Anglia. After graduating with a degree (specialising in performance studies) I returned to London and worked for various music organisations. I then completed a certificate in education with additional subject specialisms and went on to teach at different departments in education establishments within South London. I have taught keyboard studies to Soundsteps' students since 2003.
Hi everyone, my name is Joanna! I’ve been a teacher with Soundsteps for 8 years and love the school and method. Music, education and travel are my passions in life, and I have travelled all over the world teaching music and English to children – in China and Brazil, as well as here in London. I have a degree in Piano Performance and Production from the London Centre of Contemporary Music, and will be starting a masters in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths this year.
Music has been part of my life since a young age, and a form of my expression. Having studied at the London College of Music & Media I’ve continued being active in music through teaching, and working on musical projects. Outside of music I like to dance, bake and draw. My interests include photography, ballet and swimming. I also enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends.
Rebekah was born and raised in California. At the age of 6, she began private piano lessons and eventually ended up studying Psychology and Music Theory in San Francisco. She has 6 years of cumulative private and group teaching experience in the US, the Netherlands and the UK. Music has always been one of her greatest passions from an early age, and she believes it has the ability to connect people of all ages regardless of religion, race, cultural background, etc. Rebekah is also a professional musician on the side and has recorded her first piano album at Amsterdam's SAE Institute last year. While having started off learning classical piano, she now enjoys playing a vast array of genres ranging from contemporary to fusion, pop, rock, funk, jazz and blues.
Hello, my name is Cordelia and I am a keyboard teacher at Soundsteps Music School.
I started my musical journey at the age of around 10 when I began writing songs on the piano. I then decided to take up the flute and saxophone as well as piano lessons. I began playing in school bands and music productions, and subsequently I fell in love with live music performance. I went on to take many exams on all three instruments, including Grade 8 saxophone. After school I studied Creative Music Technology at The University of Hull, Scarborough Campus. Here I joined a band playing the saxophone and got my first insights of the music industry. Through this I learned more about live performance and unknowingly met my future husband! After graduating I managed a progressive rock band for a short while before moving to Finland to help manage my partner’s acoustic trio. As well as this I also began to teach piano to Embassy families living in Finland, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After five years we decided to move back to the U.K. (mainly to get away from the extreme winters!) and have since welcomed our son Harrison into our musical family.
Noa was born and raised in Spain. She started playing classical piano at the age of 8, going through the classical system. She studied primary school teaching for three years at Santiago de Compostela University, Spain, specialising in music.
After being involved with different musical projects she decided to move to London to study Contemporary Piano Performance at the London Centre of Contemporary Music, where she graduated with a first class honours in June 2017.
Noa plays with difference bands (latin, jazz, reggae style) and performs in venues across London, combined with teaching piano privately and in primary and secondary schools.
Hi guys! My name is Don and I have been playing guitar, piano and a few other instruments since the age of 7. At 12 I had completed grade 8 and at 14 I had begun studying at RAM (junior department). After finishing my higher education at Trinity College of Music and completing both a Batchelor and Master’s degree in music, I moved and travelled in South America, where I began working as a TA and a camp counsellor. This was where I discovered a fondness for teaching, in particular teaching with music. Now I live in London with an active concert career and I teach keyboard with Soundsteps, as well as guitar and keyboard at schools in the Newham area of London.