Diarmuid is always very encouraging and clearly tries to get the best out of me during our lessons. I certainly feel that my playing has improved immensely in the year that I’ve been having lessons and while old habits die hard (I do find it difficult to not simply memorise a piece and then just ignore the sheet music, which is what I always did as a child), through Diarmuid’s steady persistence I am slowly unlearning those old bad habits!
Although we started off working our way through a book, we fairly quickly moved on to a more diverse selection of teaching methods, e.g. working on a set piece over a number of months, sight-reading, hand strengthening through exercises, and I find these much more enjoyable. Working on longer set pieces has been particularly enjoyable for me as I really gain a sense of achievement when I have completed it and enjoy ‘performing’ it thereafter. Diarmuid is clearly very knowledgeable as he talks a bit about music theory, which I also find very interesting (if sometimes a bit over my head!).
Diarmuid has excellent time-keeping. He is always bang on time and very understanding if I am not always 100% ready when he arrives (I have two small children who occasionally get out of bed to see whats going on!).
I feel that we have a very good rapport, which helps to put me at ease if ever I am feeling anxious. Also, he always keeps me very well informed of any lessons that we might need to miss due to holidays etc, and apart from those occasional times the lessons have always been very regular.
Diarmuid always puts me at ease with his friendly, relaxed attitude, but his manner is always very professional. His patience in particular is amazing – I never feel under any pressure to get something right first time or very quickly. He slowly and calmly takes me through things that are a bit tricky and is quick to praise when things go well. He makes an excellent teacher.