Dawn accepted two part-time teaching posts, one at St. Mary’s School in Kloof and the other at Kearsney College where she specialises in Contemporary Piano / Keyboard tuition and arranging piano scores for her pupils. With her experience as a performer, studio musician, theatre musical direction and arranger, she has developed her own innovative teaching methods which include composition, orchestral arranging, melody writing and theory. She encourages her pupils to play by ear as well as have a good theoretical knowledge of music and the reading aspect also takes great importance in the learning process.
Dawn’s main reason for teaching is that she has always felt a very strong need to share her years of experience with the next up and coming generations, always aiming at a practical application. One of her main focuses has been to bridge classical and contemporary music which has also greatly benefited students who are doing their classical grades, but need additional guidance with contemporary styles, arranging and composition. On the recording side, she has introduced pupils to the world of copyright and has assisted them in creating demos in her studio, encouraging original composition where possible.
Another focus is to clear up the ‘grey areas’ with some aspects of modern music. For example, ‘how do I read & write swing?’, ‘what makes up an 11th chord?’, ‘how do I write a song?’ or ‘what is the relation between the classical system of intervals and the modern system of chord construction?’. With her classical and contemporary music experience, she has found simple explanations in either the classical or contemporary languages, thus helping musicians build more confidence in their playing.
In the hopes of reaching more musicians, Dawn has put all her ideas together and soon will be published in her book.
|Testimonial related to Dawns teaching work at Kearsney College|
|Testimonial from Angela Stevens, Director of Music at Kearsney College where Dawn held a part time teaching post for many years.|