mark filby smith piano keyboard brass music teacher

Mark Filby Smith

Music Teacher

Instruments Taught - Piano, Keyboard, Brass: Trumpet, Cornet, Tenor Horn, Baritone, Tuba (except for Trombone and French Horn).

I feel very lucky to combine my lifelong love of all things musical with a wonderful teaching career. From my first notes on the family piano when I was 5 to learning the baritone when I was 8, my passion for learning about music and teaching others has always been at the forefront of my life. I enjoy having the opportunity to help others share in this enthusiasm and develop their own enjoyment of music.

I began my musical life at an early age, studying piano, baritone and tuba and playing with local concert bands, brass bands and quintets in and out of school.

As part of my music degree at Southampton University I studied jazz and blues piano performance and expanded on my Tuba Grade 8 (Distinction) by studying solo and ensemble tuba performance. I enjoyed being involved in various music groups including playing in Brass ensembles, singing in the university gospel choir and playing piano in my own rhythm 'n' blues band. I have performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Purcell Rooms, The Hundreds Club, touring France, Germany and Amsterdam and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

After university, I began a career in performance as a solo pianist and vocalist at a range of venues including a residency at the Hilton Hotel. I also played with several function bands at a variety of venues from weddings to corporate events.

Following a lifelong ambition to teach I achieved a PGCE in Music Education and in 2006 took up a post as Teacher in Charge of Music at a local secondary school. Looking to combine my love of playing with teaching I have been fortunate enough to teach instrumentally in a variety of settings. I began working at Hogan Music in 2010 teaching piano, keyboard and brass.

I love passing on my enthusiasm for all things musical to my students in a relaxed and fun way, helping them to grow and have confidence in their playing. I am happy to teach to your specific needs be it following the traditional exam based approach to learning or simply playing for fun, be that classical, rock, jazz, blues, pop etc. I'd be happy to hear from you to discuss your goals.

Qualifications & Experience

- Music Degree from Southampton University (BA Hons)
(including solo performance on the tuba and also jazz and blues performance on the piano)

- Professional pianist and vocalist
(playing gigs in several venues as a soloist or as part of band (varying styles))

- PGCE in Music Education from Reading University

- 4 years teaching music in a local secondary school
(I had responsibility for teaching KS3, GCSE and A Level Music)

- 11 years teaching peripatetic instrument lessons
(teaching a mix of brass instruments, electronic keyboard and piano in a wide variety of settings)

- 10 years teaching at Hogans Music

My Students Say...

"'My daughter has been having trumpet lessons with Mark for several years. He is a great teacher. Very patient and encouraging. Mark is also very passionate about music and his teaching and my daughter really enjoys her lessons. Mark works hard to keep parents informed about the child's progress and strikes the right balance with pushing them to take exams and working at the pace best for them. We would recommend Mark without hesitation." - Parent of trumpet student working for Grade 5

"Thank you very much for your work with Megan, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending you as a music teacher to others." - Parent of a student playing piano just for fun

"She could not have had a more encouraging and positive teacher, and she knows that." - Parent of a Grade 3 piano student

"Thank you very much for being such a great teacher over the past couple of years. I have not only enjoyed it but also feel your teaching has really helped me to progress." - Year 12 Grade 5 piano student

"We are extremely grateful for the work you have put in with Maya, and we are consistently impressed with the results (Maya starred at my mother in law's 90th birthday with her virtuoso rendition of Happy Birthday!')." - Parent of Grade 3 cornet pupil

"Wanted to let you know how delighted Eva is with her exam result, and how much she enjoys your teaching." - Parent of a Grade 5 jazz piano student

"Please extend our grateful thanks to Mark Filby Smith who we have found to be an excellent and inspiring teacher." - Parents of Grade 5 piano student and also a Grade 3 jazz pupil

"I would like to thank you for teaching Theo this year and he has enjoyed getting to grips with the keyboard." - Parent of a keyboard student

"Hannah has loved having you as her teacher and we would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone looking for lessons." - Parent of a Grade 3 keyboard student

Musical Influences

I remember being given a CD of Jools Holland playing the piano when I was 15 and being blown away by the way he played. I'd never really heard anyone play like that before. This is a video of Jools Holland playing 'Bumble Boogie' with is Big Band.

Another inspiration in my piano playing came when I was about 16. I heard the music of Dr John and was just amazed by the way he was able to make the piano sound! I love it! This is the good Dr. playing 'Such a Night' on Jools Holland's 'Later'. I remember spending many hours using the rewind and pause button on my video player trying to work out what was being played.

I have always loved playing in brass quintets and when I was about 14, I remember playing a piece which I loved. It's just beautiful. This is Quintet no 1. By Victor Ewald (played here by the Brass Academy Quintet).

Live Performances

Recommended Books

Music books are available to order from Mail My Music.

Book Lessons

Piano, keyboard and brass lessons are available as either face-to-face or online lessons.

I teach children from the age of 6 years and above, as well as offering adult lessons.

If you have any questions about signing up for keyboard, piano or brass lessons, feel free to contact Hogan Music on 01635 496 57 or email who can help to answer any queries you might have.

Free Try-Out Sessions

Fancy trying out a brass insturment or learning the keyboard or piano? We offer free try-out sessions of 20-30 mins with our excellent tutors, so you can get a feel for what a full lesson would be like. You can also borrow an instrument from us if you don't have your own.

Recommended Instruments & Accessories...

I love the Yamaha NU1 hybrid piano it. Not only does it sound and feel great but it never needs tuning! AMAZING INSTRUMENT!

The Clavinova range from Yamaha is great too.

I recommend Yamaha electronic keyboards to anyone who wants to learn keyboard. There is a good variety available on the market and they are all great instruments and very versatile!