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Michael Spacie’s SoundCloud Page

The link at the foot of this page will take you to the SoundCloud page of Michael Spacie. Michael has recorded some music on the organ using the Rodgers 928 Trillium Masterpiece 3-Manual Digital Organ which is installed in the liturgical south choir of Rotherham Minster. Michael is a long-standing ‘Associate Organist’ of Rotherham Minster but not the Organist-in-Residence/Director of Music. He has played the organ at the Minster for his own amusement over many years as well as for the occasional service including a major festival service where his playing was enjoyed, the organ being used to its full capacity with a large congregation present. An ‘Associate Organist’ can be thought of in terms of enhancing people’s lives through music whether through playing the organ for an occasional service at the Minster, or members of the public who by … read more »

Michael Spacie’s Keyboard Musicianship

This idea takes the repertoire chosen as a starting point. The score, in essence, can be the starting point for the ability to learn to paraphrase it, to be able to reduce it and transform it to something else, to transpose it, to be able to embellish when necessary or even to recompose it. This is a useful skill to have in addition to the very important skill of being able to read and perform music notation exact, accurate and precise from a music score as the composer intended. Following a lead sheet, original score or similar, facilitating an ‘own interpretation’ giving rise to a personalised arrangement by changing melody, harmony, rhythm, styles, voicing and registration. This maximises the use of musical imagination rather than simply reproducing music exactly as the composer intended. The whole point is to train the … read more »

Student progress with skilled teaching

I used to have a different piano teacher that wasn’t very good as he never explained anything to me and didn’t teach me how to read the notes. Because of this we decided to try piano lessons with Michael Spacie and I noticed how much better he was than my other one as he explains everything and taught me to read the notes and music. Now I really enjoy my piano lessons and always look forward to them. Alexander Teufel (Student) Susanne Teufel writes: Before Alexander started piano lessons with Michael, he used to go somewhere else. But after 6 months of music lessons he still couldn’t read the music properly and I often had to help Alexander with practising, because he didn’t know how to tackle a piece of music. He got every lesson a new piece for homework, … read more »

Musical Growth and Development – ‘Graceful Harmony’ – South Yorkshire Duo

“I first started having lessons with Mike when I was 7 years old. I am now 15 (at the time of writing this testimonial) and have taken 7 practical exams passing with merit or distinction and 5 theory exams passing with merit or distinction. Mike’s way of teaching has given me a passion for much which I now would like to take into a career. He has encouraged me to become more confident in music and as a person in general. Through Mike’s tuition I have become a pianist at the age of 15 who has had the honour of performing at the Lyceum, the Crucible, various music festivals, live BBC radio performances and composing my own music, and without Mike, none of which would have been possible. I am about to go on to study music at college and … read more »

Improvising by Dr Michael Spacie

It is a huge joy to pick out a tune and harmonise it using an array of keys and chord patterns and playing it in a range of styles and understanding how the music works from the inside out. Playing tunes that people enjoy but in one’s own style, putting an organ twist on each tune showing the versatility of the player with a bit of humour and fun involved is a good test of musicianship and a connection with the music. It is not about playing every note that may possibly be on a page of music, but sometimes adding or subtracting notes to create the effect that the music will have in performance. Improvisations can include changes in register, changes of mode and key, unpredictable modulations, additions of accompaniment patterns, modifying a left hand passage and composing a … read more »

Learning Music Theory

Many learners have enjoyed the study of music theory and immensely benefited from this in their musical development and progression. In the teaching practice of Dr Michael Spacie, music theory is not ignored but convincingly and successfully taught by Michael who is a highly qualified specialist in music literacy, and, with excellent student results. Music theory is always studied alongside piano studies and also at times with singing studies depending on a singer’s need. It adds an extra skill, which importantly  increases musicianship, musical development, musical awareness, confidence and a greater understanding of music itself, thus in turn, enriching the learner and their experience of music and increasing their musical ability whether that be in performing, composing, improvising or sharing music. “I started off having singing/sight reading lessons with Mike, which I thoroughly enjoyed and which made me far more … read more »

The Teaching Studio

The teaching studio was updated in 2013 and 2014. From an ordinary room, it was transformed into a soundproof customised enclosure housing the piano with further soundproof acoustic material at the rear of the room and covering all available space. This new modernised teaching studio has the added benefit of allowing students the comfort of knowing their lessons are in private and also has the distinct advantage of being able to dedicate this particular space to music-making as well as facilitating the presentation of the teaching practice with an up-to-date studio where sound is contained but by the same token, enhanced and enriched due to some of the products used. Students very much enjoy using the facilities and Michael has made full use of the new teaching studio for his own requirements in preparing for performance diplomas as professional development.

Railway Experience in Signalling

I learnt genuine transferable principles and transferable skills such as self-motivation, problem-solving, initiative, critical analysis, responsibility, accountability, safety, accuracy, focus, precision, procedure, decision-making, prolonged concentration, self-discipline and self-management (all of which are applicable to learning the piano, studying music, and later running a business) through my father gaining permission for me in my teenage years when I was 15, 16, 17 and 18 years of age to accompany him at work in his railway signal box during the summer vacation from secondary school and later sixth-form college and also at times other holidays from secondary school and sixth-form college in preparation for a career on the railway. I also was fortunate enough to experience the workings of other signal boxes through signalmen my father knew. One such signalman was not only good at his job but excellent at providing explanations … read more »