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Dr Michael Spacie: Musicianship

The link at the foot of this page will take you to the Sound Cloud page of Michael Spacie. Here, there are some digital recordings of the Rodgers 928 Trillium Masterpiece 3-Manual Digital Organ which is installed in the liturgical south choir of Rotherham Minster. Michael has intentionally recorded music in various styles to suit most musical tastes, interests and persuasions and generally kept the overall mood quite light and energized to hopefully have a wide appeal – all of which can be heard in the Cloud on the link below. After seeking permission to play the organ in Rotherham Minster, the digital recordings were made between December 2011 and January 2015. Each digital recording was done in one ‘take’ without any technological tweaking. Also, there are some digital sound tracks of Michael Spacie playing some Christmas Carols on his … read more »

Dr Michael Spacie: Improvising

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. 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 new right hand, simple to complex variations, clusters, glissandi, chromaticism, cadential progression, unexpected swerves of harmony, rhythmic complexities, scale passages etc.. This leads to a vibrant discovery where the nuts and bolts of music construction becomes a reality without necessarily being preoccupied with exact movements of the fingers, although a general overall ‘map’ of construction is often helpful if not essential. Improvisation and harmony can be encouraged through eighteenth-century performance practice – the recognised fact that … read more »

THE ASSOCIATED BOARD OF THE ROYAL SCHOOLS OF MUSIC: GRADE 8 PIANO EXAM SUCCESS

Many congratulations to Helen Wright in achieving The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 piano exam with merit gaining 121 marks out of 150 under the tutelage of Dr Michael Spacie. Some of the examiner’s comments included: “….unfolded with clean fingerwork at a flowing speed and an effectively contrasting articulation of the counterpoint….the lightness of the style was captured and there was a very good feeling for the shape of the musical phrases and some very crisp articulation….mood and pacing were very well judged and conveyed….pedalling effective and rubato thoughtful.” In addition, under Dr Michael Spacie’s guidance, Helen achieved an excellent 26 out of 30 marks for playing a J. S. Bach Prelude and Fugue – the first piece in her Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 piano exam. The Grade 8 … read more »

THE ASSOCIATED BOARD OF THE ROYAL SCHOOLS OF MUSIC: GRADE 8 PIANO EXAM SUCCESS

Many congratulations to Gemma Marriott in achieving The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 piano exam with merit gaining 122 marks out of 150 under the tutelage of Dr Michael Spacie. Some of the examiner’s comments included: “Played with a light touch from the start, articulated neatly….This tripped along with nimble fingerwork and a light touch. Effective climaxes and neat ornamentation and the scalic passages were played lyrically. There was much to enjoy here, despite minor blemishes….Played with a good tone….” In addition, under Dr Michael Spacie’s guidance, Gemma achieved an excellent 16 out of 18 marks for the aural section of the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 piano exam. Although Gemma was quite nervous during the exam, the result is pleasing and forms a solid foundation to proceed to a … read more »

TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON: GRADE 8 THEORY EXAM SUCCESS

Many congratulations to Suzanne in gaining a massive 92 marks out of 100, achieving a Distinction for the Trinity College London Grade 8 Theory of Music exam. Grade 8 is the highest grade for student theory exams. Suzanne started as an absolute beginner with Dr Michael Spacie and has steadily worked through the theory grades under his tutelage. Suzanne gained extremely high marks for the five questions involved including two questions with full marks: 30/30; 13/15; 15/15; 16/20; 18/20. “I came to Mike as a complete beginner to learn how to play the piano and to study the theory of music. I have progressed through the grades very quickly and was delighted to achieve 92 per cent on the Grade 8 theory examination. Mike’s teaching was excellent throughout this course, as it was for all the other theory grades. He … read more »

TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON: GRADE 8 THEORY EXAM SUCCESS

Many congratulations to David in gaining a massive 92 marks out of 100, achieving a Distinction for the Trinity College London Grade 8 Theory of Music exam. Grade 8 is the highest grade for student theory exams. David started as an absolute beginner with Dr Michael Spacie and has steadily worked through the theory grades under his tutelage. David gained extremely high marks for the five questions involved including three questions with full marks: 30/30; 12/15; 15/15; 15/20; 20/20. The last question was the challenging analysis section of which he gained full marks. “I began piano and music theory lessons with Mike just to try my hand at something new and see how it went. I started with no formal knowledge or experience and Mike helped me discover self confidence and enthusiasm, prticularly for music theory which I found really … read more »

THE ASSOCIATED BOARD OF THE ROYAL SCHOOLS OF MUSIC: GRADE 7 PIANO EXAM SUCCESS

Many congratulations to Helen Wright in gaining a merit with 125 marks out of 150 for her Grade 7 Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music piano exam. Helen studied for her Grade 7 piano examination under the tutelage of Dr Michael Spacie. Some of the examiner’s comments included: “The poignant mood was effectively conveyed at the outset and the tempi were well-judged….Fingerwork was nimble and the dynamic colour was subtle and idiomatic….Dynamics were musically conveyed and phrases persuasively shaped….the musical style was grasped overall….a reliable account.” “I have really improved in the few months of tuition from Dr Spacie. He is patient and encouraging. His knowledge is impressive, and I enjoy the lessons. Dr Spacie approaches pieces in a way that I have not considered before. He is very thorough, yet patient. I feel my playing has improved … 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 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. “I started off having singing/sight reading lessons with Mike, which I thoroughly enjoyed and which made me far more confident. I am now taking music theory lessons, and feel I am … read more »

Musical Growth and Development

“I simply cannot recommend Dr Spacie’s teaching practice enough. My daughter has been playing for just over 5 years, and her progress has been wonderful. She has passed several exams with distinction or upper merit and is a very competent pianist with a huge passion for her instrument. My daughter’s lessons are enjoyable and structured and Mike has such a talent for adapting to every step of the journey and the age of the student. My daughter now plays in school recitals with confidence, and is very well known at school for her ability. This is all thanks to the fantastic teaching of Mike Spacie. If you are looking for a professional, superbly qualified, friendly and patient teacher then look no further.” Natalie Wilkinson (Mother of Grace Wilkinson)

Dr Michael Spacie’s Vocation of Teaching

Students are always welcome and encouraged to achieve their best in music. There can be few occupations more rewarding than the teaching of music privately. There is a distinct reward and gratification that comes from watching your students fulfil their potential. Very often playing the piano or singing with musicality and correct technique can overcome lack of belief in oneself and unlock a personality. It can help to give a person strength and joy that in turn helps to overcome any shyness they may have. I always encourage students to play or sing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where they can have fun whilst learning. My lessons, however, are meaningful music sessions and not therapy per se. I am not a qualified counsellor or music therapist. I use my own musical skills to get the best out of the … read more »