Musician and Music Writer
Here are just some of Philip's successes over many years. But as most tend to stay with Philip for a long time, their photos aren't always a current likeness anymore! Apologies to those concerned, I'm afraid!
Click any image to enlarge
Michael Adlington...excelled himself too. The A Level music scholar won three cups in the festival with an impressive piano solo in the advanced class, the novelty piano class, and the piano duet class... (extract from PLYMOUTH COLLEGE SWINGS WITH SUCCESS!), highlighting the school's Saltash Music Festival successesl. Michael passed his ABRSM Grade 8 with Philip, and subsequently gained 88 marks out of 100 (Distinction = 75) in his ATCL (Recital) Diploma. He graduated in Music from Cardiff University, took his PGCE at Bristol University, and began teaching in the Bristol area, before subsequently deciding on a career change, and was, for a time, Station Manager at London Marylebone for Chiltern Railways.
Ruth Webb (née Hollick) passed her Trinity Performer's Certificate and ATCL Diploma with Philip, before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. She now combines a busy teaching career with performing and accompanying, including the Haydock Male Voice Choir since 2006. Ruth's father, Tony, a music librarian in Plymouth, founded the Laira Youth Band, in which all his six children have played at one time or another!
The Squires Family, however, has only five children! Philip initially taught Hannah, who passed ABRSM Grade 8, and Rebekah, who passed her Grade 5. Lydia, the last to have lessons, passed the TCL Advanced Certificate, and was working towards the ATCL Diploma, before continuing her academic studies elsewhere. Prior to that, he also taught Naomi and Jacob, who both passed their Grade 5. The picture, from a holiday in Tenerife, shows [left to right] Jacob, Lydia, Rebekah, Naomi and Dad (Tim), who is also an accomplished pianist and musician.
Mick Atkinson joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1983 and was promoted to WO1 in April 2004, returning as Bandmaster of the Commando Training Centre Band at Lympstone, Devon. His previous draft was with the Plymouth Band in 2002, and it was here that Philip worked with Mick on his LTCL in Piano Performance, and assisted in his preparations for the performance component of his BMus (Hons) degree at the University of Portsmouth. Mick has now left the Royal Marines.
Charlotte Badham started piano lessons with Philip in 2003, gaining a Distinction in the TCL Initial, and first five ABRSM exams, and recently passed her Grade 8 with Merit. A former choral-scholar of Plymouth College and subsequently at Devonport High School for Girls, a talented singer, Charlotte, who has been involved with most of the city's leading children's musical-theatre companies, is now studying voice at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music, where she also takes an active part in Student Life - click either title, to hear Charlotte singing Somebody to Love by Queen, or, in complete contrast, The Prayer, recorded live in the beautiful acoustic of Buckfast Abbey, Devon. A while back she sang at Philip's charity concert in aid of Gables Farm Dogs' & Cats' Home, which gave Charlotte the opportunity for a photo-call with one of the home's canine stars, Danny the Lurcher! The current picture is part of a set of publicity shots for Charlotte's prospective musical-theatre productions and roles.
Maddy Allsop began lessons with Philip in 2005, and passed her Grade 1 with Distinction. Since then she took most of the intervening grades, ending with a good Merit at Grade 8. This is only part of the story, though, as Maddy, apart from playing the violin, is also an accomplished singer, and passed Grade 8 with Distinction. With her dual interests in Music Theatre as well as Classical and Opera, she recently received a First-Class Honours Degree at King's College, London, and, following postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, has now joined the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm.
Erika Sun successfully worked through Grades 1-5, as well as Grade 5 Theory, before deciding to concentrate on her school subjects instead, as Year 12 beckoned. Philip always aimed to make lessons as much fun as possible, but the cuddly toy (Jack-Jack from The Incredibles), wasn't part of the plan! Some years earlier, Erika's former primary school had sent each Year 6 student home with Jack-Jack for a night, and they then wrote a short diary about what he got up to - Erika thinks this was his first piano lesson! Erika's mum took a picture of us together at our final lesson, where it's hopefully clear that Erika had left on a high, after we had great fun playing my Five-Finger Disco! Duet together - and Erika's decision to concentrate on her school-work certainly paid off, since she got 9 A*s, and 3 As in her GCSE exams! She now reads Fine Arts and Photography at Edinburgh University.
Pat Mahon passed TCL Grades 6 & 7, before continuing her studies at Trinity College, London. She now specialises in Early Music, and is a fine recorder player and accomplished singer. The picture shows Pat [centre], with members of her former ensemble, Mean Time.
Patrick Zhang was born in China, and lived in Bude, North Cornwall. He started playing the piano at five, gaining his ABRSM Grade 8 with a high Merit at fourteen, and has also passed the TCL Advanced Certificate. Pat's lessons were no easy matter either, involving a round-trip of some 120 miles every few weeks or so. He has now started worked as a Junior Doctor in the Torbay area.
His sister, Catherine, who restarted her lessons, after moving back to Plymouth to attend a city grammar-school, has since passed her ARSM Diploma with a high Merit, and hopes to read Economics at Oxford She was never very happy with her much-younger photo above, so here is a recent one that might easily have been taken following her diploma success! Their mother, in thanking Philip for his teaching, gave what must be one of the most lovely accolades ever, when she wrote: 'Both children benefited so much from learning piano with you and the way your teaching broadened their mind, ideas and the views for life. They could not be the same as they are now, without learning piano with you. I could not thank you enough!'
Philip's longest-traveling student, however, remains a Jazz-Piano adult, who occasionally made the round-trip of some 350 miles from Worcester for a top-up lesson when preparing for an exam!
Isaac Chung, who has just completed his medical studies, and started a hospital post in Wales, is a post-Grade-8 student, who then enjoyed dabbling in some jazz piano, Mozart and piano duets, seen here holding a couple of the cups he won in the City of Plymouth Music Festival when he was young. Click for a slightly newer photo, taken on a family break in Budapest, and for some more information about Isaac - or click for a light-hearted impromptu videoclip of Isaac playing part of a piano duet with Philip. Isaac recently married a fellow medical student, as he began his career as a Junior Doctor.
Jacquie Tan grew up in Canada, learning to play the piano at the age of five. Before university, she completed her Grade 9 piano (with honours) at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. At Cornell University, she found it difficult to balance her work load and interests in music, and it was not until eight years later that she decided to start the piano again. She met and studied with Philip in Plymouth, with whom she obtained her ATCL (Recital) Diploma. Jacquie and husband, Kevin, a doctor, have now returned to Hong Kong to live and work, and where they have had their first child, Adrian [see inset]
Katy Morrison, originally from Gilwern, near Abergavenny, passed TCL Grades 7 & 8, while a student at Plymouth University, where she read Law and Business Studies. Katy finished her postgraduate studies at Sheffield Hallam University, gaining a Master's degree in Human Resources, in which field she now works. She still keeps regularly in touch, despite a busy work and social life, and her young family.
Philip has spent a day as guest of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, where, in the morning he was taken to the composer's birthplace at Zelazowa Wola and, following a traditional Polish lunch at the adjacent Hotel Chopin, was driven back to the city to visit the Museum there, as well as some of the city's buildings with Chopin connections.
He has compiled a short Diary of Events here, and is most grateful to the Institute for their generosity and hospitality on the day, as well as in supplying a number of Chopin CDs which Philip was able to review at MusicWeb International.
Sometimes Philip has found his role as Concert Reviewer helpful in his private teaching. One particularly talented student had recently obtained his ARSM, ATCL, and LTCL Diplomas during Years 12 and 13, and had secured a scholarship at the Royal Birmingham Concervatoire of Music. Philip had reviewed leading British concert-pianist Mark Bebbington on a number of occasions in the past. Mark is also a most sought-after professor at the Conservatoire, and, was happy to continue teaching the student when starting the Undergraduate course there.
Philip has also taught private students from the University of Plymouth, whether studying for a music-related degree, or in a different discipline. For example, among his early successes was a student in Marine Sports Science, who gained a Distinction in his ATCL (Recital) Diploma, and another whom Philip coached for her final practical performance, and who was awarded a First-Class Honours degree in Music. Another of Philip's students at the university also gained a First, this time in Music Technology. Philip has also been a designated Piano Tutor at the University, where he prepared students for the respective recital element(s) in their chosen degree pathway, as well as pre-university students under the Music BA Junior Academy scheme.