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June 2004


To Whom It May Concern:


I had private lessons in jazz with Claude Alexander between January and September 2002.  I am a classically trained pianist with a degree in music from the University of Birmingham and I studied with Claude to develop my jazz skills and appreciation.  I am additionally trained in the Kodaly music teaching method and teach piano, cello and musicianship to students of all ages, in groups and one-to-one.  While I do not have direct experience of Claude's teaching in the classroom, I can, from my own experiences, give an account of the impression he makes and of his skills and aptitude as a music teacher.


Claude continuously exhibited his enthusiasm and dedication to music and teaching.  Lessons were stimulating, thought provoking and have completely changed my perspective on the keyboard and the way I listen to music.  Claude is a versatile and interested teacher and was sensitive to the depth of my musical knowledge in some areas, and the lack in others.  As a result, he was able to tailor our programme to suit this and created a number of worksheets to help me on my way.  Besides opening the door to jazz for me, Claude was able to help me with preparation for a performance of Beethoven, significantly altering my perspective on the piece.  He was interested in what I was able to bring to the music, and there was an ongoing sense that we learned a lot from each other.


Claude is creative and inspiring and has an active sense of humour.  He was a breath of fresh air after the music lecturers I experienced at university.  There is no doubt that he experiences music as a living thing, and is very free and flexible in his approach.  He demonstrated a thoughtful and serious commitment to teaching, and in common with many music teachers, also is strongly committed to performing.  I believe Claude's lifelong active involvement with these complementary professional activities, in addition to his prior training and life experience, make him an ideal candidate for a BA (Hons) in Music Education programme that confers QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).


Yours faithfully,

Charlotte Eaton





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