About Colourful Keys

About Nicola Cantan

Hi! My name’s Nicola Cantan and I have been teaching piano in Dublin, Ireland since 2005.

When I first started teaching, I was teaching the way I was taught. Nothing wrong with that right? It got me to where I was.

What gradually started to become more and more apparent though, was how much of music had been left out of my own piano lessons. No one had ever encouraged me to compose, taught me to play pop tunes by ear or allowed me to improvise and embellish melodies.

All I could do was play classical pieces exactly as the composer intended. (Oh, and scales. I could play lots of scales quickly and accurately in many different permutations and configurations.)

Nicola Cantan Colourful Keys Piano Studio Dublin

I decided this wasn’t what I wanted to pass on to the next generation.

Well, I did want to pass on this ability – but also so much more! I don’t want to throw out what’s working, but I think the standard piano lesson format could use a makeover.

What I do at Colourful Keys is to open students up to their own musical journey. What’s going to really inspire each student is going to be different. My job is to open the doors.

My students perform confidently, write their own music, play with great technique, get great exam results, and enjoy collaborating with other musicians. They play jazzy pieces & pop songs as well as the great classical masters.

This is what I call a well-rounded musical education.

It’s a big wide musical world, and I want my students to have all the tools needed to go exploring.

What We Stand for As Teachers…

  • We believe in providing valuable piano lessons that are fun, motivating and inspiring.
  • We believe in piano lessons that focus not only on learning necessary skills but on enjoying music and building a lifelong appreciation for it. We value students’ individuality and personality and work hard to achieve student satisfaction.
  • We continue our own learning and research to ensure that what we teach is relevant and interesting. We make it a priority to keep lessons fresh.
  • We believe in exciting lessons and piano students who are passionate and confident about learning the piano.
  • We believe our program is unique and we continue to tailor it to each individual student’s needs.  Our students will always be my inspiration to strive for perfection in our teaching.

I went through about 13 years of music education before I knew anything about improvisation, playing from lead sheets, composing or how pop music is constructed. When I finally started learning about all these things I felt pretty cheated. Why had no one introduced me to all of this great stuff?

I don’t want to cheat my students out of anything that could help them connect with music-making.

About Colourful Keys Piano Studio

Colourful Keys is not a big music school with hundreds of students and interchangeable teachers. We are a small, close-knit team who work seamlessly together to craft our lessons with the utmost care.

Our lessons are conducted out of my home studio in Dublin 12 and in students’ homes. You can be sure that no matter the lesson location or which one of us is conducting the lessons it will include creative, fun and innovative resources that bring the music theory to life.

We have weekly planning meetings as a team and challenge each other to be the best teachers we can be. (Sounds cheesy, but it’s true!) These meetings don’t just help us plan great lessons, they also mean that if one of us is sick or has to stop teaching, the other can step in and will already be familiar with where that student is up to and what they’re working on.

ABOUT OUR TEACHERS

All our teachers work closely together. We meet weekly and plan all lessons together so that students receive a consistently fantastic experience. 

About Ken Tuohy

Ken is passionate about all sides of music and will happily geek out about anything from Chopin to film scores. I’ve seen Ken bring the shyest students instantly out of their shells with his warm personality and easy-going style, and he’s happy to get goofy when needed to help students engage with music learning.

About Bronagh Conroy

Bronagh brings a zest for music and a giggly spark to all her lessons. She is wonderful at establishing an instant connection with younger students as well as diving into creative theory with adult amateurs. I love to see the twinkle in her eye when she helps a student get something and they have one of those lightbulb moments.

About Matthew Graham

Matthew grew up with the traditional exam-based approach to music studies and moved very quickly through the grades. He then realised there was more out there in music and started to explore film scores, pop music and other genres. He loves to pass on this more diverse experience to his students much earlier in their studies.

Want to see some more?

You can find out more about lesson options and fees here.

Feel free to take a peek around my piano teaching blog as well. This is where I provide resources and ideas for other piano teachers and it can give you a great insight into what goes on at Colourful Keys.

PS If you’ve been reading this thinking:

“Yes! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!”

You can sign up for the waiting list for piano lessons at Colourful Keys here.

Not in Dublin, Ireland? Click here to find a local teacher with a similar fun and creative style.

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