Laura Bevan is a piano teacher at the London Piano Institute. She has been playing the piano since she was seven years old and since then has studied at the Conservatoire in Leeds, gaining a degree in classical and Popular music.
Stefan Joubert: Who is your favourite pianist and why?
Laura Bevan: My favourite pianist is Yuja Wang for reasons other than her technical capabilities. Yuja Wang is my favourite pianist because she doesn’t listen to what is expected of her. The fact she wears what she likes despite it being deemed as ‘inappropriate’ for a classical musician is inspiring and shows that she is more than an incredible pianist but also a leader of a new movement.
Stefan Joubert: That’s an interesting choice, Laura. I can see how Yuja Wang’s approach to music and performance can be inspiring for both pianists and audiences.
Stefan Joubert: What aspect of piano teaching do you enjoy most?
Laura Bevan: My favourite part of teaching the piano is being a part of their journey. I like watching my students improve and fall in love with the piano. The spark in their eyes and excitement they get when they finally grasp something they have been struggling with is great to watch.
Stefan Joubert: That’s a great answer, Laura. Helping students discover the joys of playing the piano is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching.
Stefan Joubert: What would you change if you could re-do your piano studies?
Laura Bevan: I was so scared to play in front of anyone whether that was friends, family, other teachers etc. If I could change anything I would change my fear of performance as it held me back from gaining feedback, joining musical groups and experiencing concert settings which I believe is crucial to a musical journey. I only started seeing the benefits of this when I was encouraged to perform more at university.
Stefan Joubert: I think that’s a common fear among pianists and musicians in general. It’s great that you were able to overcome it and start performing more.
Stefan Joubert: What do you enjoy most in your life as a pianist?
Laura Bevan: I enjoy being able to sit and play the piano after a long or heavy day as it helps me calm my mind and allows me to think more rationally.
Stefan Joubert: Yes, playing the piano can be a great stress-reliever and form of self-expression.
Stefan Joubert: What was your most enjoyable performance and why?
Laura Bevan: My most enjoyable performance was my second year recital at university because my final piece was Toccata by York Bowen which was probably one of the hardest pieces I had ever played due to the incredibly high tempo. I had worked so hard all year and was very nervous for that piece, especially as it was the finale and it went very well and made the audience cheer really loud.
Stefan Joubert: It sounds like that performance was a great achievement for you, Laura. Congratulations!