William Cahill – Rhodes Scholarship Elect

His interest in me, years later, has not changed, as is his ability to inspire musical passion within me.’

Dr Michael Low is one of the most unique mentors I have ever had the fortune of engaging with. I say this because his offering extends much further than the standard piano teacher. Michael breaks the mould as he engages with his pupils beyond the classroom and really allows for the pupil to discover the meaning and emotion behind the music for him/herself. He does this while ensuring the highest level of technical proficiency, resulting in an experience that makes his pupils play exceptionally well whilst thoroughly enjoying themselves and truly feeling the music.

Dr. Low taught me the importance of scales and technical exercises and their relation to actual pieces. This made learning music easier and gave the technical exercises relevance, which at a young age was difficult to visualize. With this teaching, my technical performance improved and resultantly my enjoyment increased. Dr. Low would always take me through different stages when teaching me a piece of music. The first would be to contextualise the music with a short history of the composer and an interpretation of the composer’s feelings and experiences when the music was composed. Next we would learn all the technical aspects of the music, from the different keys to the instruction of play in different sections. After that, when putting sections together and playing the full piece, it had to make sense to me, and the feeling had to be authentic and personal. If it wasn’t, he would call me out for sounding too regimented or too much like another performer. By the end I would be playing the piece with full technical proficiency and the music would be all be my own expression. This process of teaching is how Dr. Low gets the best out of his students. The end result is an appreciation of the composer, high technical standards and the production of music that is true to yourself.

While being put through a wonderful learning process, you are exposed to Dr Lows highly eccentric demeanour. His musical passion is obvious, and it is seen in the way that he plays and teaches. Besides being highly musically gifted and passionate, He is fun, outgoing, interested in wide variety of hobbies including cinematography and golf. Above it all, he is supremely invested in his students. Each individual is important. Whether it be their musicality or just whatever is going on in their lives, Dr Low is interested and caring. His interest and passion for his students and their performance is what makes him special and different as a piano teacher. To this day, several years after being taught by Dr. Low, I still catch up with him over a film, some delicious Asian food or even a round of golf. His interest in me, years later, has not changed, as is his ability to inspire musical passion within me.

Dr. Low is an exceptional piano teacher, and is a wonderful servant of the musical world.

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