Philippa Topham
About Philippa


Philippa is a professional pianist who has performed as a soloist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in Europe and the Middle East, and was promoted by Yehudi Menuhin's 'Live Music Now'. She is an accompanist for concerts, exams and diplomas, festivals, music societies, shows and dance exams.

But she also loves
teaching and has a lifetime's experience since her teens, teaching from beginner to Diploma level.  As a class teacher she has been Director of Music up to A level standard, teaching at Dubai College, Latifa School, Dubai English School, Sharjah English School, The English College and Asseef School for Special Needs in Dubai.  Since returning to UK she has taught at St Catherine's, Godalming College, Guildford High School, Tormead, St Ives, Haslemere Prep School and Camelsdale School. Philippa currently teaches privately at home and is building a new practice in Purbeck, with some students still travelling from Surrey.

examinined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for 14 years - classical and jazz, both UK and international.  As a member of the ABRSM Professional Development Panel she mentored piano teachers on the CT ABRSM Plus Diploma and Teaching Music Effectively courses in London and Singapore. Philippa currently examines for MTB online music exams. 

Philippa was a
presenter of teachers' workshops, mainly for the publishers Hal Leonard for many years.

As a personal mentor Philippa is able to offer support to other music teachers, particularly for Continuing Professional Development and Teaching Diplomas.  Topics include: technique, musical playing, style & era, imaginative planning, lesson structure, the notebook, motivation, performance opportunities, holistic teaching, adult students, tiny students, teenagers, the role of parents, practice methods, when things are not going well, the first lesson, improvising, repertoire, recommended reading, ten top tips, theory, practical musicianship, curriculum planning, group teaching, assessment, exams - why take them?, exam technique and preparation, business arrangements, child protection, and essay writing for Diplomas.

As an
arranger Philippa has had music published by ABRSM in Piano Mix.


which means: Graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester - a four year course specialising in piano performance (taught by Renna Kellaway and Colin Horsley, and masterclasses with Vlado Perlemuter, Tamas Vasary, Sir William Glock) but covering other subjects including the art of teaching, solfege, electronic music etc.

Post-graduate Certificate of Education at Manchester University - specialising in secondary music and history, with special education as a subsidiary.

DBS checked for school teaching, ABRSM examining, ISM membership, and Alzheimer's Society.

Attention to detail 
while maintaining a sense of fun and fulfilment.
Professional and organised.
Motivates students to succeed.
Passionate about playing music.
Finding the right personal pathway for each individual student.

Philippa has played the following instruments to various standards: piano, flute, voice, recorders, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, violin, and most recently harp.

As a performer Philippa has accompanied such eminent soloists as Susan Milan and John Georgiadis.  Lighter concerts have included themed recitals with singers and instrumentalists, having such titles as Autumn Leaves, The English in Love, A World of Music and In Mellow Mood.  Numerous two-piano recitals have raised thousands of pounds for charities.
Philippa led Singing for Fun Sessions -singing and movement for people in care homes. She has worked for the Alzheimer's Society leading Singing for the Brain sessions, and at numerous Care Homes in the Haslemere and Purbeck areas. She is a Dementia Friend.
As a Musical Director and keyboard player Philippa has played in The Witches of Eastwick, Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Carousel, Copacabana, Bugsy Malone, My One and Only, The King and I, Meet Me in St Louis, Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oklahoma, Cinderella, Cabaret, Blood Brothers, Oliver and Charlotte's Web, as well as numerous G & S productions.
As a rehearsal accompanist Philippa has worked for Dubai Singers, Haslemere Players, Haslemere Music Society,  Godalming Theatre Group, Our Very Own Music Hall, Godalming Choral Society, Grayshott Stagers, Camberley Theatre, Midhurst Players, Ghosts, Pelly Concert Orchestra, Farnham Music Society, Excelsis, Haslemere Thespians, Guildford Youth Theatre, Bournemouth Youth Theatre.

As a background pianist Philippa has played for UK royalty, the ruling family of Dubai, openings of grand hotels, and in weird and wonderful places - even in the middle of a skating rink for a gourmet dining night on ice!

Philippa is also a wife and mum with a grown-up son and daughter.