Philippa Topham
About Philippa

At the moment lessons will take place by skype, but normally lessons are taught at Philippa's home in comfortable surroundings using a mellow Yamaha C2 grand piano.  A Yamaha Stage Piano is available for concertos and two-piano works. 
Lessons are also available by
skype for consultations, useful for teachers' professional development as well as performance and exam preparation, and Sick Days and Snow Days!


To enthuse and inspire all pupils to have a life-long love of music.

To have fun and learn thoroughly at the same time.

To be patient, supportive and professional.

Happy to teach all ages, standards, styles and speeds.

Over 35 years experience with tinies as young as 3 and mature people as young as 80+.

Committed to the success of each and every student and to discover the best in all. Sharing ideas and the enjoyment of seeing students blossom.

To guide each person towards the goal of
independent learning and discover the emotional content behind each new piece.




Classical, jazz, blues, boogie, rock, ragtime ..........

OTHER tuition:
Young singers
mentoring for teaching diplomas

Other skills:
performance preparation, technique, improvising, duet playing, practice techniques, sight reading, memorising, ear training, harmonising, lead sheets, transposing, playing by ear, playing with backing tracks, chamber music, theory, analysis, musicianship, sight singing.

Exams or not:

Exams are just one of several performance opportunities. Students can take formal exams if required - ABRSM classical or jazz, Trinity Piano or Rock & Pop, Rockschool pop, LCM Piano or Jazz Piano, grades or leisure play, NCM performer or pop, VCM traditional or contemporary.

100% pass rate with the majority gaining merits and distinctions.

Many students prefer a pathway purely for pleasure without the pressure of exams or performances.

    Student Rosemary after playing magnificently at the concert.



 "Philippa is one of very few teachers who can teach the whole range of ages and abilities - from beginners to Diploma standard, and all with complete confidence and understanding." 
Amanda "We would like to thank you for all your dedication and hard work you have shown Alice over the past twelve years.  Alice has grown up with you and you have taught her perseverance and discipline.  We have enjoyed the many concerts over the years and have kept all the programmes.  Wishing you all the very best for the future."
Lizanne "It has been an enlightening journey and the best thing I have ever done for myself. You are wonderfully kind, patient, challenging, encouraging, and so calm in the midst of my anxious moments.  You are the best teacher I have ever had, for anything. All the lessons you taught me, whether they were to do with piano technique or about our minds and personalities will stay with me. I know that you will impact many more lives in years to come, and I hope that you will receive as much joy as you give to others." 
Samantha "Thank you for such a lovely time in renewing my pleasure in playing the piano"
Kathryn "Just to let you know that I came 1st in both festival classes, with 2 certificates and a trophy. Thanks for everything"
Roy "I observed her teaching to be nothing short of inspirational"
Karen "I feel compelled to write to you to let you know how much I enjoyed the concert. You seem to pick really fun up-to-date music which catches the children's (and parents') imagination"
Caroline "It is lovely that you welcome all abilities and get them enthusiastic"
Fran "How have you done it? Is it a magic wand, a secret potion, or just good teaching!?"
Sally "You were always kind and encouraging when her self-esteem wasn't high. If there was a teacher's award for making a difference you would win it"
Robert "What you did requires so much more that just training or experience - they pick up from your innate musicianship, natural teaching ability and ability to communicate. Your standing ovation was richly deserved"
Grace "Thank you so much for being such an influence and an inspiration to my children. All that chinwag and jabber along the way, particularly at the school gate and coffee mornings have pointed to one truth, that you are indeed special to know"
Freddie "Just wanted to say thank you so much for everything over the last 7 years.  I am so pleased with what I have achieved with your help, whether that was reaching Grade 8 or winning the Young Musician of the Year.  It's sad to see the end of the lessons after all these years!"
Laura  "Thank you very much for teaching me to play the piano.  I have really appreciated all your help and expertise over these 9 years!"
Debbie "You have taught my daughters to the highest possible standard. They have appreciated being taught by an exceptional teacher. For me to watch and listen to Hannah play for pure pleasure is a great gift that you have given to her."
Rosemary "It's better than any medication!  Thank you for being the best piano teacher, ever so patient and understanding."
"After 18 months I am still enjoying every moment sat at the piano - thanks for being such an inspirational teacher!" "Thought you'd like to know that I always come away from my lesson invigorated and excited about the next week's pieces - thank you!"
"Thank you for providing such a wonderfully supportive learning environment.  Each week when the girls come back home from their lessons they are excited, enthusiastic and energised about what they are learning.  They often go straight to the piano when they get home.  It's lovely to see them so engaged with music.  Thank you for all you do to inspire them."
"I am really enjoying piano, I love love love it."
"Thank you so much for all your amazing teaching over the last 8 years.  You have given Tom an amazing gift."
"Thank you for another really interesting and helpful session today - you make all the learning so manageable and enjoyable." "Thank you for being such an inspiring, encouraging, motivating and caring teacher. I have hugely enjoyed learning with you and always look forward to my lessons as my creative and musical 'unwind' in a busy life."
Charlotte "A massive thank you for your help with everything so far. Two years ago there's no way I would have even dreamed of doing the Diploma let alone getting a Distinction at Grade 8 which is all down to your encouragement and enthusiasm."
Kate "I have been impressed and delighted with the balanced and interesting lessons Olivia has had from you.  She has really enjoyed the variety of activities and also the reward system you have.  The practice has been varied and always given her enough to do without it feeling a chore."
 "Working with Philippa was always a joy and a learning experience. Her organisational skills were admired by all. Performances were always imaginative, natural and child orientated, nurturing the girls' talents as well as giving them a lifelong love of all things musical." 
Amanda "We can't thank you enough for all you have done for Annabel; she gets so much pleasure from playing, particularly performing and it is lovely for her to be developing a skill which she will have for the whole of her life."
"I feel like I've achieved more with you in a few weeks than I did in 2 years with my previous teacher!" 
Cameron "Thank you so much for helping me learn piano and achieve all my grades.  These past years have been absolutely wonderful and I know I will keep the skills I have learnt with me for the rest of my life.  Thank you again for being such an inspirational teacher."
Annette "Just thought you ought to know of the impact you had on Steffi in her lesson today.  She came out buzzing!  She said she wished she could have three hours of music twice a week with you and how much she loved music!  She can't stop smiling!  Thank you for making her so happy and giving her such a love of music. xx" "They have awarded Steffi a music scholarship.  Apparently she had the highest score on all the supporting tests and they were hugely impressed with her playing.  Thank you so much for your wonderful teaching. You are the best!"
Alison "Thank you for your patience and understanding.  I never thought I'd be able to play the piano and am delighted to have played some lovely pieces.  My fondest time has been playing duets with you."
Steffi "Thank you for helping me get scholarships to my schools.  You are by far the best teacher and I shall miss you."
"It's amazing how many people have motivated me to be who I am today but I have to say you inspired me the most as a very young child."
Jenny "Not only have you given her such a strong base to build on but the fabulous memories of you guiding both girls and my mum through the joy of music will stay with me for a very very long time.  No words can ever express my thanks for that."
Brian "Thank you for many years of fantastic lessons.  You always made the lessons interesting and inspired me to continue on past my original goal of Grade 5.  Sorry to lose you."


Robert "You show such wonderful skill and musicianship in your accompaniments.  That's not only with Eyra's singing but also with Sarah's Brahms.  I meant what I said about the chemistry between you and Eyra - she trusts you absolutely." "You played superbly and Eyra is very lucky to have you to accompany her."
Eyra "Thank you for everything this year! I couldn't have managed at least 95% of it without you!!  It's always a privilege to come over to your lovely home to work with you."
Louise "Once again thank you for your superb accompanying and support over the last three years."

Coffee Mornings:

"Many thanks for inviting me to play and making the afternoon such a lovely relaxed occasion.  It was great to meet the other pianists and to have your calming influence by my side while we played the duets! Thank you." "Many, many thanks Philippa for arranging and hosting this morning.  Not only good for the playing experience but also for meeting and talking with all the others."
Alison "Just to say thank you so much for organising yet another fun ladies (and gentleman) piano morning. It was such fun and most inspirational."
Claire "Really enjoyed last Wednesday and seeing how much your adults enjoy learning with you and how much they get out of lessons - encouraging for me as a teacher. Thanks for providing such a welcoming, relaxed and encouraging atmosphere." "Thank you for a really delightful morning - such a special atmosphere, very friendly and very musical, good coffee and treats ..... what more could you ask for!"
Charles "It's lovely to meet a disparate group of people who all share the same passion."
Rebecca "I always get so nervous when performing on piano but the coffee mornings are such a good idea, everyone is so lovely and encouraging.  You are such a superb teacher and very inspiring so thank you for getting me back into playing again, I am thoroughly enjoying it."


"Thank you for all your hard work and support during your stay in Dubai. We all benefited greatly and I hope to be able to run the seminar again in the future!"
Seminar participants: "Stimulating, refreshing and humorous!" "I thought it was very interesting to see the exams from the examiner's perspective and I also got some good ideas to help motivate students." "A good use of visual examples on DVD and Powerpoint slides." "The information was clear and delivered in an enthusiastic way which made the two days enjoyable. Thank you."
Louise on ABRSM Teaching Music Effectively course: "I can't tell you how much I not only enjoyed the course, but found it so motivating. I think we were incredibly fortunate to have had you as our mentor - everything you said was significant and helpful, and I can't thank you enough."
Sarah on CT ABRSM course: "I consider myself to have been particularly lucky in having Philippa as my mentor."
Ryan at Piano Adventures workshop: "Thank you for such a wonderful workshop on Saturday. It struck just the right note: well organised but with a natural delivery, and just the right balance of commentary on the books and on teaching and motivating students in general.  All the participants were extremely positive - one lady said she wished she'd had a teacher like you!"
Alan at Piano Adventures workshop: "I feel I have learnt more this afternoon than in 50 years of music education"

Training Day participants: "Thank you so much for the inspiring workshop. The tips for performance were excellent and beautifully delivered, and you paced the day perfectly with just enough activities and visual presentations to keep us all enthused for the duration!" "an enormous amount of positive feedback." "Philippa was a charismatic and engaging presenter."
Claire "Just a quick note to say thankyou for such a great day on Sunday - I have returned home totally inspired and my head is just full of ideas to try out. Many thanks again for an inspirational course."
 "I just wanted to say thank you so much for Friday's workshop, it was hugely informative and inspirational.  I went bouncing off into my afternoon lessons with renewed enthusiasm."
Mark "You delivered the presentation perfectly - natural, confident, passionate.  Teachers were totally drawn in and inspired.   Exactly what we want."
Margaret "It was an outstanding success."


"Thanks to your mentoring and boosting my confidence I have filled up my slots with some lovely children. At the moment I have a waiting list in my area which is amazing!" 
Claire "Thank you so much for our session yesterday.  You more than answered my questions and I found everything so helpful.  Thank you for so generously sharing your experience, tips and sheets."
Denny and Jo "Thank you for your help and support in helping us towards our Diploma, we are so grateful. xx"
Claire "Just wanted to say what a terrific term of teaching I've had with you.  I feel I am lucky enough to be at a music conservatoire, learning all this technique, history and interpretation.  But also how to teach a wide range of pupils and making music enjoyable for them all. xx" "You have prepared me so thoroughly for the Diploma, giving me the confidence I need to approach it well, in the best possible way.  But, more longlastingly, I have learnt so much that is helping me already as a teacher and a pianist and will supply inspiration and ideas for my future teaching and playing.  Above all, I have so much enjoyed my lessons with you!  See you soon!"
Sally "I am tremendously grateful for everything I have learnt from you over the years.  I have learnt so much about piano technique and teaching and this has transformed my teaching (and results). "


 "You have been a wonderful adjudicator - fantastic comments in all classes and useful points for development. Thank you so much!"
Susan "Thank you for your helpful and encouraging comments at the Worthing Festival.  I know that many performers really enjoyed the experience and are inspired to play again."

Singing Sessions for older Ladies and Gentlemen with Dementia:

Camilla "It's difficult to express just how grateful I am for all you have done over the last 2.5 years to make Melody Memories, Haslemere so very special for everyone involved.  it has been a great journey and your huge expertise and joyful energy has been wonderful."

"A huge thank you to you - without you Melody Memories couldn't have gone ahead with such professionalism.  I have thoroughly enjoyed going down memory lane hearing the old songs that had meant a lot to me in my youth!"

"We cannot thank you enough for our Friday afternoon sessions at Moorlands Lodge.  We are going to miss you so much."

" Philippa would offer a selection of interactive songs that not only encouraged remeniscience but also some physical movement as well. These sessions were always a great success and we will very much miss Philippa's visits.  We would be more than happy to welcome Philippa back to Langham Court at any time in the future."