Practical strategies for teaching Grade 1 successfully

This online course is available to purchase for a limited time only

Discover the basic principles needed to prepare pupils positively for their Grade 1 piano exam (ABRSM, LCM & Trinity) with the practical guidance of the Grade 1 Toolkit.

By working through and implementing the ideas in the Grade 1 Toolkit you will:

1. Know how to judge whether or not a pupil is ready to start preparing for Grade 1
2. Learn about a range of teaching strategies for covering the various requirements
3. Be able to help your pupils achieve their best in their Grade 1 piano exam


The Grade 1 Toolkit for Piano Teachers consists of 4 Modules. Each module contains approx. 60-120 minutes of videos - plus cheatsheets and other teaching resources. The course will need a minimum of 8 hours to complete but can be completed at your own pace.

Module 1 | Starting Off

Know when it’s time to start Grade 1 preparation along with a timeline overview and strategies for getting parents involved in a positive way.

Module 2 | Preparing the Groundwork

Gives strategies for how to connect the technical work, aural training, pieces and sight-reading together.

Module 3 | Building Momentum

Considers the specific elements required by the 3 exam boards covering technical work, supporting tests, pieces and sight-reading.

Module 4 | Towards the Big Day

Looks at the exam criteria and how to prepare students for their performance including on the day and performance anxiety.

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The Curious Piano Teachers was founded in 2015 by Sally Cathcart and Sharon Mark-Teggart. Both are outstanding practitioners and communicators, as well as researchers in music education.

They realised the power of learning from each other to make their lessons work better, pursue new opportunities and increase their love of teaching piano.

Together, Sally and Sharon created a unique online Community that is now helping hundreds of piano teachers from across the globe to learn as much as they teach.

"Sally and Sharon have built a profoundly meaningful Community of piano teachers across the globe that provides members with high-quality opportunities and resources for professional development."

- Dr Christopher Fisher | Professor of Piano, Ohio University School of Music


Sally Cathcart, PhD | Co-Founder, The Curious Piano Teachers

Sally's innate curiosity has taken her to many corners of the world to explore different approaches to music education. After her travels as a 2005 Winston Churchill Fellow, Sally founded the Oxford Piano Group as a vibrant, collaborative place for pianists and teachers to meet and share experiences.

She was awarded a PhD from the Institute of Education, UCL in 2013. Her topic was the first comprehensive study of UK piano teachers, exploring common practices, expertise, values, attitudes and motivation to teaching. She has many years of teaching experience both as a piano teacher and as a classroom music teacher. Sally is a Principal Tutor on the Piano Teachers’ Course and is a consultant for ABRSM and The Voices Foundation.

Sally is married to Michael and lives down the road from the real Downton Abbey!


Sharon Mark-Teggart, MA | Co-Founder, The Curious Piano Teachers

Sharon says: “Being curious has taken me to places I never thought I’d reach. As a piano teacher, with incredibly humble beginnings, I’d never have moved on without my sense of curiosity and my courage to change.”

In 2007 Sharon achieved a Masters of Music Education with distinction. She has over 20 years of piano teaching experience and since 2012 has delivered Associate and Licentiate teaching diploma courses to groups of piano teachers - with well over 100 piano teachers successfully gaining accredited piano teaching diplomas.

Sharon has been described as being a visionary entrepreneur within the world of music education. After founding evoco in 2012 (Northern Ireland’s Music Education Organisation, specialising in piano teacher training) she founded The Curious Piano Teachers in 2015 with Dr Sally Cathcart.

Sharon lives close to the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland, with her husband Philip and 3 year-old son Reuel.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When can I get access to the Grade 1 Toolkit?
The complete Toolkit will be released on Friday 28 February and will be available to purchase for a limited time only.
How long do I have access to the Grade 1 Toolkit for Piano Teachers?
The Grade 1 Toolkit will be accessible until 31 December 2020. All course materials are downloadable.
What if I am unhappy with the Grade 1 Toolkit?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
What happens once I purchase the course?
You will get immediate access to all 4 modules and can work through the content at your own pace. You will also be invited to join Sally and Sharon in our private Facebook group for the course where you will be able to start meeting other course participants. In the group there will be discussions of course content. Sally and Sharon will be available to answer questions with regular Facebook Live sessions.
How long will it take to complete?
As you will have access to the complete course from the start you can take as long as you like! We recommend a minimum of 8 hours study in total to fully work through all the materials.
How else does this sit alongside what else The Curious PIano Teachers offer?
If you are a member of The Community this course will be available free as part of the membership package.
How much will the course cost?
The course will cost £47.00 and will be available to buy from Friday 28 February for a limited time only.
Will my pupils all pass their exams if I buy the Grade 1 Toolkit for Piano Teachers?
Sadly, we can't give you any assurance on that as the teaching is really down to you. However, once you purchase the Grade 1 Toolkit and join the exclusive Facebook group you'll get lots of support that will help you become a more reflective teacher. And your pupils will certainly feel the benefit of this shift.
Has the Grade 1 Toolkit for Piano Teachers been approved by the main exam boards?
The Curious Piano Teachers is an independent company whose mission is to help piano teachers learn as much as they teach. Whilst we work alongside the exam boards in many areas The Grade 1 Toolkit is a standalone product.