Naomi Kayayan

Taking the methodological approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), Naomi’s PhD will report on the findings from two studies aimed at developing a deep understanding of engaging students as partners within the context of conservatoire piano lessons.

Naomi Kayayan

Naomi’s research interests include the interactions between student and teacher expertise, musicians’ life-histories and their impact on pedagogical practices, roles and relationships in instrumental teaching, and, the implications of historical pedagogies on modern-day music education. Through an exploration of engaging students and teachers as partners (SaP) (Cook-Sather et al., 2014; Bovill, 2020), Naomi’s PhD will explore the potential for SaP practices within a conservatoire setting, and aims to challenge what we currently understand about teaching, learning and knowledge exchange in conservatoire piano departments.

A pianist, pedagogue and researcher with over 20 years experience in the field of specialist music education, Naomi maintains roles across a diverse range of contexts. In addition to teaching piano at the Junior Department of the Royal Northern College of Music and Sedbergh School, Naomi is a piano tutor at three of Scotland’s ‘Centres of Excellence in Music’: The City of Edinburgh Music School (CoEMS), the Music School of Douglas Academy in Glasgow, and Aberdeen City Music School at Dyce Academy. All three government funded specialist music schools provide intensive training to talented young musicians regardless of financial circumstances. Her teaching in higher education includes a role as a lecturer/mentor on the postgraduate programmes in instrumental teaching for the University of Chichester.

Naomi has established a global reputation as a music educator. Before the pandemic, she was Head of Keyboard at an international school in China. Here she established conservatoire progression programmes with leading conservatoires in the UK and USA, with a number of her students winning scholarships and prizes in international competitions. In various capacities for ABRSM and ESTA Education, Naomi has delivered professional development courses for pianists and instrumental teachers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where she has given numerous presentations and lectures on piano pedagogy and the psychology of instrumental teaching. Naomi is a diploma, grade and jazz examiner for ABRSM, in which capacity she has examined and presented seminars all over the world. She is also a highly experienced performer, has broadcast live on BBC Radio and regularly partners internationally acclaimed Mezzo – Soprano Kathryn Rudge.

Naomi has trained in person-centred therapeutic counselling and this informs much of her work in music education. Her teaching practice has encompassed working with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds; her students have ranged from ages five to seventy-five! Her teaching philosophy is rooted in person-centred psychology and the critical response process.
A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Naomi completed her training at the Royal Northern College of Music, the University of Reading and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before returning to the RNCM to pursue a doctorate.