I have been teaching Simply Music since it started in early 1998 and I love the results students achieve with this method! Prior to Simply Music, for 9 years I taught a more traditional way of learning to play the piano. But the Simply Music method far exceeds the results I saw with the traditional approach or with any other program I’ve seen.
I’ve taught the Simply Music method in two states of Australia and also in the U.S. and the results are extraordinary! I’ve taught extensively in both Shared Lessons (groups) and in Private Lessons. I’m currently teaching face-to-face and online lessons. The online lessons are also producing amazing results and allow students to learn without having to travel to my studio.
Born as Kerry Halbert, I grew up on a farm in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. I took traditional piano lessons for years from the age of 8, later also studying double bass. Apparently singing before I could walk, I took voice lessons as an adult. I completed a Certificate of Music in Jazz (piano) at the W.A. Academy of Performing Arts and have been teaching piano since 1989. Having worked with Neil Moore since 1992, I introduced Simply Music to Australia (with Gordon Harvey) after Simply Music’s inception in early 1998.
After establishing a network of teachers in Perth, I moved to the U.S. for four years, working for the global head office of Simply Music on a multitude of projects, including the filming and production of both the Teacher Training and Student Home Materials. I have trained, assessed and coached teachers of the Simply Music method, have conducted Teacher Workshops on various topics in Melbourne and Perth, which were recorded and are currently sold on the Simply Music website as part of additional training materials for teachers.
I’m now based in Melbourne, Australia and am married to my Victorian-born husband and have 3 beautiful step-daughters. For 12 years I ran a commercial studio in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, where for several of those years I employed another Simply Music teacher to teach in my studio. I now teach from my home studio in Maribyrnong.
Kerry, Chloe has blossomed under your teaching–not only in her ability at the piano but also in her increased confidence. As you know, she tends to be shy but you talk to her so calmly and with the perfect amount of humor that she is able to overcome much of her nervousness. Before taking lessons from you through the Simply Music program, she never would have considered playing in her school recital. You helped her put together the perfect song and gave her so many tips on how to overcome her fear that she played perfectly. We are so happy with the Simply Music approach. Chloe plays with so much confidence and has so many songs committed to memory that she thinks nothing of sitting down at a friend’s house and playing a song–with no music books necessary. She also spends a great deal of time just tinkering at the piano trying to compose her own melodies. – Alette Farrell
Kerry, you have taught our nine year old daughter Sarah for the past year. We are so pleased with her progress. In this short time she can play 30 songs well and loves to. Our house is filled with music each night as she practices. Frankly, we think she loves showing off to the Grandparents. We have enjoyed you and your teaching style of Simply Music so much; we felt we had to tell you so. You have taken a sincere interest in Sarah and really care if she learns. Sarah looks forward to her lessons each week. – Patrick and Maria Mahan
Our son Michael (16) took traditional piano lessons with 3 different teachers over a period of several years. He wanted to play well immediately, but they always made him start with simple songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. He hated it and we always had to fight with him to practise. Since starting Simply Music he has excelled. He says ‘I love going to music lessons!’ He has been able to play a large variety of songs from the very beginning, but he particularly loves playing the blues. He has been encouraged to take what he has learned and use it as a foundation to create his own compositions which he loves doing. Our house is always filled with music now and we love that! We’ve never had to ask him to practise, in fact quite the opposite – sometimes it’s hard to get him away from the piano! – Kathee and John Otjens
My son Elliot (who is 10 years of age) has been taking Simply Music piano lessons for 21 weeks. He has in his repertoire, approximately 21 songs that he is able to perform. This is most impressive, not only to Elliot but also to me.
I do not need to remind Elliot or “nag” him to practice his piano, he just automatically sits and plays song after song, both before school and after school.
The Simply Music program has allowed Elliot to “excel in something that no-one else in his family or class can do” He has been able to perform his talent in front of his class, then the younger classes and finally he was chosen to perform in front of the entire school. For Elliot, to be able to develop this ability and feel good about himself is fabulous. – Dianne Conte
Neil Moore, I am very excited about the whole concept of “Simply Music”. I have had some experience of conventional one-on-one piano lessons, and started with great enthusiasm, but they always petered out because as the work became more complicated, the traditional teachers (in my experience) were never able to offer practical and relevant learning strategies.
Until now… At 53, I am a pretty late beginner, but the learning strategies you have developed and honed into what is “Simply Music”, are so powerful, that they produce in me a sense of pure joy, like a child at play.
It is a great model for every day living – finding the ways and means to simplifying our hectic lives, and what better model is there than through the medium of music? I am very fortunate to have Kerry Hanley as my teacher. She has wholeheartedly embraced the concepts and techniques of “Simply Music”. She teaches with great clarity and purposefulness, and always with a sense of humour. Thanks to Kerry and “Simply Music”, I am progressing musically as I have never progressed before, simply because I am having heaps of fun, and look forward with relish, to my daily practice. – Kevin Huckstep