Hi Karl,
"Just wanted to say a big thank you for all you have done to develop my playing over the past year.
I could not have imagined I would learn so much while having great fun and enjoyment every week. From being nervy and lacking ideas you have shown me what was required to be able to take on jazz and blues; not only as a soloist but also with a vocalist and a rhythm section. What an education!
Of course nothing much would change without practice. The challenges which started from week one got me out of aimless practicing getting things wrong to now understanding the value of practicing right to get it right quicker!
I have also much appreciated being introduced to all the great players and teachers via the internet and to have met so many top-class musicians who are your friends and colleagues in York.
All this has increased my confidence so much so that recently, with your encouragement, I was able to take on a couple of gigs playing in public which is a measure of how far you have taken me.
It has been a wonderful experience."

B. Scarliffe.

"To anyone who needs piano lessons then Karl is the best!
When I started playing the piano I couldn't really play at all
and I was rubbish. Then my dad tried to find me a piano teacher
and he researched some and then he asked Karl and he told him
that he wanted me to have fun and not to have grades and I have had fun.
Now I can play two different types of blues, read music, play cool tunes (like
the pink panther) and improvise .It's really fun!
from Cherry age 9"

I currently have around 15 private students aged between 4 and 70.

I am passionate about teaching piano!


In 2012 I spent 6 weeks teaching full time at a school in Ethiopia. Both one-to-one and class lessons, as well as teaching adults. With lots of very long hours involved, and a language barrier, this was an extremely intense learning curve for me and I think dramatically boosted my abilities as a teacher and mentor.

I tailor the lessons specifically to each person, bearing in mind:

 Music should be fun, this my aim first and foremost.


I strive to teach people to learn to play the music and styles they WANT to be able to play, whether that may be classical, jazz, pop or anything else! Happy to teach students to read music if they wish, but I do not prepare pupils for ABRSM grade exams, as I don't believe that exams are what music is all about and I strongly oppose the old-fashioned approach of boring people to tears by forcing them in this direction, often damaging their ability to learn and enjoy music for life.


Everybody is different, and individual musicians, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, have their own strengths, weaknesses and approaches to learning new skills. I believe it is the teacher's job to get to know the pupils, and to work on material which helps them play to their strengths.



One of my many star pupils, Alex trying her hand at busking, on our famous red piano outside York Minster. 
Talented and brave young lady!

I cannot recommend Karl enough as a piano teacher. As a busy father of 3 who hasn't played since sacking my piano teacher at age 10 because they wouldn't teach me ragtime, I hesitantly returned to lessons to get the most out of the piano left in our home when we moved in. 
I never went past grade 3 as a child as I was utterly uninspired by the work books I was taught through so approached Karl when he was busking to see if he fancied a challenge. A year or so later, after regular visits to his home, he has thoughtfully appraised my skill level, taken time to find out what I wanted to achieve and made every lesson a real pleasure. Beyond his playing, his skills in making each lesson and the longer term plans flexible, fun and inspiring mean that I make time to practice and love annoying my family by doing so late into the night. 
Whatever your level or taste in music, if you are looking for lessons, give him a call. 
Jim Poyner