Welcome to
Claire James Piano School

Run by conservatoire-trained pianist Claire, the school aims to provide high quality, fun and challenging lessons to aspiring pianists of all ages and abilities.

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About Claire


Claire Cope FRSM BMus(Hons)

Claire grew up in Lincolnshire where she began learning the piano and flute at an early age. She gained Grade 8 piano at the age of 13, Grade 8 flute at the age of 14 and by 2006 had achieved the ABRSM Diploma in Piano Performance. In 2011, Claire graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First Class honours degree, having studied piano with Sallyann McLeod. In the same year, she won the RNCM John Ireland Prize and the Principal’s Prize for Improvisation. She has had lessons with Phillipe Cassard, Nelson Goener and Michel Beroff and has performed across the UK.

Claire is also a keen jazz pianist who has taken part in master classes with Kenny Wheeler and Nikki Iles. She has performed with Tina May, Jiggs Whigham, John Taylor, Gwilym Simcock and Diana Torto and her trio have appeared at the Manchester Jazz Festival and the London Jazz Festival, as well as during the BBC Proms Plus Series which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The Claire James Trio EP was released on the Manchester-based Efpi label, and was well received nation-wide.

Since 2011, Claire has gained a broad range of teaching experience as a private piano teacher, teaching a range of students from age 4 to adult, and from beginner to post grade 8 and beyond. Claire now brings her varied experience and passion for music and education to establishing a fun and extremely efficient piano school.

Claire also works as a piano tutor for Donhead Preparatory School in Wimbledon and at Wycombe Abbey Girls School in High Wycombe. In March 2017, Claire was awarded a distinction level Fellow of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in piano performance, and in April 2018 became a Grade Examiner for the ABRSM.


Our mission statement

  CJPianoSchool is a private music school offering exciting piano lessons in the heart of South West London.

  We aim to provide you with a dedicated and committed piano teacher who is passionate about providing high quality music tuition for all.

Our approach

  We are dedicated to meeting the needs of the individual and tailor all lessons to ensure students are motivated, encouraged and inspired to fulfill their musical potential.

  The school aims to provide an extremely versatile service – providing lessons in classical, jazz, pop, music theory, as well as for those wishing to take exams or learn as a hobby.

  We can also assist students with concert preparation, GCSE and A Level music curriculum and aural and harmony training.

What we can do for you

The best way to find out whether or not Claire James Piano School is right for you is to send us a message via the "Enquire Here" link! You can also keep up to date with our school's latest news via the button to the right.

Classical Piano

We have 20 years of experience in piano alone!

Jazz Piano

Jazz and pop tuition available

Accompanist service

Fully qualified, check out our rates

Travels to you

If you would prefer, we can come to you!

Our Rates

Piano Lessons 1-to-1

For lessons including travel by Claire: 30 mins: £26.00      45 mins: £34.00      60 mins: £43.00


Accompanist Service

Claire is a passionate accompanist and has worked with a multitude of instrumentalists and vocalists. She is available for exam and concert accompaniment and rehearsals. Please see below for accompaniment fees:

60 mins rehearsal plus exam: £80.00

30 mins rehearsal plus exam: £60.00

If you are enquiring about a concert, the fee will be negotiable.

Practice Assistant

Claire can also assist students with concert preparation, GCSE and A Level music curriculum and aural and harmony training.

30 mins: £26.00          60 mins: £41.00

Term dates 2018/19

3rd September to 21st December 2018

Half term: Week commencing 22nd October

7th January to 5th April 2019

Half term: Week commencing 18th February

23rd April to 20th July 2019

Half term: Week commencing 27th May

Our teachers

Christian DawsonChristian Dawson

Christian has recently completed his MMus studies in Piano Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having studied with Eugene Asti and Paul Roberts. Prior to this, he completed a MMus Solo Performance Degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he was the recipient of the Humphrey Dayas Piano Prize (2012) and The Clifton Helliwell Memorial Award (2013).  In 2011, Christian was awarded a BMus (Hons) Degree with 1st Class Honours from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Christian’s previous professors include Mikhail Kazakevich, Helen Yorke and Douglas Finch.  He has also participated in many masterclasses and received coaching and one-to-one tuition from world-renown artists including Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Iain Burnside, Nelson Goerner, Steven Osbourne, Piers Lane, Noriko Ogawa and Stephen Hough.

Recent performance highlights have seen Christian appear at the Oxford Lieder Festival (2011), North West New Music Festival (2012), Reflections of Debussy Festival at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (2012), Machynlleth Festival (2013), the Manchester Welsh Society (2013), and The City of London Festival (2014).  Following a debut performance at St. John’s Smith Square, London in 2014, other notable venues have included Mansion House, London, and The Guidhall, City of London, both of which have been in the presence of Royalty.

Christian has vast experience as a vocal accompanist, and has performed many songs and cycles by composers including Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Strauss, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Stravinsky and Britten.  Also active as a solo pianist, Christian feels especially at home with 19th Century rhetoric, with a particular emphasis on works by F. Liszt.

In addition to solo and vocal duo performances, Christian has performed regularly and lectured for the Divas & Scholars Opera Interpretations and Perspectives Study Day Series that take place at Cadogan Hall and Markham Square, London. Christian is also engaged in a variety of additional freelance accompaniment work.

Christian is beginning to establish himself as a highly successful piano teacher, and his wide range of students have already achieved excellent success in ABRSM graded exams as well as competitions.  Further work has seen Christian dip into the world of musicology, and he has a particular interest in the study of expressive bodily movements during a piano performance.


Claire 1

Claire James

Claire is both the Director of and full time teacher for CJ Piano School. Please click here to read more about Claire!

















T & C

Terms and Conditions

The Terms and Conditions below have been put in place to ensure a fair agreement between the tutor and the student, and to ensure our timetable can run smoothly and effectively. Please take a moment to read these. We are happy to answer any queries you may have.

  1.   Lesson fees must be paid for the whole half term in advance by cash, cheque or bank transfer.  Our half terms work in line with the borough of Richmond upon Thames school term dates. Please click here for further details
  2.   Prior to payment, parents/students may notify us of any lesson that cannot be attended due to holiday etc. However, please note that should a significant number of lessons not be attended, the Director may review that student’s place in the schedule.
  3.   Cancellations are non refundable. The tutor will make every effort to reschedule a missed lesson, but please note that we do not guarantee that this can be done.
  4.   For a change of lesson day and/or time, one half term’s notice is required. We will do all we can to accommodate a change.
  5.   Students are not required to pay for and take lessons on dates that fall within school holidays (half term weeks, Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays) but we do advise that students continue with their lessons for as much of the year where possible. Additional lessons within school holidays can also be arranged.
  6.   Exam and music fees must be paid within one week of the tutor’s request. Failure to do so may result in a student not being entered for their exam.
  7.   Where a student wishes to cease lessons, one half term’s notice is required. Fees are fully payable if a student stops taking lessons before the end of the half term.





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Where we are

  • Claire James Piano School
  • 2 Dyas Road, Hazelwood House, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5DD
  • United Kingdom
  • 01932 787062
  • 07702 023345
  • info@cjpianoschool.co.uk
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