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In Brief


Stephen Marquiss journeyed from prize-winning music school student through struggles with injury and mental health to become one of the most experienced pianist/teachers of his generation.

Stephen's tireless adult journey from frustration to facility in his 30s and 40s gave rise to Piano Portals, a holistic, joyful online framework for piano technique and radical substitute for conventional exercises.

Take me to Piano Portals

Recent Highlights

  • UK Music and Drama Education Expo, London 2020 - seminar, 'The Holistic Primary Piano Teacher'

  • International Piano Magazine, March 2020 - editorial and article

  • Piano Tutor at Jackdaws Music Education Trust from 2017 - courses on Playing by Ear

  • Jolly Music Workshops for primary teachers, 2021/22


Stephen was born in Bath, England and was educated at Wells Cathedral School, a specialist music school, and then at Christ's College, Cambridge. During his time at Cambridge, Stephen travelled to New York to study with Sophia Rosoff, a pioneering teacher and former student of Abby Whiteside, a unique voice in pedagogical history. This sowed the seeds of Piano Portals, which was a further two decades in its evolution and refinement. 

In his early school years, Stephen won the Sheila Mossman Award for the highest ABRSM exam mark in the country, reached the final of the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists and the televised stage of BBC Young Musicians.

In his later teens, Stephen struggled with so-called RSI and mental health. He refocused on composition and became a rare candidate for a theoretical A Level Music paper in place of a performance. This back story informed the development of Piano Portals, which catalysed Stephen's pianistic resurgence in his late 30s and early 40s.

In his 20s, Stephen forged a successful career as a teacher, conductor and piano accompanist. He spearheaded successful community musical projects in and around his native Frome, Somerset, England, including Frome Symphony, the town's orchestra, which thrives two decades on. He helped to catapult the Frome Festival into the international limelight, as Music Director.

Stephen also worked as a piano accompanist at Wells Cathedral School and Piano and Early Years' music teacher at Hazlegrove Preparatory School. He later became a Jolly Music trainer, reflecting his passion for empowering children in music from the outset. 

In his 30s, Stephen refocused on the piano, driven by a sense of frustration and under-achievement as a pianist. Determined to uncover the root causes of his own difficulties and help others, Stephen developed Piano Portalsa groundbreaking, holistic approach to technique. It challenges orthodox assumptions and advocates fresh solutions. It uncovers oft-overlooked, elements of great players' techniques and presents them as accessible, transformational tools.

Piano Portals enables Stephen to realise his dream of playing to his satisfaction and empowers a growing membership of pianists and teachers across the world. Take me to Piano Portals 

Stephen's journey birthed the ambient, accessible piano collection, Joshua's Fire. Watch and listen to Joshua's Fire

Stephen enjoys the outdoors, photography, motorcycling, walking and film-making.

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