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 is Founder of Piano Portals, a groundbreaking, holistic framework for piano technique - a result of Stephen's tireless adult journey from frustration to facility in his 30s and 40s.
UK Music and Drama Education Expo, London 2020 - presented well-received seminar, 'The Holistic Primary Piano Teacher'
Piano Portals features in International Piano Magazine, March 2020 - editorial and article
Piano Tutor at Jackdaws Music Education Trust from 2017 - facilitating sell-out courses on Playing by Ear
Online Jolly Music Workshops for music lead and non-specialist primary teachers for Jolly Learning in 2021 and 2022
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 all children 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 Portals, a holistic approach to technique and radical substitute for conventional exercises. It challenges orthodox assumptions and advocates fresh solutions, uncovering oft-overlooked elements of great players' techniques.
Piano Portals has enabled Stephen to realise his dream of playing to his satisfaction and empowers a growing membership of pianists and teachers across the world. Access Piano Portals resources
Stephen's experiences birthed the melodious Joshua's Fire, a set of seven piano pieces charting a human journey, available on streaming and download platforms. Watch and listen to Joshua's Fire
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys the outdoors, cycling, motorcycling, walking, photography and film.