Meet the Peri’s: Karen Ayton

The Abbey Music department is very fortunate to be supported by a vastly experienced team of peripatetic teachers.

In this feature, we get to know one of them a little better:

Name: Karen Ayton

What instrument(s) do you teach?
Clarinet, Saxophone (Junior School) and Piano (Senior School)

What advice would you give to young musicians?
Try to practise little and often at first. Don’t get caught up going immediately from one exam to the next. Find some pieces that you really enjoy playing, and join some groups.

What is your favourite piece of music and why?
The conductor of Reading Symphony Orchestra conducted in full pirate costume for a performance of Pirates of the Caribbean. We had a parrot on the stand in the wind section. It was difficult to play, because we were laughing so much.
What is your most memorable musical moment?
I’ve been lucky enough to play Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony twice. It contains a wonderful clarinet solo at the beginning of the slow movement. I was particularly proud of how I played it the second time.

If you could meet any composer from any point in time, who would it be and why?
Eric Satie. He was completely eccentric, and it would be really interesting to find out what made him tick. If I could have two, the second would be Elton John.