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Me and John O'Brien in 2016. Photo: Andrew Florides
Me and John in 2016. Photo: Andrew Florides

…goes to John O’Brien. I could never pinpoint why John’s classes, and the experience of working with him was quite so different to every other teacher.  Then one day, he happened to say in passing, ‘my attitude to class is, this thing [meaning music, dance, teaching, art & so on] is bigger than all of us.’

And there was my answer. If your philosophy is that everyone in the room, including the teacher, is involved in something greater than the individual talents, personalities,  opinions, abilities, rank, age, experience and so on, then it’s all so much easier, and liberating. 

Happy christmas.

Update, May 2019

After John’s death a few days ago, I updated the photograph on this page with one of the many  beautiful pictures of John, taken by friend and photographer Andrew Florides.  It was taken at my wedding in Mayfair Library, in 2016. 

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist