Mentor (PGC, CME, CfT)
Naomi Kayayan, BMus (Hons), GRNCM, PGDip, MA, is Head of Keyboard at Wycombe Abbey International School in China, where she leads a department of over 200 talented piano students and faculty of distinguished international teaching staff.
In addition to her role at Wycombe Abbey, Naomi also works extensively for ABRSM. In 2005, she was the youngest ever female to be appointed to the examining panel in its 125 year history. Since this time Naomi has examined and presented throughout Europe, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. Her commitments to ABRSM also extend to examining jazz and diploma exams, as well as the traditional graded system, and, for several years, Naomi was on the panel of ABRSM professional development mentors which involved delivering the CTABRSM, DipABRSM teaching diploma and ‘Teaching Music Effectively’ courses to piano teachers from all over the UK and South East Asia.
Before moving to China in 2018, Naomi was Head of Keyboard at Sedbergh School in Cumbria, an independent boarding school in the beautiful Lake District of the UK. She was also a tutor in the faculty of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and Junior RNCM, where she taught for 17 years. Naomi’s career in the UK also extended to maintaining a thriving private teaching practice and she has held the position of Director of Music at two UK independent schools. Her students frequently go on to study at top conservatoires and have achieved notable success in competitions.
Naomi obtained her degrees from the Royal Northern College of Music and subsequently as a researcher in music psychology and education at the University of Reading, where she was awarded a Distinction for her MA. The topic of her research (‘The Applications and Implications of Multiple Intelligences Theory on Instrumental Teaching and Learning’) received recognition by a number of esteemed research groups and led to conference presentations and publications. As a performer, Naomi is an experienced soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. She has given live broadcasts for BBC Radio and has been involved in two recording projects: one on the music of Armenia, the origins of her family roots and the other on the piano music of Argentina, a country which has become very close to her heart. She also works regularly with internationally acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano Kathryn Rudge with whom she has given a number of recitals. Naomi is particularly well known for her interpretations of Hispanic piano music and she is currently involved in a recording project at Steinway Studios in the UK entitled ‘Hispanica’. This project explores the piano music of Spain, the Basque and Catalan regions and the South American continent.
In her spare time, Naomi maintains an interest in travel and languages. She is currently learning Mandarin and Spanish and she is a fluent French speaker. Naomi is an enthusiast of all things Hispanic, not least the music. In recent years she has travelled all around South America and her next venture will be to visit Cuba and complete the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Northern Spain. Naomi is delighted to be working with the ESTA team in the delivery of its courses, and, to support and inspire piano teachers the world over.