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About Ted's List

Ever wonder if music review websites actually have a musician behind them, or just a tech person scraping information from other websites? 

It seems like everyone is trying to sell you overpriced and underwhelming instruments or annoying courses, right?

Yes, I feel that way, too…

Robert Emery

Hey, I'm Robert...

And on this page, you’re going to learn some deep and dark secrets about the music industry, and why I’m shining a light on the ‘fake gurus’ who wouldn’t know which end to blow a trumpet.

For twenty years I’ve been a professional musician.

In my teens (yes I really did start teaching piano when I was thirteen years old!) I taught piano. Then I went to the Royal College of Music and nearly got expelled for being too proactive (recording albums, setting up a production company, touring).

After finally graduating from one of the world’s best music conservatoires, I felt free. So I went back to teaching to get some cash in the bank.

Four years teaching 50 hours a week. Teaching everyone from a 3-year-old through to a 97-year old.

I was so busy I had a waiting list as long as a piano, and to be honest, felt constricted to only teach and not perform. So I set up what became the largest private music tuition business in the UK. I helped teachers get pupils, and pupils get teachers.

This enabled me to stop my private teaching and move into performing more. Once that decision was made, the phone rang with my first offer; to conduct a tour for Channel 5 TV in the UK.

In a minute I’ll share the crazy story about what catapulted me into an international musician…

But first, I want to address the ‘fake gurus’ I mentioned above, because they are a big part of why you’re reading this today…

Roebrt On Graduation Day

You see, over the years I’ve had the exact same experience after a concert. I go to the stage door to find people waiting outside. You get chatting with them, and they ALWAYS say the same thing.

“My biggest regret in life was giving up playing X”

The X seems to vary from the popular piano and guitar, through to the hurdy-gurdy. But the message was always the same. My rather dull response was also ALWAYS the same: “If I had a dollar or pound for every time someone said that to me, I’d be a rich man!”

You know one thing I now realise? Most people who learn an instrument online via paid courses are regurgitating ideas they learned in a course… The teaching is weak, so the student gives up. It’s like the courses are copies of copies, gradually getting worse at every level. And to make matters worse; both in the UK and USA, there is no legal requirement to have any qualifications to teach music. 

"Choosing a decent teacher harder than
a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto!"

Then there is the advice about musical instruments.  If a lot of the courses and teachers are ‘fake gurus’; then the advice about musical instruments they give is also not going to be great.

The “Learn Piano With Paul” and “Have Music Lessons With Mike” are selling their time, but they have no REAL WORLD experience beyond copying another person’s lesson plans. They review the ‘5 Best Pianos’ – but they’ve never been in a concert hall playing a Steinway, Fazioli or Bosendorfer. They write an article on ‘The Best Electric Guitar’ – but they’ve never stood on a stage next to Meatloaf blaring out Bat out of Hell.

This blog is here to pull the rug out from under all of the fake reviews. My  role here is to not only share my knowledge but to twist the arms of the most well-respected, most-experienced musicians in the business to share theirs too.

Robert Emery Piano

I’ve been thinking about creating this site for years, but my life as a musician was so manic that I barely had time to see my wife and child, let alone start ANOTHER business.

In 2010, my life changed for the better as I was catapulted onto the international stage. I received a phone call from a famous singer’s manager, asking me to be his Musical Director. I jumped at the chance. 

The next few years saw me working with some of the most amazing talents on this planet, literally all over the world.

2020 was going to be my busiest year yet. I had conducting performances lined up in America, Australia, New Zealand, Vienna, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and China. Then Coronavirus happened.

We were all thrust into lockdown – no escape from our homes. My wife had a baby, and our four-year-old, Teddy was climbing the walls.

Besides ‘being Dad’, I decided it was time to protect the downside of not being allowed onto a stage. I was watching Teddy do his Violin practice when I remembered the idea of creating the ‘bible of musical instruments and music education’.

Teddy Emery

Teddy Emery

One look at Teddy and Ted's List was born

So here I am… Sharing my story, knowledge and passion, in the hope it inspires you to commit to music in some form. 

If I could get one ‘result’ from this site, it is getting you to take ACTION. All with the hope that you have music wrapped around you like I’ve done my whole life… It’s what I call my ‘Musical Duvet’. 

I really do hope you find the content on my blog helpful. I’m sure it will save you time and money in finding the very best of what you need, for the lowest possible price. And most importantly of all – I hope it inspires you in your music-making.

Robert Signature

P.S. That’s the super short version of my life. You can get the full story of my twenty-year career here

P.P.S Remember to join the 4-Feature Friday email. Every Friday, I send out an exclusive email with the four most amazing things I’ve reviewed or used that week. It could include exclusive giveaways or chances to interact with me, instruments, books, gadgets, music, new techniques/tricks, and — of course — all sorts of fun musical stuff I dig up from around the world.