Robert Szymanek


I am a Music Educator and Reseacher based in London. I tutor in Piano, Gamelan and Composition, working one-to-one and in groups with beginners, intermediate and advanced players. I am also Course Leader in Ensemble Performance in Sundanese Gamelan at The University of Manchester, where I am a member of the Intercultural Musicking Research Group. My research interests focus on the development of wellbeing-centred approaches to music education, and ethical considerations in intercultural collaboration.

I have taught on the Professional Development programme at the Royal Academy of Music, Composition Workshops with LSO Discovery, and Sundanese Gamelan at schools and Universities in London.

As a player, I have been very fortunate to perform with fantastic musicians and ensembles in the UK, Japan, the USA, UAE and Indonesia. I have received a DBACE Award for Performance and Composition, the Charles Lucas Prize for Composition, and have been shortlisted for a British Composers Award. I have recorded and produced two albums under the the moniker Ok Bertie! For more information go to:


My training in music includes classical piano with Shelagh Sutherland and Cristine Mackie, Sundanese gamelan with Simon Cook, and contemporary singing with Mary Hammond and Howard Milner. In addition, I have a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Masters and PhD in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where I was also appointed as Manson Fellow.


My continual professional development includes training in Child Protection in Education, SEND Awareness (Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism), and Mental Well-Being in Children and Young People. I am a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and work in accordance with their Code of Conduct. I receive regular supervision and feedback on my teaching practice, consulting with educational, social care and psychological experts on a range of topics including safeguarding, self-care and pedagogical strategies.

Instrumental Compositions

Sundanese Gamelan

Ok Bertie!