2019-2021 News

2020 December

2020 has been very interesting for a number of reasons. I’m happy to report that for most students teaching online is working very well indeed and I thank you all for your patience during this time.

You may know that my love of music naturally extends to Maths and physics. With both disciplines sharing sequences, patterns, repetition to basic functions like inversions, transposition and retrograde movement. I truly believe that to understand music a firm grounding of Maths and Physics is required to gain an insight into the relationships between sound frequencies such as the harmonic series on which all music is built.

Anyway, after going sorting my materials for Maths lessons, surprise, surprise…. I found myself with some spare time. Now when I was younger a kept a secret diary and like most governments I couldn’t let secrets fall into enemy hands such as my younger brother or even worse my parents. So I had no choice but to cipher my writing and all the juicy bits are coded in this cipher. Over the years I totally lost the key (Never have the key and the cipher text together) and this lockdown has been the perfect opportunity to crack my Egyptian looking ciphertext and have a good read what the ten year old me was writing. Anyway after about 25 mintues of serious cryptoanalyst study on my texts I had cracked the code I composed over 20 years ago that I thought was secure!!!!

Anyway I really enjoyed the process and I thought let me cipher some messages for my students, perhaps some of them may enjoy the challenge. I have kept these challenges on the easier side (probably 10+) and I will be updating this page periodically so please check again next week. Pen and paper only. Can you work out the 3 codes and quite possibly the secret phrase??

You will need an alphabet (or two)

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Harder challenges (scroll down for easier challenges)


Bnuhc mhmdsddm hr z fqdzs noonqstmhsx sn cn lnqd ohzmn oqzbshbd. Hs’r z knudkx bgzmbd sn okzx ohzmn enq gntqr zmc gntqr. Rhmbd sghr hr sgd dzrx bncd sn bqzbj zesdqvzqcr xnt bzm itrs fds nm sn okzxhmf sgd ohzmn zfzhm zmc zfzhm. H cn gnod xnt chcm’s bgdzs hm vnqjhmf sghr nts. Ne bntqrd xnt chcm’s. Vdkk cnmd xnt.


rhn atox vktvdxw max vhwx

oxkr oxkr bfikxllbox

ghp mbfx yhk ehml tgw ehml hy

ibtgh iktvmbvx

3. (hidden secret phrase that can be worked out without deciphering the message)


a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

(easier challenges)


If CHBZPMKX means FRIENDLY, then KXHZ means _ _ _ _
if PZABALZF means ROTATION, then AZPF means _ _ _ _
if JPBCJNXD means DREADFUL, then DCPJ means _ _ _ _
if WATCHED is written as PKBFQAW, then HATE will be written as _ _ _ _
if RCNNKF means PALLID, then RCNNGV means _ _ _ _ _ _


Can you open up the three digit lock _ _ _ using these clues

570 one digit is right and in its place
514 one digit is right but in the wrong place
025 two digits are right but both are in the wrong place
739 all digits are wrong
392 one digit is right but in the wrong place

if KPLFUXGP means STRIDENT, then XUFP means _ _ _ _
if JTMPATVJU means LAUGHABLE then AMPU means _ _ _ _
if 19 20 1 9 4 means STAID then 2 5 1 4 means _ _ _ _
if BCPEF means ABODE, then QMBZ means _ _ _ _
if YWX means CAB, then ZWX means _ _ _ and ZWU means _ _ _

Moderate code challenge


96 251521 3114 3181311 208919 251521 1185 2251825 312522518



Good luck everybody and let me know how you get on.

2019 December

Kwan music has only been teaching for nine months (since March 2019) in Cambridge. Nevertheless we already have plenty of good news to share from the hard work that our students have put in. Our successful examination results this year include:

  • Piano Grade 1
  • Piano Grade 4
  • Piano Grade 5
  • Piano Grade 6
  • Music Theory Grade 1
  • Music Theory Grade 3

Lastly, huge congratulations to Isabelle who gained an Organ scholarship at Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam College. Here pictured at the console at St George’s. isabelle.png

I have also sadly had to depart my role at St George’s and had my final Sunday last week after eight years of service.. Which is a real celebration of the end of my time in London as I start my new post at St Andrew’s in Cherry Hinton in 2020.

tim organ.jpg

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students and parents who work so hard every week. I wish you all the best success for 2020.

Kwan Music

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