Like many people, my introduction to music was learning the recorder at primary school. I went on to learn flute at secondary school and quickly switched to the saxophone which I feel in love with instantly. This passion did not stop and led me to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where I earned by BA degree, specialising in classical saxophone. Here I gained a lot of experience playing in ensembles, orchestras, big bands and sax quartets, including recording sessions at the BBC in Cardiff.
Since graduating 20 years ago, I have been teaching saxophone, flute, clarinet, recorder and music theory throughout Wiltshire & Somerset schools.
I run wind ensembles schools and am particularly pleased with a saxophone ensemble in Bath, which has reached a very high standard and they are now playing for concerts outside school. Having played in ensembles from the age of 13 until now, I can’t stress to my students enough how important (and fun!) ensemble playing is, both to musical ability and personal development. Making music with others is incredibly valuable and rewarding.
I play regularly with the GBH big band as well as numerous musicals throughout the South West. I enjoy the challenges which musicals present, not only do I have to switch instruments, but you have to remain alert as no two performances are the same.
In November 2018 I began conducting the West Wiltshire Intermediate Wind Band at the Wiltshire Music Centre, which is the band I first started playing with!
What I / we help young people achieve
I have a good relationships with my students, schools and parents and enjoy sharing my knowledge of instrumental playing and the enjoyment this brings. I can tailor my lessons for each individual successfully. Some students suit the examination process, whilst others do not at all. I have to be flexible and understanding of my students requirements.
My students achieve secure marks in instrumental exams (with ABRSM and Trinity). Preparation for exams requires discipline and perseverance, it's not easy to take an exam, so once the effort has been applied, the end result always creates a huge sense of achievement and boosts confidence.
I encourage all my students to get in involved in ensemble playing, both in and outside of school. It's a very sociable activity and is huge fun, which in turn, promotes happiness. The hard work involved in concert preparation requires team work, on quite a large scale. The end results are very rewarding; when you can see happy faces in the audience and hear their applause, it is hugely gratifying.
I think music provides a healthy distraction from todays ever increasing 'screen' and social media culture. I see music students much more easily able to communicate verbally, as well as musically and this also builds their confidence.
Opportunities for children & young people
- To learn to play an instrument and / or develop skills on an instrument
- To learn to sing
- To play, perform music with others
- To learn things about oneself , other subjects or life-skills through musical activity
- To work with and support other young musicians
- To develop their wellbeing
Also Works With
Salisbury Area Music Cooperative
Wiltshire Young Musicians
- Term Time
- After School
Working with special needs
I have had experience working with children with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and asperger’s and find music an invaluable asset to their lives. Seeing children grow and benefit from the discipline playing an instrument commands, is extremely gratifying. Understanding their different needs and adjusting my teaching style to suit them is a welcome challenge.
It is particularly rewarding to see students develop from shy and nervous in lessons, to proud and confident in school performances.
- Music Theory
- Musical Director / Conductor
Qualifications, Grades & Certificates Taught
- Instrument grades
Musical Clusters Covered
- B-on-A / Corsham
- Salisbury / Wilton
My Training & Development
When I worked for the Wiltshire Music Service I attended many training days with them and now regularly attend Safeguarding training days at the current schools I teach in.
As well as taking notes on my students progress, I also reflect on how I felt I have delivered the lesson: ‘Did that go well?’, ‘did they understand?’ ‘how can I adjust that topic to explain it further’ ‘can I relate this to another piece of music?’ and so on. I actively seek new and different ways to approach lessons. This is done through reading relevant books, online searching and most importantly, talking with colleagues and sharing ideas, resources and methods. Using one set lesson plan doesn’t really work for individual lessons as everyone is an individual themselves, so I have to be more fluid and flexible in lessons.
I attend regular training sessions with Salisbury Area Music Cooperative and Wiltshire Music Connect.
Playing for local musicals challenges me and pushes my own ability as a musician. With an ever increasing demand of high standard productions and also the number of instruments played in each show, I need my playing standard to be extremely high.
29.06.2018 Awareness of child abuse & neglect – Core V8.1 (online)
05.09.2019 GDPR training with SAMC
06.05.2019 Safeguarding and child protection: the essentials (online)
07.05.2019 Preventing radicalisation (online)
16.05.2019 Performance & exam anxiety with Charlotte Tomlinson (SAMC)
23.10.2019 Teaching children with dyslexia with Joy Smith, trainer for the British Dyslexia Association.