A qualified Music Teacher with many years of experience, I am an enthusiastic, passionate teacher of brass, piano, music theory, aural and conductor and director of ensembles with a successful record of inspiring, supporting and nurturing the teaching and learning of all ages and abilities, from beginners up to conservatoire standard students, to achieve their goals and maximise their potential.
I have taught a significant number of pupils through the whole of their school life including children with special needs. I encourage and prepare pupils to work towards grade exams as well as developing technique and repertoire. My pupils achieve excellent results in exams, local and National music festivals, achieve music scholarships, gain places in National Youth Ensembles, secure places at music college and university as well as being encouraged to be as involved as possible in school and county musical activities. I also prepare pupils for GSCE and A level performances and recitals including the art of programme planning.
I encourage and include Theory in the lessons alongside the practical learning as I believe it is an integral part of learning to understand and read music. I have taught Theory in larger groups for students needing to be prepared for grade 5 Theory in order to progress to grade 6 and above practical exams.
Aural is regularly included in the lesson at an appropriate level. It is as important to develop the aural skills of the pupils as it is to improve the technique of the instrument. I also support other colleagues who are unable to play the piano and prepare advanced students for their aural.
As an accompanist I support pupils in lessons, exams and recitals from early stages to conservatoire auditions. I have accompanied instrumental and vocal soloists and choirs at major concert venues including the Royal Albert Hall in London and on CD recordings.
What I / we help young people achieve
My teaching mission is to equip every pupil with the skills and techniques to play an instrument, learn to read notation, develop aural skills, improvise, explore their own expression and ultimately become an independent learner with the ability to realise their own musical voice and enjoyment that music provides.
Successful independent learning is a high priority. Lessons have a clear goal of progression by building on pupil’s achievements and moving forward. Teaching style is adapted to match the pupil’s learning style.
Progression is an important and powerful motivator. This can be realised in achieving mid to long term goals, ensemble participation and exam success.
Examinations are one of the tools used to celebrate each pupil’s achievement and progress in instrumental ability. Other tools include performance at music festivals and in school and county ensembles. Where this formal approach is problematic for some pupils I have also encouraged progression by using clips from YouTube and other internet sites to demonstrate techniques that they may not be aware of. I also encourage attendance at masterclasses and workshops run by schools, county music service and other providers such Wells Cathedral School, BSO and Cory Band.
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 work with and support other young musicians
Also Works With
Bathe and North East Somerset Music Service
Mid Somerset Music Festival
Previously with South West Music School
- Term Time
- After School
- School Holidays
Working with special needs
I have experience of working with children with special educational needs and disabilities. Specifically I have had experience of teaching children with dyslexia, autism, ADHD, physical disabilities and selective mutism.
- Piano / Keyboard
- Music Theory
- Musical Director / Conductor
Qualifications, Grades & Certificates Taught
- Instrument grades
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
Musical Clusters Covered
- B-on-A / Corsham
- Calne & Melksham
- Trowbridge (CSL)
Emily – Secondary School – Head of Music
Sue, you are wonderful. Not only are you ridiculously talented at what you do, but you do it with such unwavering goodness. You are humble and principled and your heart is always in the right place, and there is absolutely no question that for you the students come first. Thank you so much for putting so much into brass group/quartet at St Gregory’s.
Brass Tacks were awesome. A few of the St Greg’s kids sat with open mouths. I’m glad they watched!
Nicola – Parent
Great, thanks, Sue. Thank you for being so thorough and motivating for Anna.
Judith – Parent
Thank you for the great news about Amelie’s exam. I have just spoken to her, she’s currently at my Mum and Dads, and she’s really excited. We are very proud of her. Thank you to you also as this type of result is very much to do with the teacher too 🙂
Ed – Pupil
Hey Mrs A! Just wanted to send a quick message saying a big thank you for all the help, time, effort and patience you gave me over the years! 😊
Bev – Parent
It seems a really inappropriate + weird way to stop having lessons after all these years. It’s very sad that we won’t have the opportunity for a proper goodbye. It seems totally inadequate to just say thank you for everything, you have been a truly wonderful teacher who has gone above and beyond, but more importantly you have been a friend to us all. I will miss seeing you every week.
Take care Sue + hope to see you some time. Stay in touch.
Antonia – Parent
Just to say Thomas LOVED his music lesson today and has proudly been experimenting with his baritone since getting home. We’ll buy the music book this week. Thank you.
Anna – Pupil
I just wanted to say a proper thank you for everything you’ve done for me since Year 7. Your teaching and guidance these last 8 years have helped shape me into the musician and person that I am today! I am so grateful for our friendship and I don’t see this as goodbye. …. Thank you for never giving up on me especially during “that blip” in Year 9. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging teacher to be by my side!
Katie – Pupil
Thank you so much for all the hard work and dedication you have put in to teaching me all these years.
Hannah – Pupil
I’m really sorry t hear that you won’t be teaching me this year. I would like to thank you for being a great teacher; encouraging and challenging me when I needed it, rather than giving up on me when I didn’t practice.
Thank you also for the inspiring and fun year I had in Brass Tacks.
Paula – Parent
Many thanks for your teaching and for your organisation of the Brass Group which we enjoy son much.
Katie and Ben – Pupils
Thank you so much for recommending us to play in the National Childrens Wind Sinfonia / Orchestra last week. We had such an amazing time and learnt so much from the experience as well as meeting some truly lovely people. It gave us both a huge amount of confidence and has inspired us to keep trying to improve.
Rhiannon – Pupil
I couldn’t have done this without your continued support and “can do” attitude so THANK YOU.
Charlie – Pupil
Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I feel that my trumpet playing has improved so much over the last two years and that is down to a great teacher. I will miss our lessons every week but will definitely keep in touch.
Lily – Pupil and Dawn and David – Parents
Thank you for being my teacher for such a long time and getting me to the standard that I am!
Ellie – Pupil
Thank you so much for teaching me for the past two years. You’ve been a really amazing teacher and you’ve got me so far and I’ve improved so much, so thank you very much! Thanks again for everything.
My Training & Development
I regularly attend Professional Development opportunities and high quality CPD training from the BANES Music Service. I have also engaged with CPD from other Music Services and local schools and taken advantage of conferences and presentations which may help to support and develop my teaching and understanding further. In the last year I have refreshed my child protection training, completed mental health awareness training, attended music, health and wellbeing training provided by the Music Education Council, attended several online seminars including subjects such as The Impact of COVID on Windbands and Brass Bands and the Way Forward led by Belfast University and The Society for Music Education in Ireland and masterclasses given by brass specialists.