Wine Connoisseur, Master of Music Theory, Cardigan Model.
Name a funny thing about you!
I have been known to cry over very good food.
What about teaching music make you happy?
I love watching students become more and more invested in music. They start off finding it hard and being content with getting the notes right and, with time, end up self-critiquing and really caring about the sounds they are making.
What do you love about teaching at LMS?
The quality of the facilities and professionalism of staff. It’s nice to teach at a place that’s fully equipped – finally!
How did you start learning music?
I started comparatively late in life, at around 15, when a school friend taught me some chords on the guitar. From there, my natural curiosity and competitiveness took over and I rapidly became obsessed. Four years later and I was at university studying classical composition!
What do you like doing when you're not teaching?
I love cooking and wine tasting. They’re both very similar to music, as both are made of component parts that must work in harmony for a spectacular whole.
What makes you LOL?
Kids’ excuses for not having done their homework! I used the same when I was at school, and I’ve heard them all before.
Favourite musician/composer? Who & Why?
I adore Puccini as one of the few opera composers who puts function over form. Nobody else describes a scene with sound quite like him. All the music is servant to the story, and all his works have a terrific sense of place.
Count Basie is to Big Band music what Mahler was to classical. He took the Big Band and created spectacularly complex and interesting works. Much overlooked as a composer, but wonderful nonetheless.
Les Miserables has to be my pick of musicals. Not overly complicated musically, but undeniably catchy and fun.
Almost Famous, a story about a teenage rock journalist following a band on tour and a beautiful homage to the 1970s. It’s based on director Cameron Crowe’s own life.
Favourite music quote?
“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” -Plato
Something your favourite music teacher said to you that has stuck?
“You have a beautiful voice”- singing teacher.
What do you want your students to know about learning an instrument?
You can’t ‘only learn chords’ or ‘not learn theory’. Sooner or later you’ll come up against something you’ll wish you’d spent a little time learning years ago. It’ll make everything clearer and easier and you’ll be a better musician for it.
If you could learn to play another instrument, what would it be?
The trumpet, so I could play in a big band.
What's the best thing about playing your instrument?
The end result of all that hard work is immediately visible, when something you sweated over for weeks comes easily and naturally. At that point, you can just enjoy making some pretty cool sounds, which is somehow the best possible reward. .