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Beginner Groups

Beginner Groups

Beginner Rhythm

Age/Level: 6+ (year 2) Time: 9:45am - 10:15am Taught By: Sam Howes

An exciting introduction to the world of rhythm, developing skills, which can be taken onto any instrument but are well-suited to moving to individual lessons on percussion or drum kit.

View the rhythm pathway

Beginner Recorder

Age/Level: 6+ Year 2 Complete beginners Time: 9:45am - 10:15am Taught By: Alex Griffiths

Taking their first steps on the recorder, the children will also learn basic notation and how to keep a steady beat when playing. After the third week of term, newcomers must have one-to-one lessons with Hollie before joining the group.

View the recorder pathway

Choir 1

Age/Level: 6/7 - 7/8 (Year 2-3) Time: 11:30am - 12:00pm Taught By: Dina Azzam

Fun selection of educational and silly songs to explore our voices and get first experiences in singing in a group, mixed in with movement games and Orff elements.

View our vocal pathway

Ukulele 1

Age/Level: Complete beginner Yr2 Time: 11:00am - 11:30am Taught By: Jade Ellins

The beginner group is for children that have never played the ukulele before or for children that have recently started. You get to learn all the key chords through songs that everyone will know as well as learn to sing at the same time.

View the ukulele & guitar pathway

Taster Violin

Age/Level: 6/7 Year 2 Time: 11:00am - 11:30am Taught By: Todor Nikolaev

Autumn term-only, this is a fantastic introduction to learning the violin together. Students learn together for one term, before progressing onto individual violin or viola lessons in the spring term. 

View the strings pathway

Teachers

Sam Howes

Sam Howes

Sam Howes

Sam enjoys playing and performing a wide variety of music and therefore sees percussion as a discipline well suited to himself. He has been fortunate to have performance experience in a wide spectrum of music, from playing in an orchestral setting to playing with the Box 9 drumline at the last Rugby World Cup. 

Having started percussion education aged seven with a peripatetic teacher, Samuel quickly progressed and was offered a place at the Birmingham conservatoire where he then remained for seven years. In this time, he also played in the National Children’s Orchestra, learning the fundamental skills of orchestral section playing and musicianship.

These experiences combined led to Samuel gaining a place as a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral school. Here, he had chance to play with many different ensembles, learning vital experience in performing with others in many different settings such as orchestras, big band and the PH7 drumline. Wells also offered the chance to go on percussion tours to both Budapest and Hong Kong. It was here, while working with classes of disabled children, Samuel discovered a passion for teaching, and the extra challenge of working with autistic and hearing-impaired children only inspired him more. 

While at Wells, Samuel then gained a place to study at the Royal College of Music as a scholar supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmonds award. The RCM provides Samuel with opportunities in a very wide range of different musical activities, and being in London means he performs as an orchestral percussionist and among other things has played at the Rugby World Cup Final with the Box 9 drumline. More recently, he has enjoyed working with composers Steve Reich and David Lang in performances at the RCM.

After graduating from the RCM, Samuel intends to continue with his broad musical interests and hopes to pursue a career that involves a wide variety of music in both performance and education.

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Alex Griffiths

Alex Griffiths

Alex Griffiths

Alex is an enthusiastic teacher with experience in all ages and abilities. She also freelances around the UK, playing with a variety of orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra. 

She is a recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she received her Masters in Orchestral Artistry and studied with Gareth Davies, Philippa Davies, Ian Clarke and Christopher Green. Previous to this, she gained a scholarship to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for undergraduate, learning predominantly with Sarah Newbold, where she played with all the colleges ensembles and reached the final of the concerto competition in 2014. 

She is a founding member of the Vesta Trio who are recent recipients of the Cardiff Violins Chamber Prize and finalists of the McGrenary Chamber Competition. In 2017, they were accepted onto the Live Music Now scheme and give frequent performances and workshops. They also represent Music in Hospitals & Care across England and Wales.

Alex is generously supported by the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust.

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Dina Azzam

Dina Azzam

Dina Azzam

Dina works across a variety of genres ranging from Jazz to Contemporary Music. She holds a master’s degree in Jazz Vocals from the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden in Germany, specialising in methodology and didactics of the voice. She has over 15 years of teaching experience and is currently teaching Jazz courses at the City Lit Institute in London, has taught at the Vocational College for the blind and visually disabled in Nuremberg and was head of the ‘Freie Musikschule Music Loft’, Aachen.

She has worked with students of all ages and levels in a variety of musical genres. Dina’s main focus is giving the necessary technical and musical tools to sing with confidence and ease.

Dina teaches the Junior Choirs, Adult Beginner Choir and is available for individual lessons.

DinaAzzam.co.uk

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Horacio López Redondo

Horacio López Redondo

Horacio López Redondo

Our choral accompanist, Horacio López Redondo, is a London-based accompanist and chamber musician who performs extensively in the UK and Spain.

Horacio (Talavera de la Reina, Spain) began his musical education, which eventually led him to join the Conservatories of Ciudad Real and Madrid, at the age of 5 years old. In 2007 he finished at the latter his degree in Piano Interpretation under the direction of Ms Ana Guijarro and his Vocal Accompaniment specialization under that of Mr Juan Antonio Álvarez Parejo. He then joined the Royal Academy of Music in London to follow his higher education, enrolling in the MA Piano Accompaniment program with teachers Mr Malcolm Martineau and Mr James Baillieu. He graduated in 2013 with Distinction. In 2013, Horacio was Highly Commended in the “Christian Carpentier Prize” to the Best Piano Accompaniment Exam at the Royal Academy of Music. Also in 2012 he was awarded the Accompanist Second Prize at the “Ludmilla Andrew Russian Song Prize”, held at the Royal Academy of Music. He has accompanied several award winning singer colleagues in competitions held at the Royal Academy and the Wigmore Hall in London.

Since his arrival in London in 2010, Horacio has performed as an accompanist at some of the most prestigious London venues, including St Martin in the Fields, Blackheath Halls, St. James' Piccadilly, King´s Head Theatre and Southwark Cathedral; but also in other parts of the country such as Canterbury Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral or “The Venue” at Leeds College of Music. 

Horacio has taken part in all four editions of the London Spanish Song and Zarzuela Festival since its beginnings in 2014, performing at St James’ Piccadilly and St Botolph’s-without-Bishopsgate, where he is also a regular performer in the popular series Song in the City. Horacio is also a creative performer whose show “A night in Seville”, mixing operatic numbers and songs set in the Spanish city, had its most recent outing in St Martin-in -the Fields in September 2017.

From Robert Hugill's blog Planet Hugill: "Horacio López Redondo provided fine accompaniment, sympathetic to the way the music moved from pure Latin American rhythm to something more modern"

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Jade Ellins

Jade Ellins

Jade Ellins

Jade is a Popular Music Studies graduate from Leeds College of Music, earning a BA (Hons) with a major in Vocal Performance, Group Performance and a minor in Composition. She is a professional Vocalist, Guitarist and Bass player. Jade teaches individuals as well as groups and specialises in pop and rock vocal coaching to students of all abilities. She always aims to give inspiring and well structured lessons with a focus on vocal techniques and interpretation.

Jade has been fortunate enough to work with Lionel Ritchie for the TV shows 'Loose Women', 'The One Show' and 'This Morning' as well as Rihanna on 'Cheryl Coles Night in'. She also been on tour around Germany as a singer and guitarist, and regularly gigs at venues all around England, such as Bush Hall, The Underworld and Ramsgate Music Hall with her own bands.

As well as teaching voice, Jade also runs two Ukulele Groups, which play and sing pop songs.

www.thisisdolls.com

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Todor Nikolaev

Todor Nikolaev

Todor Nikolaev

Todor graduated with distinction from the National School of Music in Sofia in 2000. In the same year he was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Guildhall where he completed his Bachelor and Masters Degree with Honours in 2007. Todor has won several prizes and awards in International violin competitions including ‘Jan Kocian’ – Czech republic in ’97 and ‘Remember Enescu’ in ’98. He is a regular soloist with the Shumen and Vidin Philharmonic Orchestras in Bulgaria and also gives many solo and chamber recitals in Bulgaria and U.K. In 1999 he played with Nigel Kennedy during his European tour in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. Todor has varied private teaching experience and currently also teaches at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and Arts.

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