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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.

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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 Alex before joining the group.

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Choir 1

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

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

Beginner Ukulele

Age/Level: 6/7 Year 2 Time: 9:15am - 9:45am Taught By: Jade Ellins

The first of 3 fantastic ukulele groups, this one is for beginners who learn to play and love to sing together! Students typically move onto the more advanced ukulele groups after 1 or 2 years, then eventually, guitar or vocal lessons and our Rock n Pop or jazz ensembles.

View the ukulele & guitar pathway

Taster Violin

Age/Level: 6/7 Year 2/3 Time: 9:45am - 10:15am Taught By: Duygu Ince

This year-long programme is a fantastic introduction to the violin. Students will have the chance to learn the basic techniques and notation, as well as how to play together as a group. They will progress onto individual lessons and Music Box 3 after one year.

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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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Francesca Confortini

Francesca Confortini

Francesca Confortini

Francesca has been a professional singer for over ten year around Europe, with a background in band fronting, backing vocals, session singing and musical theatre. After graduating in Performing Arts at SDM (Scuola del Musical) in Milan, she began her career as a musical theatre performer starring as Carmen Diaz in the musical 'Fame', and toured around the country with her former band 7s8 for two years.

She moved to London in 2013, where she attended the BMus course in Popular Music Performance at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and graduated with first class honours.

Francesca is a busy, gigging vocalist in different genres, fronting the gypsy jazz touring band Gypsy Dynamite, the international soul band London Soul Section, the Swingpunks Jazz Big Band, her own trio Jazz Silhouettes and her funk ensemble WSFB. She also stars in Dolce Vita Live, an Italian themed show alongside her colleague and ICMP tutor Bruno D'Ambra.

She has been working with numerous acclaimed session musicians and producers such as Leif Searcy (Phil Collins), Francesco Mendolia (Incognito), Luigi Casanova (Joanne Shaw Taylor), Andres Mesa (Roxy Music) and many others. Her live experience include performances at London Wembley Stadium, The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express, Le Bar Americain in Monaco and the legendary Salumeria della Musica in Milan. She is currently recording her first solo EP under the artist name of Fran.

Her versatility makes her a vocal artist with a unique crossover capability, always able to offer useful insights to any vocal performers willing to experiment and develop their performance craft.

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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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Duygu Ince

Duygu Ince

Duygu Ince

Duygu Ince started the violin at the age of eight at the Istanbul State Conservatoire and studied with Bahar Biricik. After graduating in 2011, she was offered a place at the Birmingham Conservatoire to study with Nathaniel Vallois. Duygu has been involved in many orchestral and chamber activities throughout her undergraduate study such as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, and leading Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra numerous times. During her years at the Conservatoire, Duygu won awards such as Meher Rohi Gazder Scholarship, McQueen Bursary, and Bernard Statman Memorial Prize. She has performed in leading venues such as; Wigmore Hall, St John Smith Square, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Barbican Hall, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). She recently performed in China Modern Music Festival (Beijing and Tianjin) with Thallein Orchestra as a leader.


Duygu graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a First-Class Degree and she is currently studying a master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Prof. Jacqueline Ross. During her studies in Guildhall, Duygu took part in collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra and worked with prestigious conductors such as; Sir Simon Rattle, Essa-Pekka Salonen to name a few. She performs as part of Opari Duo with Berx Kockaya.

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