Tom is a professional musician and music leader, with considerable experience working with young people in all sectors through his work with organisations such as Live Music Now and Jessie’s Fund. He takes and improvisational, co-creative approach to music making and is experienced in delivering specialist training in this area, including as part of the Music For Health module at the RNCM. Tom promotes well-being, enjoyment and confidence away from the music stand!
Ben Parker is a composer, pianist, and practitioner based in West Yorkshire. His music has been performed by The BBC Singers, The Kreutzer Quartet, The Manchester Camerata, The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, Trio aTem, SizeZero Opera Company, The Manon Quartet and many more, at events such as the New Music North West Festival, BBC Radio 3’s ‘Afternoon on 3’ series, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Manchester Pride’s Music Concert Series, DECONTAMINATION# concert series, Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature, and others across the UK and abroad.
Ben was the Arnold Cooke Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Emily Howard where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Composition. Since his studies, Ben’s creative practice considers spacial art forms, linguistics, critical theory, pop culture, and mental health as paramount to the development of his current works.
As an educator, Ben is passionate about working with a wide range of people through community engagement projects, as well as working with a variety of high schools, sixth form colleges, and specialist music academies as a music assistant, and composition specialist. His teaching approach is person-centred, adaptive towards a Student’s long-term goals, and learning styles most natural to them. He regards the importance of a Student’s mental health, confidence, self-worth, and zealous attitude towards their artistic discipline, as highly as he does their technical progression, performance development, and academic advancement.
Gary McKill is an award-winning composer-producer of many genres including all contemporary electric/electronic Pop and Rock forms through to orchestral. His original work has appeared on countless recordings and broadcasts for leading industry names in the UK and across the world; BBC, Sony Music, Sony Playstation, Channel 4, Hammer Films etc.
Teaching includes tutoring and guest lecturing up to university level with specialities in compositional practice (from Classical to Pop-Rock and for cinema), broadcast quality music production and electric guitar. His non-hierarchical approach refers to all music forms with the aim that theory, practice and technology are used for individual development and expression.
Gary was awarded an MA (distinction) from Leeds College of Music.
Tom Harris is a Mancunian pianist, improviser, composer, and educator, most heavily influenced by Black American Music.
Since finishing formal music education in 2018, Tom has developed his practice through collaborative work with artists from across the UK, including Rosie Tee, Marco Woolf, and Nishla Smith. During that time he has also established a handful of longer-term projects – voice/piano duo wilkins/harris, music-driven theatre collective ulita, and CANYON, a multi-media collaboration with drummer Kai Chareunsy, which involves creating new work alongside filmmakers, poets, dancers, and visual artists.
As an educator, Tom is passionate about spreading a love of listening to, engaging with, and playing music. He believes that core musical skills can be taught through any style of music, and that the best results come from following students’ tastes and preferences. He encourages students to ask why they want to play music, and to examine the role of art in society more broadly.
Tom currently teaches piano and improvisation at UCan Studios, and musicianship at Yorkshire Young Musicians.
Sophie studied Music and Arts Education at Bretton hall, Leeds University, graduating in 2003. She has been working in Leeds and the surrounding areas ever since as a singing teacher, performer, choral conductor and music workshop leader. She was part of the initial research project ‘ Musical Futures’ which investigated why musical students did not engage with music at school. She contributed to resources which have now been used internationally and the findings of the project created changes in secondary music education. In her week she has the pleasure of encouraging music making in people from the age of 9 months – 70+, working mainstream students and those with SEND. She leads the Leeds Playhouse singing group, Asmarina Voices, which is for women asylum seekers and refugees, who inspire her to find new ways of teaching and sharing music effectively and enrich her world with their music and experiences.
She discovered Dalcroze Eurhythmics at a teacher training session in 2007 and has never looked back. It’s approach just felt completely logical and instantly connected with her way of thinking. Through her Dalcroze training she has been able to approach music is a variety of ways and continue to advance her own musicianship. She hopes that students find this different way of learning music as exciting as she does.
John is a graduate of Surrey University where he studied piano with Peter Croser and since then has worked solely in music. He has been involved in music education for thirty years and has considerable experience as both a classroom and instrumental teacher. He has worked as a peripatetic piano teacher for Hull Music Service, held the position of keyboard and musicianship tutor with East Riding College and taught Music Tech A level at Wyke College. His current work includes piano tutor at Pocklington School and A level examining for Edexcel.
Throughout this time John has enjoyed a busy performing schedule as a freelance pianist / synthesiser player, and has an artist management contract with The Animal Farm Music (London) for his original compositions.
John also maintains a private studio, teaching classical and jazz piano plus music theory and music technology / recording. He was recently awarded a diploma in piano performance.
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