Our Instrumental Teachers

We have dedicated instrumental teachers ready to teach you one to one!

We cater to a wide range of musical instruments and voice. It is ideal for beginners to try a new instrument at an affordable price and for more advanced players to continue learning and practice new techniques. Our individual lessons will allow pupils to make significant progress and benefit from 1:1 specialist tuition.

Our Teachers:

Teachers Name Instrument(s) Taught
Patrick Barrett Conducting and Solfah
Vanessa Bower Singing
Lucy Clarke Double Bass/Electric Bass and Tuba
Tom Gardner Trumpet and Trombone
Michael Higgins Piano
Jamie Howell Guitar, Bass Guitar
Dae Lee Percussion
Niki Moosavi Cello
Damon Oliver Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute

More about our teachers:

Patrick Barrett:

Patrick Barrett is an Irish conductor based in London specialising in choral music and opera. He is currently Chorus Director of the RSNO’s Junior Choruses and Conductor of Farnham Youth Choir’s Junior Choir and University of Reading’s Chamber Choir. He also regularly works as an Assistant Conductor for the National Children’s Choir, a Musicianship Tutor with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, and conducts a number of other ensembles in London and the South East. He is looking forward to working with University of Reading Music members interested in Conducting.

Vanessa Bower:

Soprano Vanessa Bowers was raised in Buckinghamshire by musician parents, studying voice and piano from a very early age. Vanessa earned a place to study voice at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with the Clifton Prize, awarded to the highest graded singer in her year group. Following a year training with the English National Opera she won a scholarship to study opera at the RWCMD in Cardiff. During in her time there she performed the role of Tiny in Benjamin Britten’s opera Paul Bunyan with Welsh National Youth Opera. More recently she has set up a thriving teaching practice based in Berkshire, where she now lives.

Lucy Clarke:

Lucy has been playing music since the age of 6 years old when she first picked up the guitar in primary school. Very soon after picking up the guitar, she then joined the school rock band and moved to playing bass due to the shortage of a bass player. Little did she know that this was to be the start of her love for the bass guitar which has led her to playing in many ensembles in different genres of music from pop, classical, funk, rock and her main genre, jazz. As well as playing guitar and bass guitar, Lucy took up the tuba in 2016 and has had the opportunity to play in orchestras, concert bands and jazz bands on the tuba. Since starting Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Lucy has primarily focussed on jazz double bass. 

Tom Gardner:

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Tom is a trumpet player, composer and arranger with experiences in a variety of musical areas, from small group jazz and big bands, to pop work, musicals and more, and has performed around the world. Tom has performed with groups such as the BBC Big Band, The London Jazz Orchestra, Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, Hackney Colliery Band and Nim Quartet. Artists Tom has performed with include: Gary Barlow and Paloma Faith. Before studying at the Academy on the Jazz degree course, Tom previously studied there on the Junior Jazz course, as well as at The Purcell School.

Michael Higgins:

Michael Higgins is a pianist, composer and arranger, and co-Artistic Director of Sonoro. With a special interest in choral accompaniment, Michael is in demand with some of the leading choirs in the country and works with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, London Voices and the BBC Singers. He has written for the Stay at Home Choir, Farnham Youth Choir, RSNO, Sonoro, The Dionysus Ensemble, the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Wimbledon Choral Society, corporate films and television commercials including the 2014 Waitrose Christmas advert, as well as music for the Classic BRIT awards, BBC Children in Need and the Royal Variety Performance. Many of his works are published by the Royal School of Church Music and Oxford University Press. Michael studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, London, and at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music.

Jamie Howell:

Jamie Howell is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator based in the South of the UK. With a broad stylistic palette covering jazz, funk, rock, pop, and experimental music, his guitar playing has been heard on stages across the UK and Hungary, as well as on numerous recordings . He has a portfolio of compositions which includes jazz tunes and contemporary experimental pieces, and he has been awarded a scholarship to study a PhD in composition at the University of Southampton. As an educator, he previously ran a jazz ensemble at the University of Reading and has taught guitar for many years.

Dae Lee:

Having completed studies in Music at The University of Bristol, Dae currently works as a freelance drummer and percussionist. Under the tutelage of Clark Tracey, Mike Osborne, and John O’Hara, he has been exposed to an extensive range of styles including big band, jazz/pop/soul, orchestral, pit and 4 mallet tuned percussion. Dae is the University of Reading Music Big Band Director and is really excited to teach percussion this academic year.

Niki Moosavi:

Niki Moosavi is an award-winning cellist and has performed at distinguished venues such as Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Cadogan Hall. She studied at the Purcell School for Young Musicians and Royal College of Music. Niki is passionate about education and outreach, having delivered workshops at schools across the world, from Norfolk to Mauritius, and has taught and mentored at the Tri-borough Music Hub and Langley Hall Music Academy. As well as her teaching and performance work, Niki is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion in music. She was the Leader of the Undergraduates Group for the Equality Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies network (EDIMS) and held the position of Diversity Officer for the Students’ Union at the Royal College of Music. She has been integral to changes in RCM’s curriculum and artistic programming and organised the first ever concert of works by Black Composers at the Royal College of Music in October 2020.

Damon Oliver:

Known throughout the UK for his versatility as a musician, Damon is saxophonist, clarinettist and flautist whose career has seen him work with a variety of artists and ensembles. From the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra through to popular artists like Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) and ska band The Dualers, Damon loves working in music in every capacity! Having been teaching in schools and privately for many years, Damon is really excited to step into the next chapter of his teaching career working at Reading University, mentoring his students with everything from classical performance to jazz and improvisation.

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