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Poynton High School

and Performing Arts College

01625 871811

Music Tutor Biographies

Please click on the drop down boxes for more information about each tutor 

Mr Collins - Bass & Electric Guitar

I have over 20 years’ experience tutoring guitar, bass guitar and double bass and I have been an instrumental tutor at Poynton High School for over a decade.

I am a graduate from Leeds College of Music and Salford University BA (hons) with an Associate Fellow Certificate in Higher Education (Liverpool John Moores University).

I am also a member of staff at The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), a popular music school, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and Salford University. 

At Poynton High School, I specialise in electric, acoustic and bass guitars, focusing on popular music styles and songs.  Lessons are tailored to accommodate beginners to advanced levels and may include preparation for Trinity and Rockschool exams as well as GCSE repertoire and music theory. 

My freelance performance resume includes performance and recordings with artists such as Sister Sledge, The Temptations, Russell Watson, Black Rivers, New Order and Nearly Dan. 

Mr Hill - Guitar

I am an active, enthusiastic, classically trained, and knowledgeable musician based in Cheshire.

I have taught the guitar for more than 25 years and currently teach electric, classical, and bass guitar at home and in various schools.

I am passionate about using technology to enable people with disabilities to access, play, and compose music.  This has led to me developing specialised skills working with adults and children with complex needs.

I am also an active composer and have written music for films and bands in my recording studio.

I love performing music and regularly pursue this passion in many ways.  I perform both original music and covers, including classical, ska, rock, funk, and Bosnian folk music in numerous bands.

Mr Thompson - Acoustic/Classical Guitar & Ukulele 

Before teaching I studied the guitar at the City of Leeds College of Music then worked as a professional musician from 1984 - 89.  This work entailed performing in Theatres Studios etc. the best of which was working for Central Television and the QE2 Liner.  In 1990 I achieved a Guildhall Diploma of Licentiate in Guitar. 

My most recent development as a teacher has been online lessons using Zoom, which is although challenging can work well. 

I have now been teaching at Poynton High School for over 25 years and over that time experience has forced me to realize what works and doesn’t work in regards to teaching the guitar.  Ultimately, if lessons are not enjoyable students will only come for a short period and after the initial novelty, loose interest and give up.  Consequently, my approach is primarily to make lessons both fun and interesting, but at the same time insure that they are developing their musical skills and technique to enable them to develop as a musician.

Many of my students play for pleasure and don’t do grade exams.  However, I can teach comfortably from beginners up to grade 8 and have enjoyed a lot of success using Trinity/Guildhall college of Music and the ABRSM.

 I try always to do my very best to inspire my pupils regardless of their ability, age or situation.

Mrs Williamson - Strings

I studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow and at the Royal College of Music in London. As a professional freelance viola player, I have played with a number of UK orchestras including Manchester Camerata and BBC Philharmonic.

I am currently a member of Epiphany, a group who regularly gives concerts in Poynton, around the UK and abroad. On a recent tour to Vietnam we gave a concert in Hanoi Opera House, an open-air concert in one of the poorest residential communities and a school concert to 3000 children.

I love teaching and encouraging young people in their musical journeys, devoting most of my time to teaching violin and viola from new beginners to Grade 8.  For over 20 years I have taught at Poynton High School and several feeder Primary schools.  In 2003 I helped to set up Poynton Music Academy based at Poynton High School, giving young musicians the opportunity to enjoy playing together in larger groups and orchestras.

Mr Longson - Brass

I’ve been a tutor at Poynton High School for over 15 years.  I also teach at several of the feeder primary schools.

I joined my first brass band over 45yrs ago and taught my first lesson over 30yrs ago.  Over the years I’ve played in and with numerous bands, in pits, as a soloist in shows and performances at theatres and prestigious venues around the country.  Nowadays, although committed to teaching, I still play, coach and conduct freelance in bands, ensembles and orchestras etc. 

Beyond grades, I hold a professional instrumental teaching qualification which was presented to me at the Royal College of Music in London in 2006.  My approach is to be an adaptive teacher, meeting the needs of my students, helping them to be the best that they can be and encouraging them to reach their full potential whilst having fun!

Students and parents that are worried about the potential noise when practising often get a practise mute so as not to disturb the rest of the household or neighbours.

I’m experienced at teaching beginners as well as accomplished musicians.  I’m equally at home teaching brass band, orchestral or jazz as well as doing masterclasses.  I encourage students to work towards music grades and participate in musical activities.

I’ve been heavily involved with Poynton Music Academy (PMA) for the last 13 years as one of the tutors and conductors.  I also run several junior brass groups and frequently organise workshops and recitals.

I compose over 50 bespoke arrangements per year for piano, brass bands, ensembles, orchestras etc. (including PMA).  I often create ad-hoc pieces and exercises so students can access more challenging repertoire.  I’ve gained a reputation over the years for coming up with off the cuff “silly songs” that aid with the speedy learning of pieces in time for performances or exams.

On average, I enter around 60 candidates per year for ABRSM and TRINITY practical examinations as well as music theory up to grade 8.  Here at the high school I coordinate, administer and run the ABRSM exam visits.

Most of my students play for pleasure but over the years, quite a few have gone on to become professional musicians, music teachers and/or instrumental tutors themselves.

My mantra has always been “if they can’t learn the way I teach, can I teach the way they learn?”

Brass Instruments taught: soprano cornet, cornet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone horn,  euphonium, trombone, Eb Bass, Bb Bass, piccolo trumpet, trumpet, French horn and tuba

Mrs Frost - Saxophone & Clarinet

I am an Honours Graduate in Saxophone and Clarinet from the Royal Northern College of Music having initially achieved Grade 8 Distinctions on both the Clarinet and Saxophone by the age of 13 followed by Grade 8 Distinction in Clarinet Quartet.

My professional career has been very interesting and varied.  As leader of my saxophone quartet I have had the pleasure of performing in many different and prestigious venues including a private audience with HM Queen Elizabeth II.  I also founded and led an all-female Big Band performing in numerous locations including the Café Royal, many celebrity functions and also performances for the BBC.  I have enjoyed performing as a solo artist as well as playing music for shows and with various classical, jazz and pop bands.  Alongside this I have also managed ensembles at the RNCM leading to work with many interesting people including Roy Castle with the Record Breakers show, Jools Holland and the BBC Young Musician team. 

Teaching is something I have always been involved in and passionate about with my aim to encourage enjoyment and build confidence.  Lessons are tailored to suit each individuals’ ability and interests.  I have many years of experience teaching all ages and standards from primary to adult, including preparing students for GCSE and A level.  The vast majority of my students go on to achieve a Merit/Distinction in their Grade exams with several students progressing on to Music Conservatoires over the years.  As well as coaching and conducting various ensembles, I enjoy working as a specialist tutor at Music Summer Schools across the UK and also support music in my local area, as a tutor and conductor, with Macclesfield Music Centre and Macclesfield Youth Brass Band.

Mrs Murray - Flute

I am the current flute tutor at Poynton High School.  I graduated from the RNCM having studied with Trevor Wye and have a wealth of teaching and playing experience.

I’ve played with some of the UK’s leading orchestras, BBC Philharmonic, Liverpool Philharmonic, Opera North and Northern Ballet, Britten Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata and Mozart Players as well as performing in many shows at the Palace and Exchange Theatre’s and Opera House in Manchester.  I currently perform frequently with the Locrian Ensemble in London and The Carlton Ensemble in Manchester, a String Quartet and flute group playing at weddings, corporate events, parties and dinners.

I was involved with the music for the film Para Norma and also on the jazz album for the singer Caro Emerald, both recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios.

I’m a member of the band Inca and play South America Panpipes and Quena’s as well as the full range of flutes and have performed in many concert halls and toured in festivals and have made recording’s, Incamusic.co.uk.

I teach at several schools in and around Manchester and have been at Poynton High School for a number of years.  I have a good reputation with my pupils excelling in exams and festivals and also being members of Stockport Youth Orchestra and Poynton Music Academy.

I enjoy teaching all abilities from complete beginners through to diploma standard.

I’m privileged to be able to pass on my knowledge having been taught by some of the countries finest musicians including on his flute course in his later years in Basel Switzerland the infamous Marcel Moyse!

Ms Stark - Saxophone & Clarinet

’There is nothing so rewarding as seeing the smile on the face of a pupil, with the rewards that playing a musical instrument brings!’

After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, GRNCM PPGRNCM, I have maintained a high level of playing as a professional freelance musician on the clarinet, bass clarinet and saxes.  From very early on I enjoyed a varied musical career, travelling all over the UK and abroad with the BBCPO, RLPO, Halle and Opera North orchestras, having also recorded live with these ensembles.  I have played in the West End Production of West Side Story and toured with orchestras of Les Misérables and other musicals.  I spent 9 years as a member of the saxophone quartet, The Fairer Sax, performing in venues all over the world, appearing on TV and radio.  A few highlights being on stage with the LSO in London, performing our own stage show in the Edinburgh Festival for 3 weeks and appearing on Blue Peter during Adolph Sax’s birthday celebrations!

I am currently a member of the Manchester Concert Orchestra and continue to play with various ensembles. 

I have always enjoyed teaching and coaching small groups in schools and as a deputy tutor with the saxophone department at the JRNCM, whilst enjoying a playing career.

I want to share my love of all music with students of all ages, and I am comfortable coaching students in the ABRSM and Trinity classical and jazz syllabuses, through grades 1-8, preparing advanced students for GCSE, A level, university or music colleg

Mr Gibson - Drum Kit

I started my teaching career in the early nineties and Poynton High School was one of my first schools.  In fact many of my pupils have been inspired to go on and teach in schools themselves.  I’ve managed to combine a successful career as a professional musician alongside my teaching commitments.

I have played with a wide range of artists from Buzzcocks, Jack Bruce (Cream), Van Morrison and many others and I enjoy passing on my own experiences of live and studio playing to my pupils.

I teach the Rockschool syllabus and have also taught Trinity grades as well as teaching those students who just want to play for their own musical enjoyment.

I have managed to honour my teaching commitments during lockdown by delivering a series of lessons via Skype.

‘Teaching should be fun and I like to make sure my pupils leave their lesson passionate about their instrument and looking forward to their next lesson.’

Mr Coppock - Drum Kit

My name is Dan Coppock and I have been playing drums for over 15 years.  I have been involved with many different bands in my career including rock, pop, punk, championship brass, function and orchestras.  As well this I have done numerous recording sessions in studios across the country including Abbey Road.

I achieved grade 8 at the age of 14 then went on to achieve a Higher B Tech National Diploma at the Academy of Contemporary Music (Guildford) at the age of 17.  After this I attended university a year early and achieved a BA Joint Honours Degree in Music and Popular Music at the age of 20.

After finishing my studies I started teaching drums in various schools and 9 years later I still love my job.  This time has given me a wide range of teaching experience allowing me to achieve a high level of success in exams as well as undertaking up to date child safety courses.

At Poynton High School I teach the students who I start off at Vernon Primary School so that I get to see them develop as musicians.

Lessons have to be fun and engaging allowing the student to get the maximum out of learning. 

Mr Johnson - Piano

I started teaching piano in 2002 after graduating with BMus (Hons) from Huddersfield University.  My lessons are ideal for any beginner who has no musical experience, right though to advanced pupils preparing for ABRSM Grade 8.  All lessons are tailored to meet the needs and tastes of my pupils, with a wide variety of musical styles used. 

In 2018 I started teaching piano at Poynton High School and I have supported pupils with their music GCSE performances and compositions.  Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic I have successfully been delivering all my lessons online. 

Mr Longson - Piano & Keyboard

I’ve been a tutor at Poynton High School for over 15 years.  I also teach at several of the feeder primary schools.

I’ve been teaching piano/keyboard lessons for nearly 20yrs.  I performed my first piano solo at 6yrs old, by 10yrs old I was accompanying choirs.  In my teens I quickly discovered Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov as well as Billy Joel and was practising for 4 hours a day!  I’ve played solos, accompanied singing groups and performers at prestigious venues such as the Bridgewater Hall, The Free Trade Hall and The Albert Hall.  I’ve also been the resident pianist at several summer music schools.

Beyond grades, I hold a professional instrumental teaching qualification which was presented to me at the Royal College of Music in London in 2006.  My approach is to be an adaptive teacher, meeting the needs of my students, helping them to be the best that they can be and encouraging them to reach their full potential whilst having fun!

I’m experienced at teaching beginners as well as accomplished musicians.  I’m equally at home teaching classical, contemporary or jazz as well as doing masterclasses.  I encourage students to work towards music grades and participate in musical activities.

I compose over 50 bespoke arrangements per year for piano, brass bands, ensembles, orchestras etc. and often create ad-hoc pieces and exercises so students can access more challenging repertoire.  I’ve gained a reputation over the years for coming up with off the cuff “silly songs” that aid with the speedy learning of pieces in time for performances or exams.

On average, I enter around 60 candidates per year for ABRSM and TRINITY practical examinations as well as music theory up to grade 8.  Here at the high school I coordinate, administer and run the ABRSM exam visits.

Most of my students play for pleasure but over the years, quite a few have gone on to become professional musicians, music teachers and/or instrumental tutors themselves.

My mantra has always been “if they can’t learn the way I teach, can I teach the way they learn?”

Instruments taught: Piano - Classical, Contemporary, Jazz or Keyboard.