Taunton Music was established in 1983 above the Music Shop in Bridge St and moved to the present purpose built facilities in 2011.The Music School has around 350 pupils passing through its doors every week. The current team is comprised of 14 full-time music teachers, each of whom has worked as full-time professionals in the music industry.
Music Teachers for a wide range of instruments
Keyboard and Piano
Sharon is the founder member of the music school which she started on leaving school in 1983. She has been the local rep for the London College of Music for the past 10 years and hosts exams three times a year. Sharon is a professional performer and has played and sung in several local function bands performing all over the UK and works regularly with local producers as a session recording vocalist. She teaches keyboard, organ, piano and singing. as well as managing Taunton Music, Sharon also manages a team of music teachers for Taunton Music Services who deliver music lessons to local schools.
Andy began playing the guitar at 11 years old. By the time he was 16, he was working semi-professionally with bands on the North West Circuit. Andy went on to gain a first class Graduate Diploma in Jazz and Commercial Music at Newcastle College of Arts and Technology. From there he became a full-time pro working in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. Andy now concentrates his energy on his teaching career.
Chris has 30 years experience playing electric guitar. He studied classical guitar with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) to an advanced level and has a Diploma in Music which covered electric guitar and bass playing, recording and music theory. He started teaching full-time nine years ago in schools and at Westside Music. Chris has a City and Guilds certificate for teaching adults and has helped many students achieve good grades with Rock School, Registry of Guitar Tutors and the ABRSM.
Tom has been playing the drums for over 14 years. He graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in Commercial Music and has taught in and around Somerset ever since. He enjoys being a music teacher, teaching all styles of music at Taunton Music and in local schools and colleges with Taunton Music Services.
Miles has been playing the drums for 25 years and professionally for 16 years. He started the drum school at Westside Music (now Taunton Music) in 2002 with just a handful of students. This has since grown and now caters for more than 70 students. Miles specialises as a ‘reading drummer’ and is able to play and teach any style of music using drum notation. Miles still enjoys drumming professionally himself in local functions bands.
Saxophone, Classic Guitar and Piano / Keyboard
Adrian is one of our full-time music teachers and is also a semi-professional musician. He teaches saxophone, classical guitar and piano / keyboard both privately and in schools. He is currently teaching at King’s College, King’s Hall School and Staplegrove Primary School in Taunton and of course here at Taunton Music. He has a passion for jazz piano which he teaches at beginner and intermediate levels.
For the last 20 years, he has played keyboards/saxophone and sung in leading Westcountry covers/function band “Turnette Doone” and hopes to clock up at least another 20! In spite of all this rock and roll, he is a family man at heart and counts himself am lucky to live in this gorgeous part of the world with his lovely wife and two children.
Nicole pursued her dream of singing and acting by studying Performing Arts for five years. She has performed in many plays, musicals and production shows from Shakespeare amd Pinter to musicals and cabarets. In 1998, she won a national singing competition with around 5000 entrants which led her to embrace a singing career. After leaving university and completing vocal training, she started to work at a Warner Hotel as a resident band singer and principal vocalist for the in-house production show for ten years. She also auditioned in London’s West End and was short-listed for the role of Nancy in the BBC TV show “I’d do Anything”. Nicole enjoys being a music teacher, teaching all styles of singing and also works with Taunton Music Services teaching in local schools and colleges.
Claire offers brass instrument tuition namely in trumpet, cornet, flugal horn, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium, Eb and Bb bass. Claire is an accomplished cornet player attaining grade 8 in 2006. She started learning trumpet in Bristol 25 years ago during which time she joined her local brass band and has been involved in brass bands ever since contesting for many different standards including section 1. Claire is an active member of the West Somerset Brass Band and is involved in teaching members of the training band taking them through their grades. Claire is one of those passionate music teachers who really believe in the fulfilment and enjoyment that playing an instrument can bring.
Lisa Lee Leslie
Chromatic B System Accordion
Lisa started learning the accordion at the age of 4, from a background of musical talent she is the second daughter in this countries most renowned “accordion playing family. Taught by her father she won many competitions all over the UK & at 13 achieved her first UK Championships title. Lisa – Lee went on to win many championship competitions & became the first accordionist to make the finals of the regional Young Musician of the Year where she took second place. She completed her first solo tour in 2006 & has performed all over the Uk & Europe.
Flute, Recorder, Piccolo and Violin
Belinda has a BA in Music from Exeter University specialising in flute performance under the tuition of Judith Hall. She also has a PGCE from Plymouth University. Belinda has played flute & violin in the pit for various shows & has played with Exeter Symphony Orchestra, Exeter University Symphony Orchestra and more recently, North Devon Sinfonia. Belinda has spent the last 11 years as the leader of Music in a Somerset school and has a particular interest in Early Music and promoting the recorder. Belinda also teaches Piccolo, Recorder and Violin.