Fully Qualified, Professional
TEACHER OF MUSIC
Pupil-focused approach – I aim to help pupils enjoy and achieve!
See below for more information about my credentials or CLICK HERE to read about my teaching philosophy.
Professional Teaching Experience
I have a wealth of experience teaching people of all ages groups and ability levels, and have held Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) since 2008.
I have been giving one-to-one lessons in piano and guitar since I was at school myself – that’s over 25 years experience as a piano teacher!! During this time, I’ve taught many absolute beginners, setting the foundations of a lifetime’s enjoyment in playing music! My youngest pupils have been around 5 years old (and these kids are introduced to music with a very varied curriculum of activities including singing, hand percussion, and games etc). On the other end of scale, I have taught people up to and beyond retirement age – people who get a great deal of pleasure from learning to play familiar tunes!
Prior to becoming qualified, I taught children in primary and secondary schools all over the Bradford region. Working for Education Bradford’s Music Service, I have given singing lessons from the piano to hundreds (if not thousands!) of children over the years – usually linking the songs we sing to the subjects they learn about in the wider curriculum! Secondary schools have hired me as a peripatetic keyboard teacher – providing group lessons to students from 11 to 19 years old.
In 2007, I sat my Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education (PGC Sec Ed) through a SCITT programme: ‘School Centred Initial Teacher Training’ – trained to be a qualified secondary school music teacher. I did a short placement at Lawnswood School in Leeds, and the lion’s share of my experience was gained at St Mary’s Catholic Comprehensive in Menston. This was followed by a year’s maternity cover as a Teacher of Music at Prince Henry’s Grammar School – securing permanent QTS. Here I taught Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level Music (AQA & EdExcel), looked after the pastoral care of year 8 children, and led a number of after-school music clubs. I am currently a 1-2-1 piano teacher at South Craven School in Sutton.
Outside of the state school system, I have taught Music Theory at Foundation Level (Hull University), and singing for a variety of theatre schools including NAPA (Northern Academy of Performing Arts), Stampede, Stagecoach, and Debut. I’ve also worked for 3 years teaching employability skills, English language and ICT to groups of adults in the Life Long Learning sector.
I am lucky enough to have been involved in music in some form or other nearly all my life, and have gained a wide variety of experience playing and singing over the past 30 years. I have played countless times for rehearsals, concerts, shows and other gigs.
On keys, I have been the accompanist to choirs and rehearsal pianist to theatre companies, I have accompanied many music exams (ABRSM / Trinity London grades, GCSEs and A Levels), and have often been hired to play for weddings, parties, christenings and funerals; I used to make extra money as a student playing organ for Sunday morning services at a local church. I also played keyboard and guitar and sang backing vocals in a folk rock band called The First Few, performing in pubs and larger venues across Yorkshire.
Since 2013 I have been the Musical Director of Carleton Ladies Choir, and have done occasional MD’ing / Assistant MD’ing for groups such as the Skipton Musical Theatre Company. In my capacity as classroom music teacher at Prince Henry’s Grammar School (Otley) I also directed the choirs and string group. I have also enjoyed working as a Singing Coach and Musical Director at Northern Academy of Performing Arts.
These days, I’m most often found playing piano, guitar or bass with my students: we put on regular concerts in aid of local and international charities. I also try to get involved with other local musical groups – I’ve recently played bass guitar for the Craven Accordion Orchestra and the Sutton Green Hut Theatre Company.
Below is a list of my relevant qualifications:
2013 : Post Graduate Diploma (Humanities) – Open University
2011 : Emergency First Aid at Work – First on Scene
2010 : NVQ3 Advice & Guidance – A4e
2009 : Safeguarding Vulnerable People – Learning & Skills Improvement Service
2007 – 2008 : PGC Sec. Ed. (Music) – Leeds Trinity and All Saints, Leeds
1998 – 2001 : BA (Hons) Music with Creative Music Technology (1st) – Hull University
1994 – 1995 : A Level Music (B) – Salt Grammar School
1990 – 1993 : GCSE Music (B) – Salt Grammar School
1990 – 1992 : Piano & Music Theory Grade 5 – ABRSM
Some recent student / parent feedback:
My older daughter has been taking voice lessons with Damian for the last couple of years and we have been very pleased with the progress she has made. He has really made an effort to tailor the lessons around her interests which has kept her motivated. My younger daughter began piano with Damian about a year ago and once again he’s been great at encouraging her and providing opportunities for her to perform. Both girls look forward to going to lessons. Damian communicates really well with parents and students and is extremely reliable and organised. Highly recommend Damian for music instruction and worth the wait for an available slot.
I have begun playing the piano with Damian quite recently, 3 lessons in. He is very organised and professional with text reminders, outlook appointments and my training schedule available online. I have found his input on my progress highly valuable, for example correcting me on time signatures and fine details. This wouldn’t have happened from online lessons or self taught learning alone. I feel I am making good progress with him and hope to be playing my favourite songs in the not too distant future.
Damian is a patient and inspiring music teacher. I’ve gone back to learning the piano after many years and I have learned more in 2 months than I did in 2 years previously. He has a great teaching technique and makes you feel at ease and confident. I’m having singing lessons too and each week I learn great techniques but have fun too! I really look forward to lessons and feel a great sense of achievement. Thank you Damian
My son has a weekly lesson with Damian learning the electric guitar and he loves it! He’s making some great progress (especially when he remembers to practice!) and his confidence is growing along with his ability. He’s formed a strong pupil-teacher bond and really looks up to Damian. I highly recommend Damian if your child, (or you!) wish to learn an instrument.