BiographyMy formative years were spent in Northamptonshire, where I went to school and benefited from the excellent Northampton Music Service. I then studied and taught at St Hugh's College, Oxford University, completing three degrees in the 1990s, including a masters in performance and a doctorate, with a thesis entitled 'The violin in England c.1750-c.1850: a case-study in music education'.
While a postgraduate student I became a Research Associate of and prolific contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and, through the development of my doctoral thesis, was commissioned by Ashgate to write Instrumental Teaching in Nineteenth-Century Britain.
During this time I remained active as a freelance violinist, violist and teacher. Instrumental Teaching was awarded the Oldman Prize in 2005 and in recent years I have continued to contribute articles, reviews and peer reviews to a number of prominent music and education journals, including The Consort, Music Teacher and The Strad.
I studied violin in Oxford with Sue Lynn, a pupil of Yehudi Menhuin, and have gained a great deal of experience as an orchestral and chamber musician, soloist and MD and I have had the great pleasure and privilege of collaborating with artists such as Nigel Kennedy, Priya Mitchell, Sir Roger Norrington and Stephen Fry. I was leader of and frequent soloist with the Oxford Chamber Orchestra for a number of years. I continue to perform and record on violin and viola on a freelance basis whenever I get the chance. Currently I'm violinist in a Devon-based String Trio and also play piano in a small jazz ensemble.
I have a PGCE teaching qualification and have been involved in post-16 education since 2001, working as Director of Music and Programme Leader at The Henley College, Oxfordshire, before taking up a Head of Faculty position (Media & Performing Arts) at Exeter College, one of the most esteemed colleges in the UK.
Also an experienced festival adjudicator and examiner, I find it hugely gratifying to see young people develop their confidence and creativity through music, whether or not they go on to make it their chosen career.
I remain fascinated by the interrelationships between music, performance, education and society and am always looking for ways to combine my practical experiences and academic interests in order to try and advance our understanding of this diverse and ever-changing field.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
-The development of the violin in England.
-Instrumental pedagogy in the British Isles, particularly during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
-The history of music education.
-Social and economic history.
-The development of musical style and the aesthetics of performance.
-Violinist; violist; pianist; MD
-Qualified teacher and manager in post-16 education
Virtually all styles, genres and traditions of music.
Performing chamber music and jazz with various ensembles, in the UK and France.
Rugby Union (especially Exeter Chiefs).
Walking, especially on the moors and coastal paths of the SW of England
Nordic crime fiction - in literature and on TV/film