Tutors

Rino Grice

Portrait of Rino Grice.

Rino's interest in music started at the age of seven with his first piano lesson. He became Bradford Musician of the Year in 1976 for his arrangements for the school orchestra, leading to him playing for Margaret Thatcher and Princess Anne.

His playing has taken him across the United Kingdom playing at the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall.

In recent years Rino has developed his Conducting, which has led him to two recordings for the BBC, Sky Television, the Ed inburgh Fringe and Birmingham Symphony Hall.

In 2000 he was commissioned to write two pieces, one of which was performed at the Millennium Dome, London, the other being the Millennium Anthem MMI, written as part of Bradford's Millennium celebrations. This was performed by the National Festival Orchestra and conducted by the Composer. 

He has twice been awarded Best Musical director, once for “Annie” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” 

In 2014 Rino moved to Milan and spends him time commuting between the United Kingdom and Italy.

Rino returned to performance, playing along side his wife in a piano duet for Milans Piano City.

In 2015 along with his wife, created the Orchestra 8note da Milano. The orchestra which he conducts and arranges for has performed at the Sala Verdi, Teatro Mahler and the Basilica di Sant Ambrogio.

Rino’s proudest achievements are his children Isabella, Oliver, Thomas and William.

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Veruska Mandelli

Portrait of Veruska Mandelli.

As a child she started to play the piano at 8 years of age, she went on to study at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, Milan, under Abbado until she graduated in 1996.

As a performer she has performed in concerts and competition throughout Europe, this has lead her to play at La Scala, Milan and the Teatro Grande in Brescia.

Teaching started when she was 16, fourteen years ago she decided to open a music school, Mondomusica, which is now one of the most important schools in Milan.

Teaching has taken she throughout Europe and also into North America where she taught in nurseries and primary schools. This also lead her to import and translate Music for Little Mozarts.

In 2006 she wrote the musical “Il Mondo di Annah” Anna’s World. It had an immediate success being performed throughout Italy on its initial run. The musical was created exclusively for children and teenagers. Now regularly performed by schools.

In 2004 after answering an email she formed a partnership with the Yorkshire Music School, creating the school exchange programme.

She now spends her life travelling between Milan and Saltaire where she has her partner Rino and their son Thomas.

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Darren Dutson-Bromley

Portrait of Darren Dutson-Bromley.

Darren Dutson-Bromley studied both jazz and classical guitar in Leeds and has worked professionally as a performer ever since. In 1996 he worked for the Princes Trust where he performed with both Prince Charles and Jools Holland which led to a number of television appearances.

Also working as a composer and arranger Darren has been commissioned by the National Museum of Photography Film and Television to compose the music to the play Electronic Colours and music written by him has been used by Yorkshire Television.

Enjoying the life of the performer, various collaborations in both the jazz and classical fields have allowed Darren to perform extensively throughout the country with musicians as diverse as Martin Taylor to members of Girls Aloud. Recent appearances have included the Edinburgh Festival, Southport Jazz Festival, Didsbury Jazz Festival, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Scarborough jazz festival.

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Katrina Muftee

Portrait of Katrina Muftee.

'I was first introduced to the piano at the age of 7 and have achieved Grade 8 Distinction from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in 2004.
I then went to study music at Huddersfield University and achieved a music degree (BMus(Hons) in 2007.

I have lots of experience playing in music festivals such as the Wharfedale Music Festival, Mrs Sunderland Music Festival and Harrogate Music Festival where I had many successes including Most Promising Pianist and Young Musician of the Festival.
I currently thouroughly enjoy teaching piano and keyboard privately to all ages and abilities and have students working towards graded exams or playing purely for entertainment.

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Henry Parker

Portrait of Henry Parker

Henry Parker is a recent graduate from Leeds College of Music who performs regularly across the country, as a solo acoustic artist and as part of the Metal band 'Cryptic Shift'.

He has been learning the guitar since the age of 6 and remains an avid student who still practices for many hours a day. His studies culminated in 2015 with the acquisition of a first class Honours Degree in Popular Music from Leeds College of Music.

Henry has worked both as a private guitar tutor, and as an employee of Bradford Council, teaching music to fostered and adopted children. He tutors children through Rockschool examinations and also transcribes songs at the request of his students.

Henry's playing covers a wide array of styles, with his greatest interest residing in the two distinct genes of Metal and Traditional Folk music. Yet his current studies are focussed in Jazz with the aim of achieving an ever-deeper knowledge of the guitar.

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Frank Ziko

Portrait of Frank Ziko.

Frank Ziko is an active musician, based in West Yorkshire - Leeds. As a pianist, he is mostly specialised in classical music, and has performed many times in different venues as a soloist and with chamber music groups. He has been the winner and awarded participant in piano competitions.

Frank has played with many Jazz bands, currently being the pianist for The Great Yorkshire Dance Band and has been mentored by the Grammy award winner Milcho Leviev in Jazz piano, arrangement and composition. He has also worked with Rock and Pop bands and has collaborated with talented musicians in electronic music projects as well.

Since 2008, Frank has been teaching successfully students of all levels, beginners and advanced, in different subjects of their interest

In 2016 Frank gratuated from the Leeds College of Music (First in Piano Performance Course, BA), and he he continues his MA studies at the York University of Music.

He keeps a very busy schedule with teaching, studying, constantly working on repertoire, composing solo works and also making transcriptions and arrangements for solo piano, and performing in different projects as well as solo recitals.

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Mason Hirst

Portrait of Mason Hirst.

Mason began studying the piano at a later age than most, 15. He worked through the ABRSM grades and completed Grade 8 in 3 years, just before coming to study at Leeds Conservatoire (Previously known as Leeds College of Music). During his time at the conservatoire, Mason has been involved with a wide range of ensembles from Orchestras, Wind Bands, Operas, Musicals and many more. In 2019 he took over the LCSU Camerata conducting in venues such as Leeds Town Hall and Clothworkers Centenary Hall.

Under the tutelage of Jakob Fichert and Jonathan Gooing, Mason regularly performs both as a soloist and as an accompanist. Learning from two different tutors has given me a lot of experience in different teaching styles and the ability to adapt to any student. Mason has a strong interest in education and teaching the next generation of musicians as learning music is vital for younger students to develop their own personality and confidence.

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Tom Higham

Portrait of Tom Higham.

Tom began having lessons on the drum kit at the age of 12 and two years later achieved grade 8. The real foundation of Toms musical education began at the age of 13 when his drum tutor introduced him to the ‘Wigan Youth Brass Band’ and the ‘Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra’. Over the course of 5 years they provided him with invaluable experiences, touring many different countries and performing at international festivals with some greatly influential musicians such as Gordon Goodwin, James Morrison and Eric Delaney.

Tom then went on to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2014. During this time, he was also awarded with placements to study on courses such as the GMF Jazz course in London and Italy. Tom is an extremely versatile player and a very strong sight reader as a result of years playing in big bands, most recently with the ‘National Youth Jazz Orchestra’. He is currently a main member of several bands with styles ranging from jazz to electronic to prog rock, whilst also being very high in demand as a freelance player. This level of demand allows him to travel the world playing the drum kit and continue to gain on his already extensive performing experience.

Aside from performance, Tom began teaching drums privately when he was 16 and has experience with students as young as 6 and as old as 80, boasting a 100% exam pass rate. As of recent, he also teaches individual and group lessons at Bradford College. Additionally, Tom works as a studio recording artist for bands and international companies such as ‘SKY’.

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Emily Kent

Portrait of Emily Kent.

Emily Kent is a musician based in Leeds with a Bachelors degree in Jazz Vocals from Leeds College of Music. She has studied under the incredible Lauren Kinsella, Pete Churchill and Sally Burgess, who are known worldwide for their musicianship and talents. Performance highlights include singing at the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scotts, Jazz Leeds Festival, Derby Cathedral and Buxton Opera House. She has also supported world-renowned artists including Cleveland Watkiss, The Tim Garland and Jason Rubello Duo and Werker. Emily loves teaching and sharing her passion for music with others; she is patient and encouraging to all her students, enabling them to flourish and succeed musically. She believes music enriches people’s lives and education, and that it is important for exploring one’s creativity and individualism.

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James Homer

Portrait of James.

James is a talented, hard-working and enthusiastic drummer and saxophonist, based in Leeds. In 2019 he graduates from Leeds Conservatoire in BA (Hons) Jazz Drums. James has studied under Sebastian De Krom and Dave Walsh who have played with none other than Jamie Cullum, Chaka Khan and Sister Sledge.

James is very active as a gigging musician, performing throughout Leeds and the North of England regularly with multiple bands. His band 'Racoon Dog Soup' is a contemporary Jazz band performing original music. They have supported acts such as 'Rollertrio' and 'Werkha, and often take part in 'JazzNorth' education schemes. They have also played at the Leeds Jazz Festival in 2018 and at the First Direct Arena in 2019 engaging many members of the public with their music. James is also engaged regularly with function work playing pop tunes at parties, weddings and large events.

With over 6 years teaching experience he has taught in various workshops with young musicians at Leeds Conservatoire, including at the Alt-Shift-J festival. For him, music is important to explore one’s creativity and emotional development. Learning an instrument can give a sense of achievement to an individual and helps develop self-confidence and involves using multiple parts of the brain leading to improvements in certain motor and auditory skills.

Teaching in Drums

James teaches drums and percussion to all ages from absolute beginners to advanced students.

He is very patient and encouraging to all his students and has a lot of self-motivation and great organisational skills. James tries to use a range of teaching techniques to help his students, such as developing their musicianship through listening, clapping, performing and singing. He likes to engage students with creative and stimulating tasks to keep them focused and on their toes! James makes sure to pick appropriate material and exercises, depending on the student’s preferences and interests, whether it be in rock drumming, funk and jazz playing or learning to play along with your favourite bands.

He has experience working with grades and loves to see his students excel and achieve. He recognises different exam boards and their specific marking criteria and hopes to teach his students how to achieve the best grade possible, if that is what they want.

Typical lessons are exciting and focused on engaging the student with their task. Each student will have a personalised plan based around areas they want to explore, whilst also incorporating important elements such as technique, tone and theory in a fun and engaging way.

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Louis Berthoud

Louis Berthoud

Louis Berthoud is a session drummer based in Leeds, and has been playing the instrument for over 12 years. 

He recently graduated from both the BA and MMus courses at Leeds Conservatoire, studying under the fantastic Luke Flowers, Nick Katuszonek & Seb DeKrom. Each tutor has each offered different ways of approaching the instrument, though all have certainly motivated me to pursue music.

Louis plays for several artists - Iona Lane, Henry Parker, Easton Guillory - and recently went with Iona and her band to the Scottish Highlands to record her debut album, under Andy Bell’s production. (An experience that felt much more like a holiday than work!)

From drumming in the pit band for school productions, to playing sold-out shows at venues like Jimmy’s & Oporto, Louis has had plenty of performing experience, and can advise on ways to deal with stage nerves, good playing posture and expression behind the kit.

Now a recent graduate, Louis spends his free time writing music, practicing with other musicians, and doing function gigs, as well as figuring out different ways of teaching the drums.

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Serban Nicolae

Louis Berthoud

I have been passionate about music for over 30 years. Started studying the piano at 5 years old and fell in love with it. In the last 20 years I have dedicated myself to the stage, playing with different bands, and following my music degree, I have started teaching in private settings. Apart from playing the piano/keyboards, I also sing and do backing vocals. I had a lot of experience in singing choir music and participating in many choral concerts, with or without orchestra, and I’ve also conducted ensembles. I can play the accordion, the melodeon and pretty much any keyboard instrument I see. I really enjoy jazz music and improvisation and always try to keep my perception on music fresh and creative.

My goal is to awaken a deep sensitivity to the meaning of music in the fresh minds of children and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in my students.

I am a good communicator and I like to make sure that the students I work with get all the details necessary to understand how to do music in an informed way. This gives students the opportunity to feel fully supported in their development.

I like to work collaboratively as this gives depth of information to the lessons, having considered all the possible outcomes.

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Aidan Walker

Aidan Walker

Aidan Walker is a woodwind specialist and conductor based in Leeds. He started learning his principal instrument; saxophone, aged 8 before also picking up the flute, clarinet and piano, and was predominantly classically trained while working through the ABRSM syllabus under the tutelage of David Ormiston. In 2016, Aidan moved to study at the Centre for Advanced Training at the Sage Gateshead, where he followed a more contemporary/jazz focused program taught by Dov Goldberg and James Birkett, prior to starting a music degree at Leeds Conservatoire on the Jazz pathway, where he was mentored by Simon Kaylor and Ed Jones, among others, and graduated in 2021 with a first-class honours degree. Aidan now works as an administrator and tutor at the conservatoire for the junior department, as well as also teaching privately and performing.

Outside of instrumental playing, Aidan was one of nine young conductors selected from around the world to study at the Ingenium International Music Academy in 2016 under Tim Redmond and has conducted various ensembles around the country, including a year tenure as principal conductor of the 50 piece LCSU Concert Band.

The thing Aidan likes most about playing the saxophone, and indeed all the instruments he plays, is their extensive stylistic versatility, which has enabled him to perform and record with a wide range of different types of ensembles such as; orchestras, pop groups, Latin ensembles, big bands, jazz quartets, sax quartets and musical theatre & opera pit bands. Having this performing experience across a wide range of genres means that Aidan is able to tailor the lessons towards the student’s own music preferences and personal goals, be that a more traditional based program of working through the ABRSM clarinet grades or working on becoming an improvising musician with the aim of performing for DJ & sax gigs, to use examples of two of his current students at YMS.

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Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

I started to learn the piano at 8 years old and achieved Grade 8 at the age of 17. From there, my love of music flourished culminating in a music degree from Huddersfield University and a Master of Education degree, focussing on musical education.

My career concentrated on teaching, qualifying in Cheltenham in 1969. Before retirement, I held the position of deputy head teacher at two local primary schools.

Musical direction has been a passion; conducting in theatres and directing operettas. This also includes directing my own comic opera with Yeadon Gilbert & Sullivan Society. I have also written piano music for young children and primary school concerts.

Along with direction, I have also spent much of my time performing in choirs, including Steeton Male Voice, Bradford Festival Choral Society, Llandaff Cathedral Choral Society and a national tour of cathedrals over five years with St Catherine's church choir in Cheshire.

Throughout my adult life, I have taught piano and theory successfully; with pupils achieving pass or better. Much more than this, I thrive on the pupils developing their love of and life-long enthusiasm for music.

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Sol Edwards

John Cousins

Sol Edwards is a Guitarist, performer and songwriter from Glasgow who specialises in pop, rock and Acoustic styles. Ever since starting lessons at 10 yeas old he has loved the guitar ever since. With a Bachelors of Art in Music, from Leeds Conservatoire, and several years of performing in both solo and band settings, Sol is equipped to pass on knowledge and techniques he has learned throughout his professional career.

His main teaching focuses are for students to: feel a sense of achievement; see clear progress in their Guitar lessons; and to enjoy themselves. He believes teaching is as much about encouraging a good relationship with music as it is about getting better at your instrument. Sol is happy to tailor his lessons towards his students needs - whether they want to progress through grades, hone their craft or just have fun! He is familiar with, Trinity Rock and pop, Rock-school and ABRSM grades.

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Nathalia Rakotoson

Nathalia Rakotoson

Nathalia is a pianist, accompanist and teacher based in Leeds.

She was born in Poland and received traditional musical education on piano from primary school to college, then moved to UK and graduated from Leeds College of Music. She has Qualified Teacher Status and Teaching Certificate and a large experience in teaching both in public and private sector. Since graduating Nathalia has been teaching regularly, working as a freelance accompanist and taking part in different community projects in Leeds. She currently teaches piano online, preparing students for their ABRSM and Trinity exams and works with musicians across the Yorkshire. She enjoys working with the students, inspiring them and being part of their musical journey.

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Long Ming Su

Long Ming Su

Long Ming Su is a guitarist, composer and music educator with 20 years of experience teaching in the educational sector and working in the music industry.

In early age, Long Ming acquired music qualifications including LTCL Diploma with Distinction, Professional Certificate in Jazz Guitar from Berklee College of Music, Grade 8 in Electric Guitar with Distinction from Rock School as well as Grade 8 in Theory and Classical Guitar from ABRSM. Long Ming also formed his own bands (Utopia, Zero and Bystanders) and performed professionally in universities and festivals like Carlsberg Pop Music Festival 1997, Sound Movement 1999, Rock On 2000 etc.

In order to broaden his musical life and gaining further academic training, he studied MMus Creative Musicianship in Leeds Conservatoire in 2020 with focus on performing and composing. For the dissertation project, he hosted many online writing sessions with cooperator from all over the world.

In the long period of teaching career, Long Ming helped many students to achieve their musical goals, they include being professional session guitarist, artist under publishing company, full-time guitar tutor, succeed in music examination like Performance Diploma and Grade 8 certificate from ABRSM, Trinity College of Music and Rock School.

As a music educator, Long Ming is not only to teach the approach to playing the instrument, he aims to help students to find their best position as a musician with great fun and creativity in the learning progress.

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James Heaton

James Heaton

James Heaton is an experienced trumpeter, conductor and arranger based in Leeds. Beginning his career in Manchester as Principal Trumpet of the Halle Youth Orchestra, James has had a rigorous training in all musical genres, including jazz, classical and popular music; playing with renowned ensembles such as Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra, Harrogate Brass Band, Besses Boys Brass Band & Leeds Haydn Players. James has also enjoyed playing in stage shows across Leeds and Manchester, including Les Miserables, Chicago, and The Wizard of Oz. James has recently graduated with a First Class Bachelors of Music from the University of Leeds, where he received tutelage from Opera North's Mike Woodhead and renowned jazz trumpeter, Mark Chandler. In 2019, James had the privilege of studying at the University of North Texas, where he studied with jazz trumpeter, Philip Dizack, member of the Canadian Brass, Caleb Hudson, and Dr. Aaron Jensen. James also achieved the position of Prinicpal Cornet of the University of North Texas Brass Band, conducted by the famous David Childs.

During his time at University, James was an active member of the music society, as Prinicpal Trumpet of the Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Brass Band, and Sinfonia. He was also a staple member of the stage musical band, playing in shows such as In the Heights, and Into the Woods.

James is currently based in Leeds where he plays with his own band, Pocket Fluff, as well as the Harrogate Brass Band, whilst also playing with many other musical outfits. He also helps as a member of Social Staff at the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain; therefore has great experience with younger musicians.

James has studied a wide variety of solo repertoire across all genres and styles, and can tailor your lessons to any interests or abilities; including beginners. James offers a passionate and patient teaching style, stemming from his own love of music, that will instill curiosity to students and open new doors to ideas. He also believes it's never too late to start!

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