Playing a musical instrument has many benefits including enhanced academic performance, the development of self-discipline, motor skills and problem-solving skills and the opportunity to meet other students. Most importantly, playing an instrument is an enjoyable experience which will stay with your child for life.
James Holt – Voice
James Holt is a postgraduate from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where he was awarded a Master of Music in performance (Dist.) specialising in Vocal Pedagogy.
Alongside tutoring responsibilities James is actively involved in performance. Most recently as a member of the Chorus in Tristan und Isolde (Grange Park Opera, Surrey) and L’esule di Roma (Opera Rara, London). Solo roles to date include Guglielmo Così fan tutte, Schaunard La Bohème, & Marchese D’Obigny La Traviata. Recital and private engagements most recently includes assembling an ensemble to welcome the Welsh National Rugby League team to Preston.
James’ main interests outside of music are the gym, hiking and football.
Sandra Callaghan started teaching at Crossley Heath just over six years ago. She was very excited to join such a friendly and enthusiastic school. Prior to this, Sandra had an extensive teaching career spanning over 25 years in the Rossendale and Accrington areas of Lancashire. She worked as both a classroom music specialist and an independent brass teacher in five senior schools. Sandra’s career in teaching was prompted by her love of playing the cornet as a teenager. She was given an instrument by her school, and she joined a local youth brass band. The challenge it presented was great and socially she made a lot of friends. She went on to study Band Musicianship at Salford University, then teacher training at Bath before accepting her first teaching position near Accrington.
Within the community, Sandra, volunteers as a musical director at Rossendale Valley sounds (a wind band which is open to all!). The band plays an extensive repertoire, ranging from popular film music, to original pieces for concert band. Sandra has taught many individual students to a high standard. Many of her students have carried on playing at university and beyond into adult life. She enjoys all aspects of teaching.
Scott Kitchen studied music at the University of Huddersfield where he majored in performance and graduated in 2007. His degree gave him the opportunity to take part in a variety of different musical experiences. These included the history of music, performance skills, conducting and music film & media. During his degree, he received piano tuition from Keith Swallow and Clarinet tuition form Judith Clare. He was also a member of the University Wind Orchestra. After graduating, Scott began his career as an instrumental music teacher, specialising in piano and woodwind. He worked for Bradford Music & Arts Service for 10 years teaching individual, small group and whole class lessons as well as being involved in the music centre ensembles. In 2015, Scott started teaching at The Crossley Heath School and the following year he also began teaching with Musica Kirklees. All of his teaching is now focussed on individual and small group lessons where he enjoys getting to know his students and helping them to progress on their musical journeys. Scott teaches a wide range of musical styles in his lessons and regularly enters students for graded exams (if they choose to do so) where he holds a 100% pass rate with many students achieving merits and distinctions. Alongside his teaching, Scott is heavily involved in the amateur dramatics scene in Huddersfield. He is the Musical Director for two different societies: Huddersfield Light Opera Company and Longwood Theatre Productions who regularly put on large scale musical productions and an annual Pantomime at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield.
Matthew Watts has more than 17 years of experience as a piano teacher. During this time he has helped hundreds of students to play the music that they want to play. He has a flourishing private practice as well as working in several excellent schools in Calderdale. Matthew grew up in a musical household and first learnt to play by ear before moving onto ABRSM grades and a degree in music from Leeds University. In recent years he has passed his DipABRSM and LRSM exams and is working towards the final FRSM qualification, specialising in Bach. As a teacher he encourages creativity and a love of all music genres alongside academic progression. He began working at Crossley Heath in 2019 and has helped more than 50 students pass over 150 exams. Outside of teaching he works with a DJ writing dance music, plays in a Jazz band, undertakes charity performances and has had his piano composition ‘Eat’ featured at the award winning Hayden Film Festival. Every year he runs an annual piano concert at the Square Chapel In Halifax, showcasing the talent of students across Calderdale.
James Newsome studied Drums and Contemporary Music at ACM in Guildford and graduated in 2008. During his degree he learnt from many industry professionals and enjoyed being on the doorstep of London’s thriving music scene. After graduating he moved home to West Yorkshire where he established my own Drum Kit Tuition business, We Play Drums. He now has well over 10 years experience teaching and many of his earlier students are now working and making a living in the music industry. James teaches a broad range of genres and techniques in his lessons in addition to the graded exam syllabuses. Alongside his teaching, James is very active in the Music Industry with his band Wax-Tree-Cast who play up and down Britain at popular music venues and festivals. James also does regular session work both live and in the studio with UK Country Artist Emilia Quinn. He love the drums and finds that being so active in the industry gives him the passion and drive to inspire the next generation of drummers through his teaching.
Brian Acton is a restlessly enthusiastic musician, composer, sound artist and educator. He moved from Belfast to Todmorden 20 years ago and he now considers Calderdale to be his home. Brian is an accomplished guitarist, a passionate singer and storyteller, a very slow pianist and a savage drummer. As an educator he hopes to nurture freedom of expression, coupled with technical skill and harmonic knowledge. He is a director of the music teachers’ co-op Music Makes You Ltd.
Brian has toured internationally with his own music and as a session guitarist. He performs festival and club gigs with his vintage swing band The Black Sheikhs, and he is the guitarist in the Calderdale Fantasy Orchestra.
As a composer, he creates music for a range of clients and, more recently, for his own company We Are Stems Ltd. This new work is focused on outdoor performance, collaboration, immersive audio and multi-speaker installation. The last three years have broadened his knowledge of electronic and experimental music.
Brian cycles a fixie and a hardtail mountain bike. He uses archery as an excuse to spend more time in the woods. Brian has a German wife and a hilarious daughter.
Websites; www.brianacton.co.uk www.musicmakesyou.org www.wearstems.org www.blacksheikhs.co.uk