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Meet the tutors
WRS Music Leader
I wrote my first song aged 7. It was called Diplodocus Fever! I joined my first band at 17, did a music degree and played drums all over the UK, Europe and USA. I played punk, indie, jazz, hip-hop, funk..anything that excited me. I’ve written music for SKY, ITN, EMI, CH5 and some theatre and dance companies. I also work as a performance poet – somewhere between poetry, stand-up and storytelling. I run a touring show called Tongue Fu – fusing poetry, hip-hop and some amazing musicians. I’ve been lucky enough to perform on BBC Radio 1, Radio 4, XFM, Sky Arts and I regularly perform around the UK. I balance all this exciting work with teaching and running workshops in music, writing and performance. It’s a passion of mine. I’ve worked in schools, hospices, with youth orchestras, young offenders, little children, old adults and everyone in between. I believe music lifts us, helps us express whatever we’re feeling. It can be very powerful. I am constantly blown away by the music, passion and creativity of everyone at WRS – the members and the tutors. I love working here. Its one of the best jobs ever.
IWRS Project Coordinator and Volunteer Tutor.
I love Winnall Rock School and wish I’d had something like this to support me when I started playing guitar as a teenager. I know that succeeding to play a musical instrument can present an overwhelming challenge for some people. Personally, I have to work hard to improve my own skills and I understand we don’t all get it first time, but if you keep going the rewards do come. I enjoy helping our pupils learn to play stringed things, develop their songwriting and explore music theory. My preference is pop and folk styles of music but I’ll have go at anything that develops my own skills.
I also offer 1:1 tuition on guitar and ukulele at WRS and run some of our Outreach sessions with people of all ages and abilities creating Lifemusic. Contact WRS to find our more
I’ve been drumming for about 30 years now. I have played in various bands - mainly pop/rock - and have recorded and played live at many venues. In 2002 I toured with a band called Aqualung (they did that song “Strange and Beautiful” which was used on a VW Beetle ad). We supported David Gray on his European tour. I also co- wrote 3 songs on 3 of Aqualung’s albums.
I first picked up the guitar when I was 10, having been totally inspired by my junior school teacher (thank you Barbara Garner), who would play and sing with us every week in the school choir. At secondary school I took lessons in classical guitar, as there were no other styles taught in those days, and continued that right through until I was 18. I acquired an old piano at the age of 12 and taught myself to play, mainly by listening to records and re-creating the songs I liked at the time.
I was 5 when I was dragged kicking and screaming to my first piano lesson but it wasn't until I was about 14 that I started to get the point of it - that it might be fun to make stuff up and play it to people, maybe even for money... I studied music to A-level before leaving school and getting a succession of unexciting jobs, mainly to pay for studio time (ok, so in those days there were no college courses in popular music - it was 5 years of Stockhausen and Schoenberg or nothing - and home studios were only a distant dream). Then someone invented the synthesiser and the 4-track cassette recorder and they all lived happily ever after. The End. Er, not quite... I've played with a wide variety of artists from solo singers to orchestras - some impressive, some not so - and written loads of music - some impressive, some not so - but if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that the next thing you do might turn out to be the best thing you've ever done if you give it your best shot."
I've worked as a singer and musician for the last eight years playing across the UK and further afield to Europe. I play the harmonica, piano, double bass and accordion playing predominately blues and jazz influenced music, but over the years I have been part of lots of different projects. My current band was a semi-finalist in the international songwriting competition in 2014, winners of the Reveal Records emerging artist competition and nominated for a British Blues Award in 2015. I also work as a musician and singer within the community. It's great to be a part of Rock School!
I started playing guitar at 12, and after an unceremonious switch from classical guitar to electric at 17 I have played and taught music ever since. Music has taken me through all sorts, and as like most creative forms the experiences have varied wildly, from the sublime to the silly, Bardados to Bradford, hundreds to a handful. Tutoring at WRS is so different from my usual one-to-one lessons. Guiding young people through creative discovery away from a school environment develops many vital skills for band life that I learnt the hard way, it’s a pleasure trying to pass that on. I play regularly at gigs and festivals with Ma Polaine’s Great Decline, which someone once described as “oddly stylish”, whatever that means.
Tim Logan (WRS WEB Developer, former Tutor)
I've been teaching myself Guitar and Piano since I was 15. Born in New York and Lived in California, I've always surounded myself with music and people who share my love for it. I was fortunate enough to work for Warner Bros Records in Los Angeles for 5 years, then for personal reasons moved to the UK. Shortly after the move, I heard about WRS and immediately wanted to be involved. I joined as a Tutor in Nov 2013 and learned so much from working with so many talented youths. I moved to the Netherlands in January 2016, which ended my involvement as a tutor, but continue to provide website improvments.
Paul Gumma (WRS Alumni)
When I was 14, my parents agreed to buy me an electric guitar after I played them a self-taught version of Live Forever. I discovered a local circle of musicians, learned how to create music and made lifelong friends. Throughout college and University I was part of the Southampton music scene, supporting bands such as Biffy Clyro and The Cooper Temple Clause. Through other musicians I discovered Captain Beefheart, Kate Bush, The Pixies, Brian Wilson, and Nick Drake. These artists, amongst others, sound tracked my various road trips, treks and travels through Europe, India, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. I now live in Winchester where I am a project manager for Hampshire Social Services. I am also part of a two-piece surf/garage rock band called The Golden Age. I enjoy discovering new artists and sounds all the time and believe that the greatest music is yet to come.
I have been tutoring with Rock School since its first days back in 2004. My first instrument was the guitar but I also play drums and bass. I have played in various bands and been involved with many different young-people oriented music projects in the area. I really enjoy working with young people to help them develop their ideas and creativity. I also work as project coordinator for Winnall Rock School.
I’m a guitarist, songwriter, guitar teacher and Music Performance tutor from Southampton. I’ve been listening to Metal and Hard Rock from an early age and when I was 15, got my first guitar and formed a band straight away! I studied Music Performance at college and I continue to study guitar and the music industry to this day. Over the many years I’ve been playing, I’ve played everything from Pop Rock to Death Metal in bands that have toured the UK, played in Holland and Mexico, as well as winning awards such as BT Digital Best Unsigned Band and appearing in magazines (Metal Hammer, Fireworks). I currently teach guitar/music performance, play in metal band- THE DEAD ACRES and I’m writing material for my own solo project.
A late starter at 15, I taught myself guitar for a year before a ‘helpful’ friend materialised and pointed out to me that being ‘left-handed’ meant that the guitar strings were the wrong way round! Feeling a little demoralised, I started all over again – this time listening to the two Jimmy’s (Page and Hendrix) and drawing influence from their distinct style. A few years later having moved to London – then back to Southampton, I spent the next two years attending London auditions and at that time worked with diverse musicians from bands such as Roxy Music - Paul Thompson, Dave Cousins- Strawbs, and Rock Band- Samson. I’ve been playing as a pro musician for most of the time since. As a song writer and front man I have over worked with Buddy Whittington- John Mayalls Bluesbreakers, Wilko Johnson-Dr Feelgood, Mark Flannegan-Jools Holland and Thijs van Leer and Dutch Prog Rock Band-Focus. I currently work as a qualified guitar and music teacher with CY music Winchester. My background in youth work has now brought me to work with Winnall Rock School as a Tutor. I believe that Art and Music are not a privilege and should be available to everyone.
I've been singing (or making a similar noise) since before I can remember. Luckily (!) there is some pretty embarrassing footage of me as a three-year-old to prove it - but I don't need evidence to know that singing is in my bones and always has been. I started writing my own lyrics in junior school and have been jotting down my thoughts in rhyme and verse on pieces of scrap paper ever since, aided in musical form when I bought my first acoustic guitar at 17. Since then I have performed solo and in bands in Kent and Hampshire (and for a little bit in Sydney and Melbourne) to anyone who may have pause to listen.
Having volunteered for Winnall Rock School for eighteen months between 2009 - 2011 I still pop back on the odd occasion to teach vocal workshops and very much enjoy working with young people to improve their skills and confidence in singing and song-writing. I am also looking at working with adults who are interested in singing at some point in the near future, alongside working full time for Anvil Arts in Basingstoke and studying for my MA in Cultural and Arts Management. Despite being super busy I still find time to listen to, play and write music - if it's in your bones it never really goes away, whatever else life tends to throw at you..