• en English
Music Tuition

Music Tuition

Music is at the very core of the school. We aim not only to provide high quality music lessons but also give opportunities for all school pupils to learn an instrument and join a musical ensemble.

St Joseph’s middle school provides first-rate instrumental and musical training. We want all our students to reach their full potential, which is why we encourage them to approach musical studies, commitment, and determination.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I sign my child up to instrument lessons?

    There will be a chance for the Year 5 pupils to meet the peripatetic music teachers and also find out what instruments are available for tuition.  This is always an enjoyable and stimulating evening where the pupils can hear the various instruments and also “have a go” themselves.

    Even if your child has no wish to take up an instrument at this point or currently plays one you may still find it beneficial to come along and see what is on offer.

    After this, Mr. Rosier will give an explanation of how the tuition is structured at St Joseph’s. The pupils will then be given the chance to play on various instruments to help in their decision-making.

  • When should my child practise their instrument?

    We expect students at all levels to devote time to regular practice during the week. We understand that this can be difficult, but our tutors are skilled in helping students establish a routine that works for them.

  • Will my child be given the opportunity to perform their musical instrument?

    Performance is an essential part of any musical education and one of the most exciting things about St Joseph’s

    Pupils are given regular opportunities to perform.  The aim of this is to encourage practice at home and progress on the instrument.  Without a chance to perform pupils can become uninterested as they are practicing for practice sake.

    Various opportunities are provided throughout the year such as:

    • Performances in the classroom
    • Winter and summer concerts
    • Partnership masterclasses
    • Recital nights
    • Partnership orchestral play days
    • Music festivals
    • Care home visits
    • Whole school singing
    • Charity concerts
    • School productions
    • Arts weeks
    • Various one off musical events
    • Play in a vibrant year round concert programme
    • Study under some of the leading musicians in the north east of England

    All students develop the art of performing while they’re with us and have invaluable opportunities to acquire experience on stage.

    At St Joseph’s it is vital that pupils be given the opportunity to perform in an ensemble to develop various musical and social abilities. We aim to provide a wide range of groups which the pupils can perform in. All groups meet weekly and pupils are invited to join as soon as they are able:

    • School orchestra which is timetabled
    • Full school choir
    • Chamber/advanced choir
    • Junior drum group
    • Senior drum group
    • Rock group
    • Various pop up ensembles throughout the year such as jazz band

    Whether it’s a competition win on playing in a concert, passing a graded exam with an outstanding mark, we’re continually proud of the amazing things our students accomplish and are always excited to follow their journey

  • What is the cost of music tuition?

    The cost of most lessons is £105 per term for 10 lessons, 30 over the course of the year, however, some costs vary depending on tutor rates.

Our Tutors

  • Mr Hignett
    Brass

    View Bio
    Mr Hignett

    Mr Hignett

    Brass

    Dave Hignett started his musical career playing Cornet for Chester Brass Band and after graduating with a Music Degree and Guildhall teachers diploma from Colchester Institute he went on to perform on Cruise Ships with Royal Caribbean cruise line for 3 years.
    Music Education has been a driving force in Dave’s career, and after 22 years as orchestra and brass coordinator with Northumberland County Music Service Dave is now a freelance conductor, performer, and teacher.
    In  2001 Dave was asked to form and direct the Sage Gateshead’s regional Big Band Jambone going on to form
    the community Jazz Band the Tyne Valley Big Band, the Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble, and the Tyne Valley Youth Big Band at Core music in Hexham.
    Dave is currently a member of the Gerry Richardson 9 piece original Jazz Band who performed at the Newcastle Civic Centre with “Sting” and is a member of the “Sunday for Sammy” house band.
    I teach all the range of Brass instruments from beginners to grade 8 plus (Cornet, Trumpet, Tenor and French Horn, Euphonium and Baritone, Trombone and Tuba) and have taught at St Joseph’s for nearly 30 years!
    ×
  • Mrs Milner
    String

    View Bio
    Mrs Milner

    Mrs Milner

    String

    Liz Milner graduated from the University of Newcastle with the David Barlow Award for Outstanding Finalist and subsequently completed a Masters Degree in Early Music at York University. From 2007 to 2013 she worked in Glasgow teaching Kodály with the RSNO Junior Chorus and the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Since returning to the North East Liz works as repetiteur and music tutor and is currently Musical Director of Newcastle Youth Choir, Ponteland Ladies’ Choir, and Newcastle Military Wives Choir.

    ×
  • Mr Buckton
    String

    View Bio
    Mr Buckton

    Mr Buckton

    String

    Coming soon…

    ×
  • Mr Francis
    Percussion

    View Bio
    Mr Francis

    Mr Francis

    Percussion

    I’ve been teaching drums at St Joseph’s for over twenty years! I’ve been lucky to work with many great drummers over that time and seen students go on to work through the grades, join bands, go on to music college and even become professional musicians and teachers themselves.
    I spent many years working as a freelance musician, playing in all kinds of musical settings and styles. Since 2014 I have been part of the Leadership Team at Music Partnership North, the Music Education Hub covering Northumberland & Newcastle. This has meant that I don’t do as much performing or teaching as I once did. St Joseph’s is the one school that I still visit every week so it definitely has a special place in my heart. It is a terrific school and has always been very supportive of music and the arts.
    ×
  • Mr Ward
    Percussion

    View Bio
    Mr Ward

    Mr Ward

    Percussion

    Coming soon…

    ×
  • Mrs Barnes
    Piano

    View Bio
    Mrs Barnes

    Mrs Barnes

    Piano

    Coming soon…

    ×
  • Mr Smith
    Piano

    View Bio
    Mr Smith

    Mr Smith

    Piano

    Coming soon…

    ×
  • Ms De Vere
    Woodwind

    View Bio
    Ms De Vere

    Ms De Vere

    Woodwind

    Coming soon…

    ×
  • Mrs Hignett
    Voice

    View Bio
    Mrs Hignett

    Mrs Hignett

    Voice

    I am passionate about music and singing and strive to encourage that same passion in my students. The voice is a beautiful instrument which should be nurtured. Every student can develop the techniques to allow them to get the best from their individual voice.

    I have worked as a professional musician all around the UK and abroad and am an experienced performer. My career has been varied and I have sang an extensive range of musical styles and genres. I currently sing in a couple of function bands and am the vocalist for the Tyne Valley Big Band.

    I teach in the Hexham pyramid, providing a progression route through to High School and I have had the privilege of working as a voice tutor at St Joseph’s since moving to Hexham in 2003. I teach teach students from beginner to grade 8.

    ×

Excellence, recognition and awards

We have achieved ‘Arts College’ status in 2008 and were also awarded the Silver Artsmark award closely followed by the Gold Artsmark award in 2010 and continued to maintain the standard expected for this over the last decade. In 2020 we were delighted to have received the  ‘Music Mark’ school award as well.

Whether it’s a competition win on playing in a concert, passing a graded exam with an outstanding mark, we’re continually proud of the amazing things our students accomplish and are always excited to follow their journey.

“There is a focus on the arts at school, and the number of opportunities available linked to the arts is impressive”

“Where music is concerned, for example, pupils can be part of an orchestra, choir or ensemble. They can learn to play string, brass or woodwind instruments. There are pop-up groups across the course of the year, which have included jazz bands and rock groups. Your pupils are currently practising for ‘High School Musical’, part of your biennial performance programme, which brings the whole school community together. Yours is a school that develops pupils’ skills through high-quality additional curriculum experiences.”

“In music pupils attain above the level expected for their age and make better than expected progress. Teaching and learning are good, and in some subjects, regularly outstanding. This occurs where teachers make accurate assessments of pupils' learning and plan lessons that will motivate and challenge them.”

“In music lessons the pace of learning was increased by pupils' enthusiasm for their tasks and the way they could learn from each other.”

“Several examples of outstanding teaching in music were seen where pupils sustained concentration for long periods because they were clear about what they needed to do to succeed. They were very well prepared to do their best and delighted with their efforts by the end of the lesson.”

“Your enthusiastic singing and instrument practice are a delight to hear. It was a treat to hear the jazz band in rehearsal as we left.”

- Ofsted Comments