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Practical Music Teachers

Practical Music is a fundamental part of Hill House life and is widely available for children with an interest in music. All main orchestral instruments are taught by a dedicated team of visiting music teachers who bring a wealth of musical talent and teaching experience to give our pupils the very best tuition!

Learn about our fantastic team of Music Teachers below...

Michael Bardon - Lower Strings

Michael moved from Northern Ireland to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music graduating in June 2010. Since then he has worked with a variety of musicians from different disciplines and backgrounds playing at some of the top venues and festivals throughout the UK and Europe.

He is a founding member and joint composer of Shatner's Bassoon; a group of five composers/improvisers who have gained considerable reputation around the UK for their unorthodox approach to making music together and have featured twice on BBC Jazz on 3.

Michael's performance interests lie in pairing both the electronic sonorities of electric bass, DIY effects pedals and synthesizers; with a more traditional acoustic set-up of double bass and cello.

Vicky Bodman - Guitar (Head of Practical Music)

Mrs Bodman has been at Hill House School for over 30 years. Not only is she an accomplished classical guitarist, but an exceptional music teacher, who is passionate about bringing music to the next generation.

Mrs Bodman created the award-winning Robin Hood Music and Drama festival - a community initiative which provides opportunities for young people across the Doncaster community to play, sing, act and compete in an inclusive and supportive setting for the performing arts.

Marie Brown - Woodwind

Marie has a Masters Degree from Leeds College of Music where she specialised in Creative Performance on Flutes and continues to be interested in using stagecraft, lighting, and other aspects of performance to create a more engaging experience for the modern audience.

Marie is active locally, playing in various orchestras, chamber groups and pit orchestras where she plays all the woodwind instruments - an important skill in the area, and has a particular interest in promoting music-making to diverse communities, including rural and deprived populations. 

As well as her work at Hill House, Marie conducts various Youth Bands and has led adult community choirs and primary school choirs, enjoying challenging students with a wide range of genres and musical styles.

Matthew Dabbs - Percussion

Matthew Dabbs studied orchestral percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music and since has had a professional career spanning 30 years so far, working within a wide variety of musical environments from commercial music through to orchestral. In 2017, after seeing some fantastic (and pretty dreadful!) theatre, Matthew and his wife Jenna decided to use their collective wealth of experience to produce fun, family oriented shows, suitable for children of all ages and started “far far away theatre” which produces shows at the Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield.

In addition to his performing and teaching commitments, Matthew is a member of Trinity College’s Rock & Pop examination panel.

Kamilla Dunstan - Voice

Kamilla Dunstan studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She was an Alvarez Young Artist in 2017 and covered the role of Zaida in Garsington Opera’s production of Il turco in Italia (Rossini). She has since sung principal roles for English National Opera, at Glyndebourne and, in April 2023, made her Royal Opera House debut. She was a second place winner at the Lyra New York International Vocal Competition in 2021 and a finalist for the Maureen Lehane Singing Competition at Wigmore Hall in 2018. Concerts include a performance of Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a soloist in Te Deum & Jubilate (Handel) with the English Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of the City of London Festival.

Kamilla joined the team at Hill House in September 2023, and is keen to bring her classical and operatic experience to the pupils, to help them develop a broad range of singing skills.

Chris Fidler - Lower Brass

Chris studied at the London Royal College of Music gaining an ARCM and Dip RCM (Performance) before spending some 17 years as a freelance musician in and around London playing in the pit for many West End shows. He also played in concerts and toured with a variety of well-known pop groups as well as teaching brass for Harringey and Surrey Council and as a substitute at the RCM Junior department. He then spent time working in Hamburg, Germany, before returning to the UK in 2015 where he has continued to be active as a performer, including playing with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, The World Elvis Tour, Manchester Concert Orchestra, the Four Tops and Temptations 2022 UK tour, a season with Dorset Opera and 4 seasons at Kilworth House Open Air Theatre. 

As well as teaching lower brass at Hill House, where he is delighted to be helping to build up the department, Chris also has an active private teaching practice, both in person and on-line. 

Amelia Fisher - Upper Strings

Amelia graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a first-class Bachelor of Music degree and the Crabtree prize for all-round achievement and is now studying for a Master of Arts by research at the University of Huddersfield exploring the relationship between gender presentation and the film soundtrack. She also founded and runs the University of Huddersfield String Sextet with the support of Dr David Milsom.

Amelia has experience in a range of educational settings, from primary level curriculum music, to private teaching and workshop leading. As well as classical performance, Amelia has also explored free improvisation, which she has brought elements of into her teaching, to facilitate the development of confident musicians. Many of her ideas around teaching come from her Creative Learning Ambassadorship with the Benedetti Foundation, which afforded her the opportunity to work with young musicians from across the globe, and gave her access to training and mentorship from leaders in upper string teaching.

Elena-Roxanna Hinchcliffe - Voice

Elena-Roxana Hinchcliffe studied at Leeds Conservatoire gaining a First-Class Honours at Undergraduate level and Distinction at Masters Level, specialising in Classical Repertoire and Opera. She also represented Leeds Conservatoire in a new collaboration project with Opera North.

She believes strongly in the power of singing for both physical and emotional wellbeing and this has lead to various projects including schemes to make opera more accessible to young adults with learning difficulties, work at the National Autistic Society, and a desire to introduce a project whereby Singing (music therapy) can be prescribed by healthcare channels. Recently, Elena-Roxana has been awarded funding from the Amber Trust Charity, London to teach operatic and contemporary singing to blind children in the Worksop area.

Elena-Roxana is passionate about helping students reach their goals using various pedagogical models and an expansive and creative approach to classical and contemporary repertoire adapting to various learning styles.

David Milsom - Upper Strings

David gained a first-class degree with several prizes at the University of Sheffield in 1995, before going on to acquire an MMus and then a PhD (2000), all funded by prestigious awards by the British Academy. He is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield where he heads up classical ensembles and teaches both academically and instrumentally and performs regularly on modern and period instruments as a professional violinist and violist with a busy concerts schedule mainly as an orchestral and chamber musician. He is also external examiner of post-graduate degrees at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has published extensively as an expert on historical violin playing.

As an instrumental teacher, David has very extensive experience stretching back some thirty years, and considers instrumental teaching a very important part of his professional life.

Ruth Milsom - Piano

Ruth Milsom (BMus, Hons) read music at the University of Sheffield, gaining an enviable musical education encompassing comprehensive knowledge and skills. Her teachers and mentors included Yolande Wrigley (piano), Simon Lindley (organ), and Peter Hill (French 20th-century music). Ruth has continued her professional development in later adulthood, attaining Grade 8 in singing, and sings semi-professionally as a founder member of Sheffield Chamber Choir (directed by Hill House Assistant Head of Practical Music, Robert Webb), and occasional soloist. Her broad skill set also sees her playing the violin and percussion from time to time.

Ruth has taught piano and music theory for over thirty years and joined Hill House in 2021. She and her husband David (Head of Strings at Hill House) formed the Milsom School of Music in 2006 in order to expand and deepen the musical education of their private pupils – a holistic approach that is core to Ruth’s teaching.

As a teacher and accompanist, Ruth is highly experienced working with students of all ages and abilities, and has accompanied extensively for local ABRSM, Trinity, and LCM exams, as well as for student recitals at the Universities of Sheffield, Huddersfield, and Nottingham.

Debbie Mellors - Voice

Debbie studied at the acclaimed Laine Theatre Arts with a full scholarship, graduating with Honours, and then gaining ISTD teaching qualifications in Ballet and modern and a Lamda Licentiate in Acting. She met her husband Paul playing Cinderella in Hull in 1994 and together they produced shows which toured the UK, and worked for major cruise lines. In 2002, they formed Rainbow Connection and then the Rainbow Connection Singers, which has gone on to win many awards and competitions, performing in many of the UK’s top venues and radio.

In addition to her one-to-one teaching at Hill House and running the Senior Chorus and Ensemble, Deborah runs many school choirs in the Doncaster area, The Breathing Space Choir for the NHS whose members all have COPD, and the Hesley Choir for adults with severe autism.

Jamie Poole - Guitar

Jamie Poole has enjoyed over 25 years as a professional musician and singer/songwriter. As part of a popular music duo he performed live in many of the major concert halls and theatres in Britain including the Royal Albert Hall and playing many times at London’s high profile venues, The Marquee, Mean Fiddler and Ronnie Scotts, as well as appearances on Live National Television and Radio, having the pleasure to work with such artists as The Everly Brothers, David Essex, Bond, Clannad and Russell Watson.

More recently, Jamie has been dedicated to the study of the Classical guitar and its teaching, and continued songwriting. He has taught pupils who have won music festival prizes, achieved A* in their A level performances, Associate Diplomas, and gone on to study guitar at conservatories. Jamie is also an instrumental teacher at the University of Lincoln, working with and shaping the performance of the guitarists and songwriters for their performance modules and recitals.

Gareth Smith - Upper Brass

Gareth is a graduate of Leeds College of Music (now Leeds Conservatoire) following which he has pursued a career in performance specialising in Big Band and Jazz music, working with bands across various theatres, concert halls and at private events both in the UK and abroad. His performing credentials include various trips to Europe and the USA, the Royal Albert Hall and the United Nations (NYC). He was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and has worked with artists including The Corrs, Shed Seven and Ray Quinn to name but a few.

He has taught the trumpet for over 15 years across a wide range of ages and abilities and also enjoys leading ensembles and has years of experience conducting and fronting both junior and senior bands, working at Hill House since 2013. When he is not teaching pupils at Hill House School he teaches privately in Doncaster and Sheffield and performs regularly with various ensembles, from small groups to Big Bands and Orchestras.

Nadim Teimoori - Saxophone and Clarinet

Nadim is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. Since that time, he has been a regular performer on the UK jazz circuit, both as a band leader and a sideman, performing in various groups including with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, Gareth Lockrane Big Band and Stan Tracey group, to name a few. He has been described as a formidable talent on the contemporary UK jazz scene and a celebrated saxophonist and composer. 

When Nadim isn’t teaching pupils at Hill House School, he teaches higher education at Leeds Conservatoire as well as both group/one to one tuition in schools, workshops and music hubs across the North of England.

Nadim has a relaxed and easy manner with pupils and the numbers of saxophonists in the school continues to increase.   

Christopher Thornton-Holmes - Voice and Piano

Christopher Thornton-Holmes is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, where he also obtained the Diploma in Professional Performance. After an illustrious operatic career which included working at Glyndebourne, Opera de Nice and la Scala as well as at the BBC, performing in major venues across the world.

Christopher has long had ambitions to help young singers and, in 2002, began focussing more on this aspect of his work, beginning to teach in schools, preparing pupils for a variety of exams. 

Michelle Turney - Voice

Michele is a qualified teacher with a PGCE in Secondary Music, has a Masters in Education, specialising in Drama and has a Diploma in Classical Singing (LCM) as well as ABRSM Grade 8. She also holds ABRSM Grade 8 in clarinet and Grade 6 in piano. Michele runs ‘Singing for Everyone’, a community choir in Harworth, directs school choirs and also works as a classroom music teacher. 

Michele enjoys teaching singers of all ages and abilities. She focuses on building confidence alongside technique, aiming to make each lesson an enjoyable, rewarding experience.

Robert Webb - Piano and Voice

Robert received his musical education as a choral scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and then was Organ Scholar and Assistant Organist at the University Church there. A brief career as a solicitor changed to full-time music, with notable posts including Director of the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Conductor of Henley Choral Society and Director of Music at St John’s Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield.

As well as being a Peripatetic Music Teacher and Assistant Head of Practical Music at Hill House, Robert is active as a choral conductor in and around Sheffield, directing Sheffield Chamber Choir, the Sterndale Singers and Bel Canto Choir. He is also a trustee of Classical Sheffield and Director of Music and Organist at St Marie’s Catholic Cathedral in Sheffield and has an active private practice teaching and performing.

Matthew Wharton - Piano

Matthew studied music at Canterbury Christ Church University. During his time there, he started his professional career playing in London’s West End. He has played keyboard for shows including We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia! He was also a stand-in keyboard player/conductor for Kinky Boots. Away from London, he has toured the UK and Europe with We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia!

Matthew has been teaching for 10 years, starting with Wandsworth Music in London, where he taught in a wide range of scenarios, from one-to-one piano, choirs, percussion ensembles and orchestras. He is still invited back to tour Europe with their youth orchestra every summer. 

Matthew recently moved to Sheffield and joined the team at Hill House. He enjoys practising his favourite classical music and occasionally performs at events in Sheffield.