MEET THE TEAM
We will do our best to ensure that our students have consistency in terms of the tutor they see each week. However, as many of our tutors are professional musicians, there may be times when then they are touring / recording. We will use our best endeavours to give schools/parents as much notice as possible of this and provide an alternative tutor.
Gayle Founder and Executive Partner: Piano and Ukulele Tutor
I had my first piano lesson at the age of 7 and worked my way though the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) grades.
I began playing the violin at the age of 10 and continued to have lessons in both instruments until I left home for university at 18, by which time I had obtained Grade 8 Piano. Despite being offered a music scholarship, I decided at that time against a career in music and I studied Law at Cardiff University. I qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and practised in the profession for 10+years.
I continued to play the piano and taught myself to play the guitar and ukulele.
I taught piano on a private basis and in 2016 I left the law to grow my music school. I teamed up with some musician friends and Music Heroes was born!
I grew up listening to the music of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys and the Supremes. These days I perform live as part of the Music Heroes Band and also the “Hickman Duo”, playing country and pop covers.
I was born in Shrewsbury where I was raised on a diet of folk and bluegrass music. My father (an avid bluegrass musician) bought my first guitar and at the age of 13, I started performing with him at sessions and folk clubs.
After music college, I travelled with my guitar to Ireland and then to Iceland where I co-formed the ‘Dan-Cassidy Swing Quartet’. I then returned to England when I began performing as a solo artist and formed the duo ‘Hickman and Quinn’. I went on to join folk group Uiscedwr and worked with them for 2 years.
I have been teaching ( now for many years and many of my students have become accomplished musicians themselves. I enjoy teaching in a number of schools with Music Heroes, including whole class ukulele, and I also lead the Music Heroes Songwriting Workshop.
I now perform in the UK and Europe as part of ‘Hickman and Quinn’, ‘the Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet’, ’James Hickman and Dan Cassidy’ and also with my wife, Gayle as the “Hickman Duo”’.
I began playing the drums at school and was taught by the world-renowned Brian Stone. I achieved my Grade 8 by the age of 14 and around this time began playing with a covers band.
I have played with a number of bands, touring with and supporting well known acts all over the country. I currently play with The Vertigo Band, “Shropshire’s Number 1 Function Band” and “Beautiful Trauma”, a Pink Tribute! I joined Gayle at Music Heroes in 2017 and enjoy managing a team of fantastic drummers.
I enjoy listening to Soundgarden, Nirvana, Guns n Roses, The Rolling Stones and the Who.
Check out the Vertigo Band:
I am a pianist, guitarist and vocalist with 10+ years of music industry experience. I work full-time as a musician, having qualified in 2018 with a HND in Music Performance at Kidderminster College (where I was taught by Andy Edwards, who has drummed for Robert Plant and rock bands such as IQ and Frost).
I regularly performs under may stage name “Redwood”, singing self-penned material which is influenced by all sorts of music, from folk, jazz and blues, to rock and super cheesy pop! I work full time for Music Heroes, teaching piano and singing in primary schools and secondary schools.
I enjoying running school choirs and I’m excited to be bringing Music Heroes to my home town of Worcester.
Ross Hitchin: Guitar and Ukulele
Ive been playing guitar for 30 years after being inspired by the Alt-Rock bands of the early 1990’s.
I played in a few bands before moving onto producing my own music under the name ‘Stereosmith’ within the Electronic Dance genre. With this I gained experience performing at gigs and festivals, as well as live sessions for BBC Introducing. I was finalist to play at Glastonbury Festival!
I now teach teaches guitar and have 6 years experience inspiring others to begin their own musical journey.
I’m a father of two young children who also share a love of music.
I first picked up a guitar at the age of 6 and started lessons at 8. At College, I studied Music Practice and gained a BTEC National Diploma.
I was influenced at any early age by Brian May, Bill Nelson and Rory Gallagher. I have been performing live for 20 years for M.A.D.I.S.O.N, Reign of Kings and I’m currently lead guitarist for the Vertigo Band, (voted the UKs Number 1 wedding band in 2019) and Beautiful Trauma, a Pink tribute band.
I’ve supported Mcfly, Whitesnake, Journey, Thunder, Gerry McAvoy’s band of friends and Limehouse Lizzy. Ive been teaching guitar for 10 years and manage the guitar tuition at Music Heroes. I also co-ordinate our live events; arranging songs for performance by our students and the Music Heroes band.
I started playing guitar at the age of 10, achieving grade 8 before going on to study Professional Musicianship at BIMM Brighton, graduating with a BA(Hons) in 2015. It was during this time that I also developed a passion for playing piano alongside guitar. While based in Brighton I spent several years regularly gigging all over the south of England mainly in a function band called ‘Encore’ as well as providing session guitar and piano work for local artists.
I recently returned to Shropshire to complete a master’s degree in Composition and Orchestration and now spend my time writing music in my home studio, playing gigs in the local area and sharing my love of music through teaching. Influences range all the way from Mozart & Beethoven to The Beatles, to modern pop/rock, hip-hop and funk.’
I started drum lessons at the age of nine and was taught by Brian Stone. Not too long after I started, I joined Brian’s beginner percussion ensemble and over the years worked my way up to his advanced ensemble “Percussion Unlimited” which I was a part of until I was 17. It was while I was in this ensemble that I started to get experience of performing regularly. We would busk in Shrewsbury, play at village fairs and we even toured Australia. It was a few months after this tour concluded that I achieved my Grade 8 in the drum kit.
I enjoy listening to and playing almost every genre of music. Which means it should come as no surprise that my two main drumming influences come from very different genres, one being arguably the best rock drummer of all time – Neil Peart of “Rush” – and the other, more recently, being Larnell Lewis of the Jazz Fusion band “Snarky Puppy”.
What a few of those we have worked with say about us
I absolutely love my weekly email from Poppys ukulele teacher. Previously Ive felt out of touch when the girls have had music lessons within school time but Music Heroes do a great job of keeping parents informed and I so look forward to hearing how she’s getting on.
The children have made fantastic progress and have grown in confidence through the hard work and support from the teachers. The teachers are all professional musicians giving the children real life role models to aspire to become.