I started playing guitar in 1996, initially learning classical, then bass, electric and acoustic. In 2005 I went to the London Guitar Show; my dad made me promise not to come back with another guitar, so I bought a banjo and a ukulele instead.
I began teaching full time in 2012 and joined Rothwell Music Centre in January 2016. My main aim with ensembles at Rothwell has been to write arrangements that allow each guitarist to challenge themselves as much as possible, while still sounding enjoyable and interesting when the different parts are put altogether.
When I’m not working, I enjoy jive dancing, bouldering, watching films and dining out.
Fun music 3-7 year olds
Believe it or not, I have been working for Rothwell Music Centre since 1978!
Whilst playing percussion with the Rothwell Temperance Brass Band, I was given the opportunity to teach the percussion class. I held this job for about 15 years before bringing Fun Music to the Music Centre. This has lasted for 24 years and is still going strong with sessions in schools and nurseries in the area too! Fun Music is the perfect platform for children to start their musical journey and then continue by learning to play one of the many instruments the Centre offers. It brings me so much happiness to watch this occur. I have so much fun on a Saturday morning and feel I am in the perfect job!
Drums and percussion
Drumming started for me when I attended a Military band concert during my first term of secondary school. I knew I had an interest in music and following the concert when we were offered the chance to learn an instrument, I immediately jumped at the chance to have a go at drums – let’s just say the passion was born and I never looked back…
My love for music and drumming has led me; over the years to play across a wide variety of music genres including a young musicians society, dance bands, shows, brass bands, rock & roll, and pop. In addition to teaching drums at Rothwell Music Centre for over 20 years, I've also been involved with, and led the music centre ensemble.
Teaching is both a passion and hobby for me and it began a number of years ago when Alan Mattinson (then Head of RMC) was looking for a percussion teacher and asked if I would be interested. I accepted the post and have Alan to thank for the wonderful opportunity it has given me – to share with pupils just how fantastic music and drumming in particular really is. It’s great to watch pupils develop, grow and achieve personal success.
I believe that music centres really are an excellent place to learn instruments, with of course, the added ‘life skills’ that performing in concerts and interacting with others inevitably brings
Alison Owen - Morley
Flute and recorder
Alison studied flute and piano at Trinity College of Music on a junior scholarship and later gained a degree in Music at Lancaster University. In her weekday job Alison is a music teacher for Artforms in Leeds, specialising in whole class ensemble and small group woodwind. She was previously a freelance musician, writer and manager, and a musician teacher for Nottingham Music Hub. Alison currently teaches flute, recorder and ukulele at Rothwell Music Centre, and these instruments plus saxophone and clarinet elsewhere.
Having started playing tenor saxophone by accident at a relatively late stage, saxophone is now her main instrument as a performer. She plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, and is currently a member of Yorkshire Saxophone Choir, SaxShades saxophone quartet and HD8 saxophone octet. Alison was co-founder of Quadrangle saxophone quartet, a founder member of SaxMob, and a former member of the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain. She performed in the last three World Saxophone Congresses; Bangkok in 2009, St Andrew’s in 2012 and Strasbourg in 2015.
Alison has been a CD reviewer for Clarinet and Saxophone magazine, a sheet music reviewer for Winds, and also reviews CDs on her own blog. She was a member of Huddersfield Choral Society for 17 years, giving regular performances in the UK and internationally, and taking part in many CD recordings and radio and television broadcasts. She was formerly Administrative Director of Yorkshire Dance and Head of External Relations at Leeds College of Music, both for over 10 years, and Head of Planning at the College for a year.
I have worked for the music service for the past 32 years, after spending 18 years prior to that both with the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards Band performing at Buckingham Palace and other state occasions. I took up the post 2 years ago at the music centre to teach and build up the string section and I am pleased to say that it has gone from strength to strength. I also teach strings at the Rodillian Academy
Piano and keyboard
Ruth teaches piano and music theory privately, at Rothwell Music Centre and Rodillian Academy. She is also busy as a choral accompanist and regularly plays the piano for the St Raphael Singers, Let’s Sing 26, vocal and instrumental soloists and for several years was the accompanist for Carlton Primary School Choir. Ruth also conducts choirs, and is Musical Director of the Wrenthorpe Village Singers Community Choir and a small ladies' ensemble; the Parkside Singers. Ruth is the musician and worship leader at Rothwell Methodist Church and also sings alto in the eminent Wakefield based Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir
I first came to Rothwell Music Centre as a 7 year old itching to follow my families Brass Band connections by learning the tenor horn and I am so proud to say I now teach the class I learnt so much from!
On leaving the Music Centre I went straight into the Wetherby Silver Brass Band where I stayed for 8 years, switching from tenor horn to flugelhorn when I was 12. I then went on to take a solo position at the Yorkshire Co-op Brass Band on flugel and diligently follow my family in the Rothwell Temperance Brass Band. I then left for University where I learnt Actor Musicianship, gaining a 2:1 level Degree. On returning I began teaching acting both privately and in groups, leading to opening Red Carpet Theatre School with my sister Jo. I am overjoyed to return to brass teaching at the place where I learnt to play and look forward to expanding and building on the Brass Class with hopes of an ensemble in the future!
I have been involved in music education for over 30 years. I have a BA (Hons) in music an Interarts, the LTCL Piano Teacher’s Diploma and a Masters in Education from Leeds University.
I’m passionate about teaching and really enjoy seeing my students grow in confidence and ability with their piano skills, especially at the Music Centre Concerts.
I use a wide range of musical styles and find repertoire, which is suitable to the individual. I enjoy going to all sorts of live music making including musical theatre, pop, jazz and classical music.
I keep my own piano skills up to date through extensive accompaniment of students for their ABRSM examinations.
Pete joins the Centre to lead the Saxophone Classes. As a highly accomplished musician, producer and recording artist Pete plays a number of instruments but it is woodwind that is his passion. In his formative years Pete attended Leeds College of music. Pete now has his own record label ATA Records and has been involved with a number of up and coming artists as well as his own music projects.