Staff

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Jason Meyrick
Jason Meyrick was born in Swansea and attained grade 8 piano and clarinet before joining the Royal Marines’ Band Service aged 16. He won the Houghton trophy and the Clarinet cup whilst in the service and also learned the violin as part of his training. After 2 years, he gained a place at the Royal Academy of music, joint 1st study clarinet and piano. Already having a keen interest in jazz and improvising, he joined the Academy big band playing alto sax. Jason received his Professional Certificate, L.R.A.M. teaching diploma and F.T.C.L., whilst at the Academy. He then toured Great Britain and Ireland with Blood Brothers the show, as assistant M.D. After touring, he settled into freelancing and teaching, based in London until joining a show band for the next two years as M.D. and arranger, performing at holiday centres and cruising the Caribbean with P&O during the winter months. He then moved to Cambridge and held various teaching posts and played jazz piano at Pizza Express. He currently has a thriving teaching practice in the Saffron Walden area and plays professionally in 78RPM Big Band. He has a keen interest in playing and teaching jazz and runs the very successful, Band Friday Big Band and also Pure Sax saxophone quartet.
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Karen Semken
Karen Semken grew up near Colchester in Essex and began her musical life studying guitar with Melvyn Willin and playing in the Guitar Youth Orchestra. She studied music at Anglia Ruskin University, specialising in classical guitar with Chris Kilvington, graduating with a BA Hons in music. On graduation she took a CT ABRSM course and has spent the last 20 years living and working in the Saffron Walden area. She has experience of many types of performing including solo work, playing in duo with other guitarists and the flute in the duo Andante. She now has a private guitar teaching practice and also works in a number of local schools. She is a highly experienced tutor with proven results at all levels from beginners to grade 8 and beyond. She has a particular interest in working with guitar ensembles and smaller groups of students. Still living near to Saffron Walden with her husband and daughters she is fully involved in village life and enjoys going to concerts and country walks.
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Gil Matthews
Qualification: Instrumental Music Facilitator (IMF) / Guitar Tutor / Songwriter. I am Gil Matthews and use my 29 year's experience as a guitar player to help people of all ages and abilities to enjoy and develop their musical skills on both acoustic and electric guitar. My specialist areas are contemporary rock / pop music, songwriting/composition, improvisation and, as a band of historical and musical significance, The Beatles. I aim to teach in a modern, fun style with a student-centred approach based on sound technique, positive encouragement and a holistic approach to developing ALL a pupil's musical skills. My students learn to play the music THEY love, learn to progress at their own speed and are always encouraged to trust their own individual way of approaching and understanding the guitar.
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Gill Smith
Gillian Smith studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Trinity College of Music, London and holds a B Mus and is a licentiate of Trinity College London, ( L.T.C.L.) She is a versatile musician specialising in French Horn, Piano, and Theory. Gill also gained a Certificate of Education and is a very experienced classroom teacher.   Having taught secondary music in the home counties and Essex for the last 30 years, she has settled into her full time post as classroom music teacher at the Saffron Walden County High School. Her extra-curricular activities include training the County High School’s Orchestra and Senior Jazz Band with many performances in the Saffron Walden area and Saffron Hall. Gill is also the chief coordinator for the music department, taking various groups and bands on music tour to destinations such as Venice, Barcelona and Salzburg to name but a few. We are very pleased that Gill is one of our staff at Saffron Music School specialising in piano teaching and theory.