Alex is a professional music educator, with a wealth of experience in a diverse variety of contexts. She leads workshops and evening classes on traditional music and the English concertina, as well giving regular individual lessons. She also works in schools as a peripatetic woodwind teacher. She is a lively, thoughtful and inspiring teacher, and is equally comfortable working with adults or young people.
Alex has been a concertina tutor for organisations including Folkworks and The Sage Gateshead, has led workshops across the country and abroad, and taught for the Yorkshire Concertina Club, the West Country Concertina Players, and other concertina groups. She is able to lead workshops on topics such as elements of English concertina technique, playing for dancing, classical music on the concertina, and music from the North East of England. Alex gives one-to-one lessons, and is happy to do this in person or via phone/skype.
Alex has worked with Dave Mallinson to produce a tutor book for the English concertina, ‘The English Concertina: Absolute Beginners.’ There is also an accompanying CD which includes all the pieces in the book played at a steady speed by Alex. With funding from the International Concertina Association, Alex has established a concertina teaching project in a school in Peterlee, County Durham, introducing the instrument to groups of 8-9 year olds.
“I would recommend this product to anyone starting to try to get to grips with an English System Concertina. It’s starting point is beginners level and progresses via a wide selection of tunes to intermediate level. This is a first class tutor book that fills a very large gap in the market.”
Jon McNamara (Chairman of International Concertina Association)
Some comments on Alex’s teaching:
“If you have heard Alex play, you will join many elite musicians in enjoying the life and danceability she brings her interpretations of traditional music. What you won’t know is that she can explain how you can do it too. As a teacher she encourages you with what you do best, and motivates you to tackle the areas of weakness. I always leave with a spring in my step.”
David Wilson (regular student)
“For me yesterday has been an excellent first experience with a concertina workshop and a chance to meet other enthusiasts. I really learned a lot both from the actual workshop and from talking to the other participants. The relaxed and knowledgeable approach by Alex made it a wonderful experience. She was an excellent choice and was able to manage a very mixed group of clearly experienced players and beginners (such as me). It was a real treat.”
Mark Rutgers (Concertina in the Low Countries workshop, 2012)
Some impressions from ‘Concertinas in the Low Countries’ workshop. Netherlands, August 2012