Welcome to my website

I am a teacher with over 30 years of experience in inner city secondary schools in South East London, and North Devon secondary schools.

Projects can be shaped around individual and group needs, from infant through to the tertiary stage. Staff INSET can also be arranged, for example basic juggling skills!

As you navigate around the website, you will be able to find out more about my background, security checks, what I can offer and what people have said about my work with students. There is also a link to the lyrics of some of my songs /poems and those of others I admire.

You will also be able to listen to some of the music and songs I have recorded and view instruments that I play.

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Gigs

I play several instruments and have an eclectic repertoire of songs and music.

I started playing bodhrán, bones and spoons in the late 1980s, featuring on 'The Rights of Man' band album 'Greenwich Mean Time' in 1992. I later learned to play whistles, including the low D whistle and the uilleann pipes, and now play a wide selection of slow airs, jigs, slides, reels, polkas and hornpipes. After moving to Devon in 2000 I developed a song repertoire and now accompany myself on guitar.

I play open mic sessions regularly, including Cook Island at Mullacott Cross, The Reform, Barnstaple, The Clinton Arms at Frithelstock and The Ship Aground, Mortehoe, The New Inn, Goodleigh. I have played solo gigs at the Yarde Orchard Café and The Royal Exchange in Torrington.

In 2006 I first performed, from memory, the Percy Bysshe Shelley 91 verse masterpiece 'The Mask of Anarchy', accompanied by guitarist Chris Ayliffe. We have since performed the poem in locations including The Irish Film Institute; The KUUMBA Centre, Bristol; The Tolpuddle Festival; The School of Oriental and African Studies, London; Petroc College, Barnstaple, and the Appledore Book Festival.

Workshops for primary and secondary schools

I can organise across the Key Stages and Post 16 Education, following discussion with teachers/lecturers in charge:

  • Assemblies which give an insight into the instruments, music and songs of Ireland
  • Assemblies as an introduction to a whole day project, for example at Marwood Primary School
  • Workshops around a particular song: for example, The King of Rome. Different areas such as Science, Geography and History, and themes such as hope and perseverance, can be explored through the song. See sample Lesson Plan.
  • Songs of political protest
  • Poetry of political protest. I perform PB Shelley’s 91 verse poem The Mask of Anarchy from memory(with slideshow). I would lead discussion about the Peterloo Massacre and the political climate in August 1819, for example.
  • Basic juggling workshops for staff and students

Projects, workshops and performances are shaped  around the needs of the students and their teachers.