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sing with us...

Singing lessons can be a fantastic source of fun, stress relief, and self confidence.

Here at Make the Move you can choose from a variety of fun classes depending on your personal interests. Singing is fun, it is something you can learn, and it is also very good for you.

Click here to read some of the amazing feedback from Ilfracombe Rocks and Lee Club participants

To find out more about these classes, please click on the images below ...



Carol Turner (Musical Theatre)

Nigel Brooks (Musical Theatre)
Nigel was born in North Devon, and early on it was felt that he had a somewhat more than normal interest in matters musical. He had a beautiful treble voice and was promptly sent for singing lessons, followed swiftly by piano lessons. His voice ultimately broke returning as a “light tenor”. When the time proved right he successfully auditioned for The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and so started on a long career spanning every area of the musical and theatrical world. Pantomime came first followed by a series of broadcasts for the BBC. He became one of the BBC Singers, the “elite” of the time, during which time he sang under many of the famous conductors of the day and appeared in several “Proms” at the Albert Hall, little knowing he would one day be standing in that brass ringed podium himself conducting the BBC Concert orchestra.

He moved from the BBC Singers and became a very successful “session” singer, appearing on stage and television with many top artists. He auditioned and joined the Glyndebourne Opera for several seasons which led to television appearances in the BBCs television opera series.

It was music of a lighter vein however that proved to be his bag, and when he was asked to provide eight singers for the BBC’s Saturday Spectacular series “The Nigel Brooks Singers” were born. They appeared on numerous television shows for all the television companies across the country. As recording artists they achieved gold and silver disc awards (listed in The Guiness Book of Albums). They were favourites on many BBC Broadcast shows including “Friday Night is Music Night”.

While creating musical arrangements for his singers and the Concert orchestra Nigel found he had a bent for composition and to date has written numerous pieces most of which have been played by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Among these compositions are 4 Ballets, all of which have been performed at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London. Two notably “Barnstaple Fayre” and “The Water Babies”.

Nigel was asked to become Musical Director and Vocal Coach for the prestigious school “Laine Theatre Arts” and many of today’s West End starts were helped on their way to stardom by him. Latterly he relocated back to North Devon where he is again helping as many youngsters as he can to follow and find their won exciting dream in the music and theatrical world. He has had, and is still having a wonderful career with much left to do. One could say he is a real MAN OF MUSIC!

Lee Baxendale (Lee Club & La La Voices)

Gary Mitchell (Ilfracombe Rocks)
I started playing the guitar when I was 14 and this new found love got the better of me - I never once looked back or even out of the window - just at my guitar!

When I was an A-level student at North Devon College (now Petroc) I chose to do a 10 week music course where I literally sat at the back of the room and played the tingle and tambourine. I was very shy! In the final lesson during break time A-level Music teacher Keith Kerslake discovered me playing guitar and had me doing a gig the next day! I was so nervous - it was a big surprise to all my friends as no one knew I even played an instrument. The gig went really well and I took a few solo's which left me brimming with confidence.

Keith recruited me into a band with his talented children Kate, Sophie and Ken Kerslake called Soul Agency. We have played together for over 20 years and performed thousands of gigs and still perform regularly now. It is and always will be a great privilege to play with such gifted musicians.

I also formed a 3 piece band called The Real McCoy and we wrote songs and performed around 1000 gigs. I recorded my first album with them and we used to go out and play our originals with a few covers from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Rory Gallagher. Lots of screaming loud guitar and long solo's!

I have always loved recording and getting a good mix so bought my own PA system. This developed into setting up a production company providing Live sound, Lighting and Recording facilities with close friend Allan Kendall called 'Overload Productions' which ran for 15 years. During this period I was asked to give a few guitar lessons and soon had a full diary of tuitions. I was asked by Keith Kerslake to teach guitar at North Devon College and after a year or so this led to me also teaching on other music related courses. All the skills I learnt running Overload Productions enabled me to broaden my teaching horizons and soon I was teaching BTEC Performing Arts, Music Technology, Music Practice, A-level Music, Degree in Music Practise and Degree in Theatre.

Meeting up with Debbie Kent (Music Professional Lead for North Devon) and Carol Turner (Education and Special Projects Officer North Devon Theatres) led to me being involved various projects such as the Ilfracombe Rocks project and The Mix Festival and teaching guitar around local primary schools. Eventually this led to me leaving College to focus on my first real passion again - the guitar! I can't ever imagine not being involved in teaching young people as seeing them grow in confidence and improve on their instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals is all the reward I need to get a kick out of every lesson and every performance!

Right, where's my guitar...

Leigh Crossman (Ilfracombe Rocks)
I’m head of Music at Kingsley School - where I teach music to 11 to 18 year olds.

I have a PGCE (with Masters credits) in secondary Music and a 1st Class BA Honours Degree in Music, as well as a Higher Diploma in Contemporary Music from the Academy of Contemporary Music and a BTEC in Performing Arts.

I’ve sung and played guitar or drums in various bands over the last 24 years, including the last 9 years singing and playing guitar and writing and arranging music in Sonic Fusion, a 7 piece function band.  I’ve run the Ariel Studios for the last 16 years, managing the design, installation and running of the recording studio and rehearsal rooms, and delivering various music workshops over those years.  I spent 10 years teaching guitar, bass and drums privately in one on one lessons.

 For 4 years I worked for a national company delivering Music Open Learning Plans for unemployed musicians for Job Centre Plus and I spent 5 years working one on one with excluded young people for Devon County Council.

 The thing I love most about music is sharing it with other people - other musicians and audiences.  I learn something new every time I play or work with a band or group of musicians.  I find it hugely rewarding working with young musicians and watching them grow and develop, improve and move their music making forward.  I really enjoy the energy of working with and collaborating with the young musicians and other tutors at Ilfracombe Rocks.

Sophie Kerslake (Ilfracombe Rocks)
I'm Sophie and I am so pleased to be involved with the fantastic ILFRACOMBE Rocks team!
It's such a fantastic project-full of opportunity and musical experience for our young local stars.
Having been brought up here and been involved in the local music scene for the last 20 years it is such a joy to see what this experience is bringing to all those involved.
I have worked as a singer/music teacher for many years. I have hands on experience with the world of gigging and live performance and it is these skills that we are able to share and pass on to the young people that we work - a cracking job which I love!!
Rock ON!!

For more information please contact our Education & Special Projects Officer,  on 01271 869216





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