Neil specialises in clarinet and saxophone tuition, and ensemble direction. He has 20 years teaching experience, working with hundreds of young people of all abilities, from 8-year-old beginners up to students at the UK's leading music conservatoires.
Music education, and enabling young people to enjoy the huge benefits of experiencing and sharing music, is something that Neil is passionate about, and has always been a large part of his career.
When working with clarinet and saxophone students, he aims to develop the 'complete musician', so alongside more traditional study of classical repertoire and technique, lessons include elements of theory, aural, jazz, improvising, history, composition and notation awareness.
Ensemble playing is an extremely important (and fun!) part of improving as a player, for any age and ability. Neil aims for his students to take part in at least one chamber group and large ensemble rehearsal every week, with many taking an interest in jazz/improvisation groups as well.
Neil's own background, as a successful professional musician and educator, coupled with his own training at conservatoire and university, means he is able to pass on a wealth of knowledge and experience to his students. He has taught clarinet and saxophone at many schools over the years, in both the private and state sector, including Westminster Under School, Haileybury, Kingshott, Ampleforth and The University of Manchester. He has also been invited to give classes or adjudicate at various institutions, including Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music, Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Oundle School and AFYM.
Neil is an ensemble leader who has directed groups of all sizes, from quartets up to full orchestra. As course leader for saxophone chamber music at the National Youth Wind Orchestra (NYWO), he directed junior conservatoire-level students during intensive 5-day residential courses. Neil also directed ensemble courses, alongside Gerard McChrystal, at Benslow Music for 11 years.
Neil is Woodwind tutor for the
English Schools' Orchestra. The ESO exists to provide the opportunity for talented young orchestral musicians, still in full time education, to meet and perform with other similarly talented young people from all over the country. Recent concert venues include the Barbican, Cadogan Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
Neil writes about music and education in publications such as Clarinet & Saxophone Society Magazine, Music Teacher magazine and online. He has written many articles on various topics, including a beginner's guide to buying an instrument, music reviews, an in-depth look at ABRSM aural tests and an interview with soloist Huw Wiggin.