SMS provides high quality music tuition and training in Primary and secondary schools across Sussex. We believe:
1) that music is a universal language through which all of us are able to express ourselves.
2) music-making should always be creative and that all children have a right to a good quality music education.
Sussex Music School came into being from the desire to bring a fresh approach to local music education. Passionate about quality and opportunity, Alex Dalton has brought together the very best local music teachers to offer exceptional service at an affordable price. We deliver whole class music lessons, instrumental lessons, INSET and workshops in schools. We sell direct to schools ensuring equality of opportunity to all children, regardless of ability to pay. With Sussex Music School, students explore music of different genres, styles and traditions, playing to their strengths and preferences, as they build on their abilities as musical performers. They regularly improvise and compose during lessons, ensuring that music making is enjoyable and relevant. Learners of all abilities gain confidence, communication skills and well-being through the timeless activity of making music.
SMS is directed by Alexandra Dalton, who has a wealth of experience as a music educator. Originally trained as a classical violinist and pianist, after a music degree Alex studied violin and teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Alex’s playing career ranges from orchestral work to her gypsy jazz swing band. She has taught violin, piano and curriculum music to children aged between 4-19 for 18 years and has also worked with London Ballet schools, Birmingham Conservetoire, Northampton University Drama department, the Yehudi Menuhin School and postgraduate students in Berkshire and Sussex amongst others.
After training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics (music through movement) in Geneva, Alex delivered workshops at the NAME National conference for two consecutive years (now MusicMark). She has supported numerous music services in the sphere of music and movement and creative music teaching for many years, becoming well known as a workshop and INSET leader across the country. She was South East trainer for the Trinity/OU CPD course for KS2 music and was recently seconded to work for CHARANGA in developing their innovative online music teaching materials and applications.
Alex worked as lead advisory teacher and consultant in Primary Music for East Sussex Music Service for 10 years during which time she developed the Hub’s Singing strategy and was at the forefront of the First Access (whole class instrumental) project. She provided Curriculum support and training for 150 local schools and designed and ran music programs for younger children in music centres and nurseries.
During the last year Alex has worked with charity ‘Creative Futures’ in conjunction with the Institute of Education to run a project to research the benefits of arts provision on disadvantaged children. She wrote the materials, trained teachers from London, Coventry and Essex and delivered part of the project. For SMS, Alex is currently Director of Music at the Aurora Academies and The Gatwick School. She is also regional CPD and training manager for Charanga. Alex has two small children and enjoys mountain walking and climbing.
Robbie BSc. (Hons) Psychology / PGCE (Secondary Music) / Diploma (Waldorf
I have always had a passion for music, and my taste / interests are wide-ranging. I believe that Music, enthusiastically taught, should be at the heart of every young person’s experience. I have over 30 years’ experience of teaching music in various school settings and to different age groups. For the past 16 Years I have worked at Varndean School as Head of Music / Performing Arts, where I have established the school’s strong reputation in these areas. I am a singer, and love choral teaching, especially a cappella part-singing that has its roots in Africa and the Afro-American traditions; I spent a sabbatical teaching in South Africa. I can accompany class-work on keyboard / piano & guitar, and one of my strengths is ‘world’ music (Samba / Javanese Gamelan / African Drumming) which I have embedded both in the school’s curriculum and extra-curricular offer, as well as delivering INSET and teaching on the Sussex University PGCE course. I am also experienced in composing and arranging music using ICT (GarageBand / Sibelius), having developed the use of these in the KS3/4 classroom, and delivering a workshop on this at the SSAT’s National Music Specialism Conference.