Our goal at Tunbridge Wells School of Music is to create great musicians, and not just exam passes. We have a syllabus in place and exams are available, but we do not believe in blindly moving from grade to grade without fully understanding the instrument. Instead we focus on learning and applying music to a real life setting of performance and enjoyment.
Music can be a hobby for some and a career for others, but our aim is to ensure it stays a part of our students lives forever whatever their goals. Our teachers all have a wealth of experiences as professional musicians and it is our passion to share that with others.
Lessons with us are fun, engaging,
and of the highest standard
All lessons are given by professional, insured, DBS checked teachers, and are open to all ages and ability levels
Lessons can follow a structured syllabus or be tailored to the individual student’s needs
Grade exams are available to take with Rockschool, ABRSM or Trinity (TWSOM is a national exam centre for Rockschool so RS exams are held on site here)
Our main focus is fun and enjoyment while progressing in a relaxed environment to nurture and encourage a passion for music
All teaching rooms are fully equipped with professional equipment and facilities
Ample parking and a comfortable waiting area within the school.
Director - Drums / Guitar
David has been involved with music since a very early age, trying out all kinds of instruments, finally settling on the drums in his early teens. He gained his first class honours degree from The Academy of Contemporary Music in 2008.He divides his creative time between his own electronic-pop group ‘Dead Ceremony’ and session work for other acts; credits include UK R&B singer Azekel, who he played for during his debut album release and was the musical director for the performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2015. He has had experience performing live on national radio and TV, and recording studio experience at Real World, AIR studios, BBC Maida Vale, and Abbey Road.
Head of Drums
Daniel studied at Drumtech and received the coveted ‘Top Performer’ Award. He then started working with local London artists during which time he shared bills with Jason Mraz and Ed Sheeran.
He was a member of Flash Fiktion with whom he made an album released by Vinyl Junkie Recordings and published by Chrysalis BMG. The album was critically acclaimed by national mainstream media; The Sunday Times gave the band 'Single Of The Week' and NME rated the album 8/10, calling the songs "vivacious, glam crackers"! The album gained lots of support from BBC Radio 1 and XFM Radio which listed the album as one of the best British Debut Albums of 2012. Daniel worked with Tim Muddiman, Gary Numan’s long term guitarist on his debut album and live shows. Around this time he was also involved in music projects for fashion label Burberry and Gordon’s Gin. He played drums for Brandon Flowers of The Killers on his UK/EU tour for the number 1 album ‘The Desired Effect’. He also performed in Hyde Park supporting The Killers, Elbow and Tears for Fears with Joel Stein’s Glassmaps.
He is currently working with BRIT Award and Mercury Music Prize nominated multi-instrumentalist MC Lord Magrão and internationally recognised photographer Suzie Blake.
Vocals / Piano
Hannah Sawle studied at Chethams School of Music as a cellist, pianist and singer before heading to London to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she completed her BMus(hons) and MMus in vocal studies. She then spent a year on English National Opera’s Opera Works Course and is currently studying with Caitlin Hulcup. As an opera singer she has covered principal roles at the Royal Opera House and sung in companies all over the Europe. Recent roles include singing in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence at the Hamburg Staatsoper and Opera de Lyon and covering Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina and the soprano roles in Britten’s Death in Venice, both at the Royal Opera. Forthcoming roles include reprising her Lessons in Love and Violence roles with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is Germany and at the Teatro Real Madrid and the Théâtro du Châtelet in Paris.
She has been a piano and singing teacher for 12 years and loves the variety of repertoire and people she has come across through this. From classical to musical theatre, folk, jazz and pop and pupils ranging from 3 to 63! She has taught in schools and privately and loves exploring new pieces and new music with each pupil whilst giving them skills for the future and having a lot of fun.
Vocals / Piano
Harriet studied music at the University of East Anglia, focussing on vocal performance and contemporary composition. Since University she has worked as a professional musician with experience singing and playing keys/guitar in styles spanning soul, funk, pop, jazz, folk and classical.
She is the lead singer and synth player in jazz/soul band, Kanna and co-lead singer in funk/hip-hop band, Top Cat Collective. She provides backing vocals and lead guitar for alt/folk artist, Freya Ward, and has worked with a number of artists as a session vocalist.
Guitar / Bass
A trained guitarist from the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. Justin has played with Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilko Johnson from Doctor Feelgood and Ace from Skunk Anansie. He is an experienced teacher, performer and session player of many styles, holds a Higher Diploma in Guitar and is also an accomplished songwriter. Justin is able to teach all levels of guitar and bass, acoustic and electric, plus can teach ukulele.
Oscar is a drummer based in Sussex with seventeen years of experience in numerous drum styles, live performances and sessions. He has had the privilege to study with many fantastic musicians including Ralph Rolle (Chic), Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson), Steve White (Paul Weller) and Virgil Donati. Oscar has also studied under UK drummer Pat Garvey, since 2012. He has played festivals across the UK and Europe, as well as performing for BBC showcases.
Growing up in the south-east, Oscar has been involved in many different original and cover projects including pop, country, folk, rock, prog and metal. There are many bands/artists that have influenced his style including Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Steven Wilson, Foo Fighters, London Grammar and many more.
Aside from working on original material, as a working musician he fills part of his time teaching privately and playing in cover bands/tribute acts which takes him all across the UK performing at weddings and parties.
Olly Knight - Smith
Guitar / Production
Olly is a professional musician with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Having studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music he went on to achieve a degree in Popular Music Performance at the University of Kent.
Now an active musician in London and the South East - Olly is the resident guitarist for Studio 23 in North London - he plays for many different artists including Sharky, Speakman Sound and Top Cat Collective. In addition Olly works for high end function bands including 'The Honeymooners' and 'The Fulfillments’.
Having played at many prestigious venues such as the Jazz Cafe, New Orleans Jazz Museum and O2 Academy amongst an array of music festivals including Brainchild, El Dorado, French Quarter Fest (New Orleans) and Lounge on the Farm, Olly has plenty of experiences to draw from when teaching.
Josh started playing the guitar at the age of 14, influenced by such artists as Nile Rodgers, Rob Harris and Mark Latteri. His passion lies in playing all styles of music that he can. Setting out into his musical career, Josh applied to West Kent College in Tonbridge where he started to begin to understand what type of work he wanted to do as a self-employed musician. After studying at Tonbridge for two years, Josh moved onto a private music school called Music Station where he began to hone his career as a session musician. Starting out in function bands, he played around the south-east circuit as a working musician. Josh then moved to London to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music, gaining contacts and finding his sound and style as a professional musician.
Josh has worked with such artists as Sophie Winter, Diascia and Studio 33. Performing live and in the studio for both acts, he has accumulated various skills in recording, producing and performance.
Joe is an experienced professional guitarist, working as a performer and teacher in a variety of styles including Funk, Soul, R n’ B, Pop, Rock, Blues and Americana. Throughout his career he has performed with artists including James Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamie Cullum, Altered Images, Hamish Stewart (Average White Band), and Matt Berry. Joe is also the guitarist for David Migden & The Twisted Roots who have gained critical acclaim for their albums and live shows in the UK and internationally.
Joe has performed and toured in London and all over the UK as well as internationally with venues including Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, KoKo, Clapham Grand, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Edinburgh Festival and the Canadian Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival.
The guys here are more than just music teachers – they’re friends and mentors. They helped us choose the right kit and gave Jem good advice when it came to doing drumming with groups outside the school. We can’t fault it – TWSOM is a one-off.